The TV show “Glee” is sassy, but what does the word “glee” have to do with squinting and schadenfreude?

What are the lesser-known meanings of the word "glee?"Cute teenagers, song and dance routines, even Britney Spears — this is “Glee’s” moment in the sun. We want to take this same moment to illuminate some of the unusual senses of “glee” (like what it has to do with schadenfreude.)

Let’s begin with “Glee Club.” These infamously chipper singing groups are called “glee” because the melding of voices makes everyone happy, right? Actually, joy has little to do with it.

Sure, one definition of glee is “open delight or pleasure.” The word is also used to refer to an unaccompanied part song for three or more voices, which are usually male and include a countertenor. This kind of song was popular in the 18th century. It was characterized by several short sections of contrasting character or mood. And the songs were often about eating and drinking. John Playford was the first composer to use the term.

Glees are often compared to madrigals (which strangely derives from a Latin word meaning “of the womb.”)

Glee comes from the Old English word gliu or gleo; an entertainer was a gleuman.

Glee Clubs, which got their start in England, traditionally sing short songs. Nowadays, most American glee clubs no longer perform glees.

The senses of “glee” don’t stop there. Our dictionary gnomes surprised us when we were told “glee” also means “to squint or look with one eye.”

Another unsavory sense of the word is “feeling pleasure caused by another person’s misfortune. Who knew that “glee” was a near-synonym for the amazing concept schadenfreude, “satisfaction or pleasure felt at someone else’s misfortune.”

The “mad” in Mad Men is also not what you might expect. Read about that here.

Growth worries trip up Groupon.(Nation)

Daily Herald (Arlington Heights, IL) February 10, 2012 Byline: Associated Press NEW YORK Groupon had a lot to prove with its first earnings report as a public company. The nearly 14 percent slide in its stock Thursday suggests investors were not impressed.

The online deals site on Wednesday reported sharply higher fourth-quarter revenue that surpassed Wall Street’s expectations. But some analysts worry about the trajectory suggested by its revenue forecast of $510 million to $550 million for the current quarter. in our site groupon sandiego

The guidance means Groupon Inc. expects revenue to grow by about 5 percent in the first three months of this year, compared with the last three months of 2011. By that same measure, revenue grew by a double-digit percentage in each quarter of 2011. That suggests growth is slowing down, said Collins Stewart analyst Mayuresh Masurekar.

Groupon’s growth from signing up more subscribers and adding to its list of merchants is slowing, Masurekar said in a note to investors.

Chicago-based Groupon is expanding abroad, sending subscribers coupons personalized to their tastes and offering new types of deals, but growth from those initiatives may not be enough to counteract its slowing daily-deals business, Masurekar said.

Groupon makes money by sending its 33 million subscribers discounted deals on restaurant meals, manicures, gifts and a broad range of other offerings and taking a cut from what merchants take home. see here groupon sandiego

The company posted an adjusted fourth-quarter loss of 2 cents per share, in large part because of unusually high international taxes. Analysts were expecting a profit of 3 cents per share Its revenue grew 18 percent from the third quarter to the fourth, to $506.5 million. It was helped by strong holiday demand and special deals the company offered as part of its Grouponicus promotion, dubbed as Groupon’s “wintertime celebration.” Revenue increased 10 percent from the second quarter to the third and 33 percent from the first quarter to the second.

Still, Masurekar, along with other analysts, said Groupon’s latest results were solid. Analysts don’t suggest selling the stock, just waiting to see whether the company can show it can keep growing fast.

Morgan Stanley’s Scott Devitt kept his rating on the stock as “Equal-weight,” which means the analyst thinks the stock will trade in line with other industry stocks he covers.

Groupon, he said kept its competitive position, grew revenue while reducing marketing costs and showed no signs of “customer deal fatigue.” Morgan Stanley was the main underwriter of Groupon’s IPO.

Concerns about the sustainability of its easy-to-copy business model have dogged Groupon since before its November PO. Though its early growth was meteoric, rivals quickly popped up. And it drew scrutiny from the Securities and Exchange Commission for the way it accounted for revenue in an early filing. The company restated its numbers to count as revenue only what it takes home, not the full amount that people pay for its deals.

Groupon has also been spending heavily on marketing to gain new subscribers and on hiring new workers at a frantic pace. It had about 10,00 employees as of last fall.

After pricing its IPO at $20, Groupon’s stock has fluctuated between $14.85 and $31.14. On Thursday the stock fell $3.41 to close at $21.17.


  1. BUTTER -  November 2, 2010 - 1:17 pm


  2. ann -  October 4, 2010 - 9:34 pm

    glee is a fantastic show!!! we love it we’re so proud of charice for being part of it!!keep it up charice!

  3. ALEXA J -  October 1, 2010 - 8:29 am


  4. mark V -  September 29, 2010 - 12:24 pm

    Hm, way back in the Waybackwhen days, jesters where the source of song n’ dance in a “ha! look at that buffon!” kind of way.

    Coincidence!? almost definitly.

  5. hbghk -  September 29, 2010 - 10:58 am

    ILOVEGLEEE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! WOW! IDIDNT KNOW THERE THERE WERE THAT MANY DEFINTIONS

  6. The all american girl-next-door!!! -  September 29, 2010 - 10:41 am

    To my comment that I already posted I would like to say I am a HUGE glee fan and while others do not like the show I on the other hand love it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  7. miles beacom -  September 29, 2010 - 10:31 am

    Glee is a four letter word, that in itself means that it is an “old” word, therefore, highly evolved. The “nasty” four letter words are “nasty” for the same reason, the are old. They were supplanted by their Latin counterparts and educated people used the Latin replacement and the “lower” class, continued with the old word.

  8. NathanD -  September 29, 2010 - 9:08 am

    So Hot Words has “dictionary gnomes” to do their research?

    Does Dictionary.com outsource its bloggers?

  9. Garrett_is_Smith -  September 29, 2010 - 8:23 am

    First! Also, a very interesting article. I had no idea “glee” meant “to squint”.

  10. manh pham -  September 29, 2010 - 8:02 am

    It’s a pleasure to read these wonderful explanations of words with their unusual meanings that go beyond the ordinary sense we know. We’d like to express our tnanks to your staffs that have worked untiringly to satisfy the thirst for knowledge of our readers. Thank you!

  11. SCHOOL BUS 78 | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  September 29, 2010 - 7:47 am

    [...] Schadenfreude on the School Bus — Schadenfreude in the halls – Larry David made it prime time with Seinfield — evolved INto Pedophilia GLEE from the nasty broad wit da Balls. — There always have been bullies since before the first yellow bus and records that were 78 RPM — Now Schadenfreude is taught on TV — though Slapstick silence was the first to show — the different ways of evolving — for the song or for the dance or the choice of Glee to be La Cucaracha – such a long long way we have to go. –>>Rupert L.T.Rhyme [...]

  12. April -  September 29, 2010 - 6:34 am

    Interesting. Thanks for the article :)

  13. Bob -  September 29, 2010 - 5:38 am

    glee is awesome!

  14. Lauren -  September 29, 2010 - 5:15 am

    I love Glee. It’s probably one of the best shows out there right now. It’s funny and explains hugh school so well. Last nights episode was pretty awesome too. I didnt know that the term “glee” had so many deffinitions. I also didnt kno the background. Thanks for sharing(: haha

  15. The allamerican girl-next-door!!! -  September 29, 2010 - 5:14 am

    Wow who would of thought that glee means “to squint or look with one eye” or “feeling pleasure caused by another person’s misfortune.” That is strangely odd to know, but i can see why they picked the name glee, some people don’t like watching glee and so therefore when people get hurt on the show it might cause them great pleasure to see the person in pain!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  16. KStil -  September 29, 2010 - 5:02 am

    Hahaha…who knew glee could describe people’s lives in terms other than Tuesday night television and bursts of cheerfulness? Gotta love it.

  17. Johnny -  September 29, 2010 - 4:54 am

    I completely agree with you on this fact, because as it goes along with the sense of shining upon something as it comes about the word “glee”, somehow it intends to show that ‘gluts someone inside’ not obscurely just demonstrating how wonderful it can turn out to be over the cause being of such a “gleeman” belting out songs with short hooks whereas it’s going to merry everyone around or even yourself. As it’s been told about schadenfreude case, i don’t think it exactly gets to be something related to be happy about someone’s misfortune, otherwise it can take a long-term thinking over it because it’s in my opinion poppycock or sassy.

  18. ms.karma -  September 29, 2010 - 2:03 am

    i remember when i was in high shool, i was a member of the glee club.


    but now i don’t think i could still sing like what i used to do in high school.


  19. Chris -  September 29, 2010 - 1:57 am

    so might ‘glee’ have a similar root to ‘gloat’ – which also has implications of schadenfreude?

  20. Pat Lisenbee -  September 29, 2010 - 12:39 am

    just goes to show what a messed up language English is!

  21. ms.karma -  September 28, 2010 - 10:49 pm

    oh, i see. the TV show Glee has nothing to do with squinting and schandenfreude. :p

    on Glee: Charice is really good. no wonder she became part of the show.
    i’m so proud of her. mabuhay! :p


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