Word of the Day

Friday, October 05, 2018

schadenfreude

[ shahd-n-froi-duh ]

noun

satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else's misfortune.

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What is the origin of schadenfreude?

Schadenfreude is a direct borrowing from German. In German Schadenfreude is a compound noun made up of the nouns Schaden “harm, injury, damage” and Freude “joy.” Schaden is related to English scathe (via Old Norse). Freude is a derivative of the adjective froh “happy,” and is related to English frolic, which comes from Dutch vrolijk “cheerful, gay.” Schadenfreude entered English in the late 19th century.

how is schadenfreude used?

Social media exploded with gleeful Schadenfreude.

Naomi Fry, "Searching for Meaning in the Leftover Merchandise of Fyre Festival," The New Yorker, May 24, 2018

It also let Peggy see the sagging flesh under Blanche’s chin. Since her own jawline was still pretty good, she soaked up some Schadenfreude on that score.

Harry Turtledove, The Big Switch, 2011
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Thursday, October 04, 2018

tump

[ tuhmp ]

noun

British Dialect. a small mound, hill, or rise of ground.

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What is the origin of tump?

The noun tump has an obscure etymology. It is a dialect word used mostly in the British West Country (Somerset, Cornwall) and the West Midlands (around Birmingham). Tump may come from the Welsh noun twmp “round mass, hillock,” unless the Welsh word comes from English. Tump entered English in the 16th century.

how is tump used?

Despite the fine afternoon sunlight all around, the tump itself seemed steeped in perpetual shadow, brooding and ominous.

Stephen R. Lawhead, The Spirit Well, 2012

They buried the coffin in their garden. No cross marked it, just a brown tump in the bleak landscape.

Willy Peter Reese, A Stranger to Myself, translated by Michael Hofmann, 2005
Wednesday, October 03, 2018

notionate

[ noh-shuh-nit ]

adjective

Chiefly Midland and Southern U.S. strong-willed or stubborn.

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What is the origin of notionate?

Notionate, an adjective from the noun notion and the adjective suffix -ate, is a dialect word used mostly used in the Midland and Southern U.S., Northern Ireland, and Scotland. Notionate entered English in the 19th century.

how is notionate used?

He wouldn’t let me give a direction. He’s fussy sometimes and notionate.

George Madden Martin, The House of Fulfilment, 1904

In Saturday’s stretch run, Alysheba turned rank, or sour, refusing to run in a straight line, his head twisted in the manner of notionate colts, and he came out to sideswipe second-place Cryptoclearance.

Shirley Povich, "Belmont Unfolding Proves Alysheba Is Only Equine," Washington Post, June 8, 1987

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