Mudita

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Dr. Goodword
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Mudita

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Dec 18, 2018 9:21 pm

• mudita •


Pronunciation: mu-di-tah • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: Joy in someone's happiness, good fortune.

Notes: English borrowed the German word for "joy in someone's misfortune", Schadenfreude, but has no antonym for this word. There is an effort abroad on the Web to adopt this Pali word for "joy" in the Buddhist sense of the word. It has not made it into any dictionary so far, but wordhood needs not be legitimized in any way but broad acceptance.

In Play: Here is an example of its use submitted by today's contributor: "Even though I was relegated to second place in the art competition, the winning entry was so exquisite that my whole being swelled with mudita, and I heartily congratulated the winner." Around Christmastime this word would be useful for parents and grandparents: "The children's joy opening their presents filled parents and grandparents alike with great mudita."

Word History: This word goes back to PIE meu- "wet, wash, clean", extended by a suffix -d: meu-d-. It must have had a Fickle N, because it emerged in Latin as mundus "clean". Ancient Greek had mudos "wet, rotting" without the N. Sanskrit had a family of words around our Good Word today: modate "funny", modanan "happiness", and muda "lust". Lithuanian mudrus "lively, blithely" and Russian muslit' "to slobber" are thought to be of the same origin. Wetness apparently was associated with washing, washing with cleanliness, and cleanliness with happiness. (Gordon Wray was disappointed that we had no antonym for schadenfreude, so he suggested today's newest of the new Good Words as a remedy.)
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BobW
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Re: Mudita

Postby BobW » Wed Dec 19, 2018 7:02 am

The best antonym of schadenfreude would be FIRGUN (from Hebrew).
Pronunciation: FEER-gun

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A genuinely unselfish delight or pride in the accomplishment of someone else; giving credit where it is due, generously and without jealousy; the antonym of schadenfreude. 2. A sincere compliment, a kind word, a proverbial pat on the back for someone.

Notes: This word is not yet a word in English, but is a word English should borrow from the Hebrew. It is the antonym of "schadenfreude, taking pleasure in the misfortune of others". Firgun differs from simply giving compliments, since compliments may be given with ulterior motives. Firgun involves unselfish delight that is authentic and without an agenda.

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Re: Mudita

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Dec 20, 2018 10:35 am

Hmmm. One of the disadvantages of having written over 3000 Good Words in the past decade is that I have a hard time keeping all of them in memory.

However, mudita seems to be gaining more traction than firgun on the web. The only other competitiors are German Mitgefühl, which only means "sympathy" and fribbly, a word someone made up from fribble "something frivolous". I think the GW series has produced the correct two contenders for the role of antonym of schadenfreude.
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