This is one of those words that we really don’t have an equivalent for in English, but you do this. You might experience schadenfreude when you watch your favorite team’s rivals get beaten by the worst team in the league. You might have a second of schadenfreude as you watch a waitress with a tray full of drinks stumble, stagger, and dump a tray of ice water on the pretentious couple who took your table. I enjoy a moment of schadenfreude when I find a misspelling or grammatical gaffe in a book I’m reading. I wrote about it in the Post: “Before You Tweet” without knowing there was a word for that.
Schadenfreude means you take pleasure from someone else’s misfortune! According to Dictionary.com it came from the German words Schaden, which means harm. and Freude, which means joy, sometime in the 1890s. A very good word indeed.