Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Does the word proud have a bad connotation? I want to use 'proud+something' as a company and website name but I'm not sure what connotation it can have.

share|improve this question
add comment

3 Answers

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Well, as pride is one of the Seven Deadly Sins and was considered to be the pivotal element leading to the downfall of the protagonist in Greek tragedy, you might say it can have negative connotations.

Most people use it in a positive way, however. You're probably safe with whatever construction you're contemplating.

share|improve this answer
add comment

I think this really depends on the context, and I can't imagine anyone would misinterpret a line like

I'm proud of you.

as being something bad. And to connect to your case, it's not very uncommon to see stuff like

Proud sponsor of ...

and there's nothing wrong with that.

share|improve this answer
add comment

If you were to call your company "Proud Office Supplies", it would make me think of a homosexual semi-charity thing, like rainbow-coloured stationary. In general "proud" and "pride" are often associated with groups that feel under-represented in society, like homosexuals, blacks, racists, women—basically any group that traditionally likes to bring it to anyone's attention that they have favourable qualities. This connotation does not apply to any possible name with "proud" in it, but it might; that is something you should consider.

share|improve this answer
2  
That is not a connotation which would immediately occur to me. –  Colin Fine Feb 28 '11 at 18:12
    
@Colin: Really? Not in the name of a company like that? I could only imagine its being used without any hint of this connotation when used with some effort or prize, like "proud creators of" or "proud founder of". I'd not be surprised to find it in something like "proud sponsor of", in which case it draws on this sense of effort, or even parenthood, which really consists in no more than money. –  Cerberus Feb 28 '11 at 18:33
1  
@Cerberus: Absolutely not. "Gay pride" is an expression I am quite familiar with. "Pride" on its own does not conjure that for me. In fact, if I encountered "Proud Office Supplies" my first thought would be that it was started by somebody called "Proud", who decided to capitalise on their name - as my parents did when they ran "Fine Printing Ltd". –  Colin Fine Mar 1 '11 at 11:55
    
@Colin: I see. Then perhaps my connotations are not very representative. It could also depend on environment, as we are swamped with all kinds of emancipatory events here. If I ran into a company "Proud Something" I'd wonder "proud of what? what have they done to pride themselves on? ah, it might be something gay, black, etc. etc". But I suppose it isn't like that for everyone. Funny that you should first take it as a last name: did the regular adjective seem logical in that place? –  Cerberus Mar 1 '11 at 13:03
    
@Cerberus: I think I would find its primary meaning a little unlikely there, which is why the name occurred to me. –  Colin Fine Mar 1 '11 at 17:56
show 4 more comments

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.