From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search
WikiProject Psychology (Rated Start-class)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Psychology, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of Psychology on Wikipedia. If you would like to participate, please visit the project page, where you can join the discussion and see a list of open tasks.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 ???  This article has not yet received a rating on the project's importance scale.
WikiProject Philosophy (Rated Start-class, High-importance)
WikiProject iconThis article is within the scope of WikiProject Philosophy, a collaborative effort to improve the coverage of content related to philosophy on Wikipedia. If you would like to support the project, please visit the project page, where you can get more details on how you can help, and where you can join the general discussion about philosophy content on Wikipedia.
Start-Class article Start  This article has been rated as Start-Class on the project's quality scale.
 High  This article has been rated as High-importance on the project's importance scale.

Angst in popular music[edit]

The article should mention angst in popular music as it has grown increasing familiar in popular music. However, if this is going to be added please don't add every band you feel is remotely associated with angst the only genres that should be mentioned are grunge as that is the first type of music that comes to mind when thinking of angst in music, nu metal also is known as music consisting of angst related subjects, and possibly emo. Those previously mentioned genres represent teenage angst but angst is also represented in hip-hop music but not so much teenage angst as it is african-american angst, 2Pac would be the first artist to mention when talking about african-american angst.Xx1994xx (talk) —Preceding undated comment added 01:39, 8 March 2010 (UTC).

I don't think that's necessary, because angst is a force in so much art. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:48, 14 November 2010 (UTC)

I would disagree strongly - there are several bands, particularly from the 1980s, where angst has become a well-recognised element of their output. Probably the strongest case for this is 'Joy Division', where arguably the phrase 'angst-ridden' could be considered to be a precise description of their sound, but it is also a looming presence in many songs by The Smiths and Kirsty MacColl. In the Britpop era it is also very visible in many of the songs by Pulp... — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:52, 13 September 2011 (UTC)

reference to Martin Heidegger's use of Angst?[edit]

Shouldn't there be a reference to Martin Heidegger's use of Angst in this article? Jumping from Kierkegaard to alternative rock is moving a bit fast...

I feel like this article should discuss teen-angst more clearly and widely, but I haven't got the words to describe what defines as teen-angst. The only point I can make is that bands that have angsty lyrics like Linkin Park are very popular amongst angsty teens who feel deep unity with what bands like that make. That's only an example, I know it's really subjective.

I thought the exact same thing as I read it, that's why I came to the talk page. I'll change the wording a little to make it more NPOV. Although it was funny... :P

I think we should remove the whole Kierkegaard bit -- at least from the intro. It implies too much of a religious agenda. It might fit in well somewhere down the line, perhaps in a new section labeled something along the lines of "Angst in philosophy." We could also throw Martin Heidegger's references into that section, as well. Grendel 19:51, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I found the bit about Kierkegaard and fear of failing in responsibilities towards God interesting. I haven't read Kierkegaard and, though I know what angst is generally, learned something new from the page. I'm a nihilist but thinking of "God" as a sort of vague description of reality, I feel I understand the nature of angst better as a conflict between self and other. So, personally, I would like to see at least "Angst in philosophy" prominently linked if this page is turned into a disambiguation for angst in philosophy versus angst in bands or whatever. Peterius


"possibly brought on by the physiological changes of puberty, in "whiney", melancholy music. See emo."

Angst is the German, Norwegian and Dutch word for fear. [...]

Jungian Angst[edit]

Carl Jung popularized Angst as an anxiety. He tended to describe it as a fear of mortality. When one realizes that he/she can die some of us tend to become concerned.

Teen Angst is nothing more than a concern for survival. Some have Angst all of their lives.
When angst = anxiety, I think it's safe to say we're all angsty at one point or another.

'Angst' is also a Dutch word[edit]

I had already changed this in this article, but apparently some people won't believe me - a native speaker of Dutch from Antwerp, Belgium - that also in Dutch the word for 'fear' is 'angst' (next to other words such as 'schrik'. ) I will again change this in the article and I will continue to do this in the future. Cheers. Gero. (this previously unsigned comment was written by Gero on 8 November 2005, 10:43)

It's also "anxiety" without most of the vowels. Is that notable? --Damian Yerrick () 01:18, 21 March 2006 (UTC)
Since Dutch, English, German and Danish are all of the germanic branch of indo-european languages, it stands to reason that they all have basically the same word for a common emotion. Note also French angoisse, which again obviously has the same roots. 16:25, 22 May 2006 (UTC)
But French doesn't belong to the germanic branch although it belongs to the indo-european languages. Therefore the debate is trivial. -- 16:38, 24 February 2007 (UTC)
French, while mostly Latin has notable amounts of Germanic substrate. If English (as Germanic language) reimports such words from French, things get confusing :-) (talk) 17:40, 21 April 2011 (UTC)

In case anyone cares, I'm Dutch and can affirm that "angst" is indeed also a Dutch word, and it's frequently being used. It has the same meaning as the German word Angst. -- (talk) 20:26, 3 September 2008 (UTC)

I agree we can denote angst to be a Dutch word (being also a native Dutch speaker myself). Unlike in English, where angst is loanword, in Dutch it is not a loanword but has always existed in the language and is commonly used. I do not think this is 'singling out Dutch' as is mentioned in an undo-commit of this page. You might just as well say that this page now singles out German... Tifoo (talk) 10:36, 2 February 2009 (UTC)


This article definitely needs expanding, as it's laughably short, subjective and is of little use to anyone this way.

I also wholeheartedly agree that Heidegger's "Angst" (the realisation of the inherent purposelessness of existence) should be elaborated upon.

Angst in latin?[edit]

I have heard rumours that "angst" originally has come from the Latin word "inner pain" or something in that direction.


Reply: OED says it's Germanic in orgin.

Reply: from :

angst 1944, from Ger. Angst "neurotic fear, anxiety, guilt, remorse" from O.H.G. angust, from the root of anger (q.v.). George Eliot used it (in Ger.) in 1849, and it was popularized in Eng. by translation of Freud's work, but as a foreign word until 1940s. O.E. had a cognate word, angsumnes "anxiety," but it died out.

Funny you mention Latin origin. In Portuguese there's the word "angústia" (stifling feeling, anxiety, inner pain).


The swedish word is "ångest", and is a commonly used word in everyday life. --Striver 10:12, 14 August 2006 (UTC) But isn't it also ultimately derived from lat. angustia/angustiae, straits, difficulties, place where one is pressed? 18:14, 10 March 2007 (UTC)


why the heck is dread redirected to angst, dread should have its own page.

Then make one?
You buffoon!

"dread should have its own page." "Then make one?"

Are you kidding me? Someone make a page about dread. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 14:32, 14 May 2007 (UTC).

Perhaps the original comment was made by somebody who dreaded creating new articles

I think it is rather difficult to distinguish Angst in Heidegger's sense from Dread when dread is used to describe a profound sense of disquiet that has no specific object. Angst similarly has no object. From conversations with Dutch speakers I know that angst in Dutch (see above) is associated with a transitive emotion: one has angst of/for something. English is not similarly limited and apart from the alienating effect that the use of Angst in English has I think dread is a fairly good equivalent Everybody got to be somewhere! (talk) 17:51, 24 March 2011 (UTC)

Holden Caulfield[edit]

Hi, Angst is personified in our culture by someone besides K. Cobain (who is mentioned in the article): Holden Caulfield (who is not mentioned). I think he should be mentioned but don't have a reference offhand that indicates him as the typical example. Spebudmak 00:39, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

  • Oops, never mind, The Catcher in the Rye is mentioned after all, sorry Spebudmak 00:43, 3 May 2007 (UTC)

Angst in music? C'mon! I'm not even going to discuss that one, it's got to go. Do all emotions have sections devoted to music? It's all about someone trying to sneak in POV.

Incorrect German translation[edit]

I'm German and the examples at the beginning of the article are incorrect for current German. Maybe they are correct for German some hundred years ago. Today it is:

  • I fear ... = Ich habe Angst vor ...
  • I have fear. = Ich habe Angst.

The verb form of Angst is uncommon (Ich ängstige mich vor). The verb form of Furcht (Ich fürchte mich vor) is used, but the noun (Ich habe Furcht) is very uncommon and would seem very strange in a normal sentence. The only usage I know would be ironic by a person who mockingly pretends to fear something. -- 09:47, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Will change the article to reflect this, since I also noticed that. "Furcht" is rarely, if ever, used in modern German. Feel free to expand or remove as seen fit. -- (talk) 14:41, 24 February 2008 (UTC)

I disagree. I've spent my whole life in Germany and maybe "Furcht" is not used much in colloquial language, but it's commonly used in political speeches, in the news media, literature, film and actually even common conversations (of course depending on what kind of people do talk to each other). It's true, almost nobody would say "ich habe Furcht" (I have fear) but usage like "es gibt Furcht..." ("there is fear" i.e. among certain people) or "er hat Furcht vor..." ("he's afraid of..." i.e. animals) is absolutely common. Especially when it comes to discussing serious fear (that's maybe a case for a psychologist) it's absolutely normal to use "Furcht" (for example: "er hat große Furcht vor Fremden" - "he has great fear of strangers"). And additonally there are the verbs "sich fürchten" and "befürchten" based on the word "Furcht" which are even used in colloqial language. So in my eyes claiming that the word "Furcht" isn't used any more, is simply wrong. --F4LL0UT (talk) 11:49, 28 October 2008 (UTC)

ok.. here is the next german to answer. you are both kind of right. "sich fürchten" and "befürchten" is used pretty often. but using "Furcht" to express serious fear. i don't think so. maybe rarely in the news or media, i doubt that it's used often though.

"Furcht usually refers to a material threat" => bullshit. Furcht is barely used at all. "while Angst is usually a nondirectional emotion" => what? it both means exactly the same.maybe in some weird literal professors will see any diffrence, but believe me, the majority of people won't

Some more thought: The German words for several phobias, include "...angst": "Höhenangst" (acrophobia), Flugangst (fear of flying), Platzangst (claustrophobia and agoraphobia) &c. Those may be "nondirectional", but the article at the moment is just overgeneralizing. The normal way to say "I'm afraid of him." is "Ich habe Angst vor ihm.". So "Angst" can be very directional. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Ospalh (talkcontribs) 11:52, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

I see that someone has put "rage" as a translation for angst. I was under the impression that it was an incorrect translation as it sounds similar to the English word "anger". Pez098 (talk) 01:51, 11 November 2010 (UTC)

I am German: “fürchten” is used very often, it is always directional, you can't just feel “Furcht”, you always “fürchtest” something. Most people use “Angst haben” (to have angst) nearly synonymously, but there are people caring about the difference using Angst for a feeling not necessarily including a direction. And in contexts of psychology and philosophy you will always differentiate. Notice that “Furcht” about something does not necessarily imply feelings, e.g. “ich befürchte eine Finanzkrise” (“I fear that there will be a crisis”) or “ich fürchte die Benotung” (“I fear the grading”), but you may not have any emotions about it, being apathetic. But when I say “ich habe Angst vor der Krise” (“I fear the crisis”) or “ich habe Angst vor der Prüfung” (“I fear the exam”), that does necessarily mean that there are specific feelings of Angst, which may even appear undirectionally (same for phobias). People saying it would be outdated, are right that “Furcht” is rarely used, many people talk about “Angst” when they mean “Furcht”, on the other hand “fürchten” is a quite common word, while “ängstigen” is nearly never used (less common than “Furcht”). May I remove the dubious-label? --Chricho ∀ (talk) 22:58, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

“Angst” does not imply that there is no threat. --Chricho ∀ (talk) 23:01, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Let's just look at what the DUDEN says:

"In der Fachsprache der Psychologie und Philosophie wird im Allgemeinen zwischen Furcht als objektbezogen und Angst als unbegründet, nicht objektbezogen differenziert. In der Allgemeinsprache wird dagegen Furcht meist als gehobeneres Synonym zu Angst verwendet." (
That means: "In the technical terminology of psychology and philosophy, generally a distinction is made between 'Furcht' as being related to an object and "Angst" as being unmotivated, not related to an object. In common language [not: "colloquial language"!] "Furcht" in most cases is used as a [stylistically] elevated synonym to 'Angst'."

As a native German speaker (and professional author) I'd say: That's just it. Since Wikipedia should use common language, the second paragraph of the article is completely misleading. - Thus, I've chanched it.

-- (talk) 19:32, 30 March 2013 (UTC)

Not a word on teenage angst[edit]

I came to this article being redirected from teenage angst, but there is not a sentence on it. The article only claims that angst usually refers to teenange angst and then goes on to explain all the other uses (art, music) in detail and does not give one single fact on teenage angst. -- 09:49, 2 September 2007 (UTC)

Merge proposal - merge from Existential dread[edit]

I suggest that any useful information from Existential dread be merged into this article, perhaps with a redirect. This article already discusses Kierkegaard, and does it in a better way than "Existential dread". Anarchia 08:27, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

Angst in Music - not very accurate?[edit]

"Angst was probably first discussed in relation to contemporary music in the mid to late 1980s and 1990s. In the 1980s "teen angst" was expressed in music to a certain extent in the rise of punk, post punk, and Alternative music with which it is currently more associated, and was probably first used in reference to, the grunge movement and the band Nirvana."

I don't think this is accurate. Not sure about specific references, but punk had been around since the '70's, and angst in music has been around a very long time (probably more than a century, I remember hearing some incredibly dark/dissonant/expressive/morose opera music in a class in college, which was contemporary with atonal music and the Dada art movement of the early 1900's. WWI and the flu epidemic cause artists to have a very dark view of the world...), even in rock music, I would think any discussion would have to include not just punk but other early alternative groups like Joy Division, Bauhaus and the Cure, which go back to the 70's. Pink Floyd's music was rather angst as well although it tends to get lumped in with Art Rock/ Prog Rock... Johnakinjr01 06:59, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Right. In fact I'm beginning to wonder if a stronger word than recentism in Wikipedia is necessary sometimes for some edits. LastWeekism? Check Wagner's Tristan, and as far as contemporary music, much of early Dylan was specifically about angst about the Bomb - check out 'Masters of War'. --Straw Cat 13:15, 22 September 2007 (UTC)
Apart from the other bands already mentioned, talking about teenage angst and music and not mentioning The Smiths and Morrissey seems very strange. ! Rps (talk) 16:17, 28 January 2008 (UTC)

Angst is a latin word???[edit]

So if Angst is a latin word - please post a link to or a screenshot of a latin dictionary.

If you can not do so, I suggest you change it to "Angst is a german loanword ....". : This links was allready posted, why don't you read it?

I would do it myself, but my english is not so good. -- (talk) 14:20, 9 September 2008 (UTC)

Not sure how to edit this page, however, I'm removing the passus about Kafka and Nazism; the guy died in 1924! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:00, 26 January 2009 (UTC)

Mahler and Kafka[edit]

"However, it is the Jewish artists, Gustav Mahler and Franz Kafka in music and literature that have embraced the theme of angst so highly in their work that they have become synonymous with the term to the point of popular joking and cartoons today."

Mahler died in 1911, Kafka in 1924, well ahead of the Nazis. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:11, 23 December 2010 (UTC)

What is the problem with dying before 1933? --Chricho ∀ (talk) 23:01, 28 February 2011 (UTC)

Way before even yes. The problem is that when dead, it is hard to write the compositions during heavy Jewish prosecution that way as the text claims. Assuming they mean the Nazis with that, since they are mentioned in the same paragraph. (talk) 17:43, 21 April 2011 (UTC)


Was that article a target for vandalism? I really doubt that Dr.Phil introduced the word angst and ButtFurcht is also not the german word for fear (it is only Furcht). ~~ — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:08, 24 August 2012 (UTC)

No corresponding concept in German?[edit]

The lede states: "Note that there is no directly corresponding concept in the German language." For one, corresponding to what is unclear (to me, at least); and since German language knows both "Furcht" and "Angst" (as stated in this very lede), I don't really see what this sentence is trying to say. Delete? -- DevSolar (talk) 14:57, 18 October 2012 (UTC)

[@introduction] there's also the word "angoisse" in french which means as much as a horror kind of fear.[edit]

--2003:D3:73CD:C400:1882:AB14:7353:3E6E (talk) 01:32, 18 February 2019 (UTC)