Wednesday, May 14, 2008


If you're just discovering the word "Schadenfreude" you're way behind, according to an article in BlackBook Magazine. Not only are more and more people using the word "Schadenfreude" itself, they are increasingly using "-(en)freude” as a suffix.

Examples? "Hillaryfreude may better name your sadistic joy at the death throes of the former First Lady’s campaign—unless your heart is filled with Obamafreude, over the Illinois Senator’s protracted preacher problems. Or maybe you’re bathing in Spitzenfreude, Shaqenfreude, or Spearsenfreude, as you luxuriate in the declining fortunes of Eliot Spitzer, Shaquille O’Neal, or Britney Spears," writes Mark Peters.

As the writer explains, "The success of -(en)freude is an example of what linguists call 'cranberry morphemes'—or cran-morphs for short. There was no cran before cranberry, but that little syllable grew up to become shorthand for cranberry in words like cran-apple and cran-grape."

The article gives many entertaining examples of -(en)freude words, my favorite being an example lifted from someone's personal blog: “Yesterday, it was ‘selfenfreude’ that got me through the day. If you can’t laugh at yourself...”

If "selfenfreude" catches on, I'll have to take joy in my own misery that a book on Schadenfreude is already behind the lexical curve.