Früheankunftfreude

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Früheankunftfreude” is a word, without a literal equivalent in English, deriving as it does from a strand of Calvinist theology that was never popular in Britain. It refers to the pleasure, triumph and sense of spiritual cleansing (also unknown in English) that comes from being the first person to participate in a collective activity no-one is expected to benefit from or enjoy.

Also known as “Kaltenudelnaufhautfreude” (literally, the “delight in feeling cold spaghetti on exposed skin”) früheankunftfreude encapsulated a penitent’s beatific sensation of being first one into the cold bath on Pentecost.

Latterly it has assumed a more secular aspect. Nowadays it may describe the feeling of righteousness that comes from rising at dawn to secure a sun-lounger in a nasty condominium in the Algarve, or the sacrificial excitement of being the first (die “warteschleifenmusikopfer”) to dial into an all-hands conference call, whereupon one must wait in musical purgatory for the moderator to arrive and initiate the full infernal horror of the scheduled discussion.

Contrast with “späteankunftschande”.


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