firgun

Here’s an excellent word for you: firgun. No, I didn’t just swear at you! It’s a Hebrew word and we all should use it, or at least we should embrace the sentiment. It means the exact opposite of schadenfreude—something I confess I’m guilty of indulging in a bit too often. Firgun means to take pleasure in someone else’s good fortune, to be delighted when something good happens for someone else. Isn’t that lovely?

My boss came out of her office this afternoon and announced that she’d learnt a new word from this article in The Guardian. We all got quite excited (it was a slow day) and had a long discussion about how to pronounce it and what its origins were. We discovered that there’s even an International Firgun Day, on 17 July. That’s gone in the diary, in capital letters.

Then we found this: the Firgunator. I can’t remember the last time I laughed so hard. Not at work, anyway. You type in a name and it generates hilarious random compliments. Here’s one I just got:

You’re smarter than google and Mary Poppins combined. No matter what size your shoes are, no one can fill them.

Have a go. If you’re feeling a bit blah or you’ve had a hard day and you need a bit of ridiculous fun, go forth and firgunate! And next time someone tells you a bit of good news, don’t feel jealousy or self-pity; give them a big smile and say, “Firgun!”

P.S. As far as I know, the word has absolutely nothing to do with Chinese New Year; I just used that photo because it’s playful and happy and that’s how saying, “Firgun!” makes you feel!