"malicious joy in the misfortunes of others," 1922, German Schadenfreude, literally "damage-joy," from schaden "damage, harm, injury" (see scathe) + freude, from Old High German frewida "joy," from fro "happy," literally "hopping for joy," from Proto-Germanic *frawa- (see frolic).
What a fearful thing is it that any language should have a word expressive of the pleasure which men feel at the calamities of others; for the existence of the word bears testimony to the existence of the thing. And yet in more than one such a word is found. [Richard C. Trench, "On the Study of Words," 1852]
1510s, "to dance, frolic," from Middle English adjective frisk "lively" (mid-15c.), from Old French frisque "lively, brisk," also "fresh, new; merry, animated" (13c.), which is ultimately from a Germanic source (compare Middle Dutch vrisch "fresh," Old High German frisc "lively;" see fresh (adj.1)). Sense of "pat down in a search" first recorded 1781. Related: Frisked; frisking. As a noun, "a frolic, a gambol," from 1520s.