O Eifersucht!

Ich habe ein neues Wort und einen neuen Ausdruck gelernt:

O Eifersucht! Du Leidenschaft! Mit Eifer suchst, was Leiden schafft!

Die Übersetzung auf Englisch ist:

O Jealousy! You passion! Zealously seeking that which creates suffering!


I find "Leidenschaft" to be an interesting word, because whilst it roughly corresponds to the English word "passion", it also contains the word "Leid" meaning "sorrow" or "suffering". We find this in a common phrase heard often in Germany, "Es tut mir Leid" (literally: It does me suffering/sorrow).

"Eifer" by itself corresponds to the word "eagerness" or "zealousness". "Sucht" means "addiction" when capitalised as a noun, but translates to "searches" when written in lowercase. Thus we have the logical, compact package of "Eifersucht" (literally: the addiction to the state of zealousness or fervor).

Anyway... just a random musing...


November 5, 2015


The English word "passion" itself means suffering. At least, this is its origin. Think of what the word means in the phrase "the passion of the christ." Its more contemporary use meaning "intense emotion" seems to have begun as something of a metaphor that grew to became more dominant than the original meaning which has now become somewhat obscured.

November 7, 2015

Yes, that reference crossed my mind. And the more I think about it, a passion towards anything tends to cause some suffering. Maybe not always, but I find that along with experiencing any very intense emotion, some form of suffering is not far away (or mixed in with the pleasure of feeling anything acutely).

November 7, 2015

Doesn't 'Eifersucht' also mean jealousy though?

November 7, 2015

It does. That is how I translated it from the original. See above :-)

November 7, 2015

Ah ok, got it now. Thanks! :)

November 7, 2015

Sure :-)

November 7, 2015

The canonical form of that saying is "Eifersucht ist eine Leidenschaft, die mit Eifer sucht, was Leiden schafft".

November 9, 2015

My (German) boyfriend taught it to me this way and I actually prefer it to the original. I like the directness of it, and the personification of Jealousy. Thanks for sharing the official version.

November 10, 2015

Actually I, too, like your version better.

Interestingly both seem to stem from the Spanish poet Miguel de Cervantes Saavdera, who wrote:

"O zelos, zelos! Quan mejoros llamaran duelos, duelos!"

and the word plays on "Eifer-Sucht" and "Leiden-Schaft" were only added by the translator.


(Sorry had to use a URL shortener, because the forum software always ate up some special characters in the original link to

November 10, 2015

Cool! Thanks for the additional info :-)

November 11, 2015
Learn German in just 5 minutes a day. For free.