Schadenfreude is a German expression (from Schaden: damage,
harm; and Freude: joy) meaning pleasure taken from someone else's misfortune or
shameful joy. The equivalent Latinate English word is epicaricacy, although the
German term is more widely used.
Schadenfreude was seen as a sin by German theologians, and philosophers such as Schopenhauer, unless the joy was felt in response to a just punishment. It might now be similar to tall poppy syndrome, where people are pleased when someone with some status, celebrity or pretence in society is brought down.
In Sweden, a common saying is: The Schadenfreude is the only true joy.
The opposite of schadenfreude is mudita.
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