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The Cloud Concise Dictionary of Sparkling and Strange Words presents;



IPA(key): /æld͡ʒɪˈdɒnɪk/
Adjective –
Algedonic (comparative – more algedonic – superlative – most – algedonic.

Definition –

  1. Pertaining to both pleasure and pain (some definitions stipulate it being specific to sexual experiences – butt on the hole I disagree).
  2. Relating to the affections of pleasantness and unpleasantness entwined as one
  3. An unhealthy glee in the glory of the painful personally experienced – *see hedonic reversal.

*example sentence – “When it comes to eating red hot chillies, riding incredibly frightening rollercoasters and sticking safety pins through his knob, Gerald has always been algedonic I hear.”


From Ancient Greek ἄλγος (algos, “pain”) + ἡδονή ‘pleasure’.

Not To Be Confused With 

  1. Epicaricacy/Schadenfreude – pleasure derived from the misfortunes of others. (Impossible not to encounter within the span of the human lifetime at least once. Or twice). These words are loanwords from German. The literal English translation is ‘Harm-Joy’. It is the feeling of joy or pleasure when one sees another fail or suffer misfortune. It is also borrowed by some other languages.
  2. Sadism/Sadomasochism – “The safest and most suitable form of penance seems to be that which causes pain in the flesh but does not penetrate to the bones, that is, which causes suffering but not sickness. So the best way seems to be to scourge oneself with thin cords which hurt superficially, rather than to use some other means which might produce serious internal injury “ – Saint Ignatius of Loyola – (he was a laugh a minute at tea parties apparently.)

  3. Gloating – not big, not clever.

  4. Algivorous – feeding on algae. Blop.

  5. Algid – A bit nippy out – chilly.

  6. Algernon the Pug from ‘Rupert the Bear’ – You’re just being silly now – stop it.

Interesting extras

Only humans seem to be able to derive pleasure from the negative sensation itself. Animals have been trained to endure self-harm, but only within the context of positive reinforcement. (Trained by humans of course, the dimmest bulbs in the lighting rig at times.)


Algedonics and Sensationalism – 1909 -http://www.jstor.org/stable/2011082

Psychology Today – The Pleasure of Pain – http://www.psychologytoday.com/articles/199909/the-pleasure-pain

The Axiological Theory of Pleasure – http://www.academia.edu/2950473/The_Axiological_Theory_of_Pleasure