malicious pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. This word is a loanword from German, and is also borrowed in some other languages. It has been calqued in Danish and Norwegian as skadefryd, in Swedish as skadeglädje, in Finnish as vahingonilo, and in Russian and Bulgarian as ‘злорадство’ (zlo’radstvo).
The corresponding German adjective is schadenfroh. The word derives from Schaden (damage, harm) and Freude (joy). Schaden derives from the Middle High German schade, from the Old High German scado, and is a cognate with English “scathe”. Freude comes from the Middle High German freude, from the Old High German frewida, and is a cognate with the (usually archaic) English word “frith”. A distinction exists between “secret schadenfreude” (a private feeling) and “open schadenfreude” (Hohn, a German word roughly translated as “scorn”) which is outright public derision.