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I'm searching for a word that describes the anticipation of a result of an evaluation, but that also takes into account the fear of what that result might be.

For example, I cannot wait to see the results of my code evaluation, but I'm also terrified that this evaluation might show, that I'm not a good software developer.

I was told there is a German word for everything, but I can't even think of a German word, that would explain those feelings. Maybe there is an English one?

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In some circumstances this might be viewd as trepidation

trepidation = a nervous or fearful feeling of uncertain agitation : Apprehension

"trepidation about starting a new job"

Merriam Webster

The Merriam Webster definition combines the excitement of a new job with the fear of its novelty, new people and the challenges it may bring.

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  • Thank you for your answer. I like the explanation and it pretty much explains what I want. However, I'm not sure that anyone else will understand it, since I never heard that word before. :-) – Martin Apr 6 at 7:55
  • Thank you. If you use Google ngram to look for with trepidation and look at the many quotes from many sources it may reassure you that the word is quite widely understood. Often it refers to circumstances where fear is appropriate, but it is also used in the sense that you need: that of a little fear despite good circumstances. – Anton Apr 6 at 8:58
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Suspense is suitably ambiguous.

'The suspense is killing me.'

suspense ...

  • 2a: mental uncertainty : ANXIETY
  • b: pleasant excitement as to a decision or outcome

Ryan Saunders mostly let the reserves play in the fourth quarter while the only bit of suspense was if Capela would get his triple double. — Chris Hine, Star Tribune

[Merriam-Webster]

suspense: a feeling of excitement or anxiety while waiting for something uncertain to happen:

  • The suspense of waiting for her answer nearly drove him crazy.

[Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary]

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It's certainly not a $5 word but what about anxiety?

M-W

1a(1) : apprehensive uneasiness or nervousness usually over an impending or anticipated ill
...
c : a strong desire sometimes mixed with doubt, fear, or uneasiness

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  • Thank you for your answer. I think the "excitement" part is missing in this one. – Martin Apr 6 at 7:49
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I thought butterflies in stomach had a predominantly negative ring to it (in that it suggested only uneasiness), but Urban Dictionary seems to suggest otherwise.

An awesome feeling when someone you care about looks at you, stares at you or complements you; and you don't know what to do in that moment, except feel happy. It can be a physical feeling like a little tickle traveling up your stomach.

He is so cute, every time he turns and looks at me I get butterflies in my stomach.

And here is Collins:

If you have butterflies in your stomach or have butterflies, you are very nervous or excited about something.

An exam, or even an exciting social event may produce butterflies in the stomach.

Thus, as you can see the phrase encapsulates both the positive as well as the negative aspects of emotion.

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  • Is UrbanDictionary an authoritative source? – piccolo Apr 1 at 22:03
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German tends to have a word for everything because of their proclivity for mashing words together. In fact, it's a fun game taught to kindergarten students. So, if it doesn't exist, don't be afraid to make it up!

For example: das Meerschweinschen (guinea pig) The stems are das Meer (sea) and das Schweinchen (little pig). Not of the ocean and not a pig, but still a guinea pig.

I'm sure you can guess that "das Bananenbrot" is banana bread. Ignore that there is a random n in there, language is a tricky beast.

Also, angst (a German word) made its way into English without much trouble. So, making a word might be your best bet.

Maybe you'd want to go with something like Exaltierheitangst?

Exalltierheit is excitement and angst is angst, but, together, the average English reader would comprehend something like Exalting and High Angst.

They're both feminine nouns so there's no worry about endings and what not, and it doesn't feel like there should be any additional vowels tossed in (that's kind of touch and go depending on your fluency level.)

Don't be afraid for it to look weird either. As long as you couch it in a paragraph, people will be able to readily understand the meaning.

For example, Schneeeule looks really weird but if I talk about the white plumage of the Schneeeule (snowy owl) and its nocturnal habits then it's not a problem. Schnee (snow) and Eule (owl).

If you ever need a good German-English online dictionary, I recommend https://www.dict.cc/

Cheers!

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  • Thank you for your answer. It is an interesting take on this "word mashing". :-) – Martin Apr 6 at 7:55

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