As the French say, that certain "I don't know what."
I keep on noticing the prevalence of Schadenfreude among my children. Yeah, they were not familiar with the term either. It's a German word referring to taking pleasure in someone else's misfortune. They love to see each other get in trouble or have bad things happen to them, but that's a post on depravity we'll save for another day.
But, for your learning pleasure, I share some other neat terms from the Fatherland, terms that tend to express an idea better than English might.
- An sich - in itself
- Backpfeifengesicht - German compound word for a face that should be hit
- Besserwisser - "better knower," somebody who knows better or best and who does not hesitate to inform the others about it; akin to a "know-it-all"
- Dasein - existence or being there, an entity's potentiality1
- Doppelgänger - "double goer" - a ghostly double, look-alike, or clone of a person
- Dummkopf - "dummy head"
- Fahrvergnügen - enjoyment derived from driving
- Freispiel - free play or free game
- Gemütlichkeit - connotes the notion of belonging, social acceptance, cheerfulness, the absence of anything hectic and the opportunity to spend quality time
- Gesundheit - health
- Heilsgeschichte - salvation history, God's positive saving actions throughout history
- Hinterland - remote area, back country
- Kaputt - out of order
- Kitsch - cheap, sentimental, gaudy items of popular culture, trinkets
- Schadenfreude - pleasure in someone else's misfortune
- Schweinehund - "pig dog," common term of insult
- Sitz im Leben - setting in life, context
- Spielzeug - play thing, toy
- Übermensch - overman or superman2
- Verboten - forbidden
- Verstehen - understanding
- Wanderlust - a strong need or desire to travel
- Weltanschauung - world view
- Wunderbar - wonderful
- Wunderkind - wonder kid, miracle child
- Zeitgeist - spirit of the time
See also nunchi, a Korean word for the innate ability to sense what would be the wrong thing to say in a situation (and presumably the ability to then not say it).
1 - Dasein was famously examined by Martin Heidegger in Being and Time. It is derived from da-sein, which literally means "being-there/here," though Heidegger was not fond of this translation. Heidegger chose this term as a synonym for "human entity" in order to emphasize the critical importance "being" has for our understanding and interpretation of the world.
2 - Übermensch was made famous as a concept by Friedrich Nietzsche, who declared the Übermensch as a goal for humanity, overcoming the herd, in his book Also Sprach Zarathustra.