I think it may be because of the season, or something to do with my new brand of toothpaste but I’m having a new bout of Bathenfreude. I had one a couple of years back and I’ve had relapses every so often since, mostly on public transport.
There are 991207 words in the English Language but as far as I’ve been able to ascertain, none of them is for this sensation.
There are several fascinating works about which cultures have which words (and therefore which corresponding concepts). This one includes the fact that there is – really – no word for compromise in Arabic. This one tells us that Schadenfreude (enjoying the suffering of others) has no translation outside of its native German.
Well Bathenfreude is a bit like the opposite of that crossed with Bathos.
What I’m trying to describe is the sudden feeling of guilt that you get when you make a judgement about (or feel superior to) another human being based upon appearance* and then catch yourself.
Any help greatly appreciated.
*40-year-old men wearing young-people’s jeans with lots of pockets on the outside, women bearing ill-advised midriffs, cheap suits and spiky hair, that sort of thing.