Are the slang usages of "bud" (mainly meaning cannabis, and occasionally clitoris, from what I understood) prevalent enough that I should avoid using them in a product intended for international availability?

Example sentences which could be printed:

  • "John has created a bud here!"
  • "Share this bud!" (ouch)
  • "Create bud"

I would appreciate very much if you could state which part of the world you're from when answering this question.

Some context:

The lexical field surrounding a service I'm designing revolves around trees, plants, and nature in general.

My team and I are in the process of selecting names for the various parts of the service, and we are struggling with one:

It should depict something with potential, which is not yet fully developed, but holds the bases for future interactions. Seed would not be relevant, as this part of the service is sprouting from something we called a Tree, and I feel it would generate confusion about which one generates the other.

Bud came to mind, and seems a good choice. it fits wery well with the rest of our service part's names. However, it does not seem to be a very commonly used word (much less than "tree", "branches", "leaves", "roots" and so on), and I'm afraid this could heighten the chances of it to be read in an alternate meaning.

This item could be named a Leaf as well, which conveys a less accurate meaning, but possibly avoids this problem.

  • 1
    I would say no. First time I hear either usage. Closer to butt :)
    – mplungjan
    Feb 5, 2015 at 10:31
  • 1
    If the context you are providing unambiguously refers to buds in a way that makes it perverse to interpret them as having any connection with cannabis or clitorises, then there should be no problem.
    – Erik Kowal
    Feb 5, 2015 at 10:41
  • 1
    Being from Canada, I have never heard the term "bud" applied to either cannabis or clitorides. I see no reason not to use it. Moreover, in the context of a tree which your product will be presented in, there is only one possible understanding of a "bud."
    – Adrian W
    Feb 5, 2015 at 10:45
  • 2
    Aside from it's botanical sense, I mostly know bud as an informal and friendly way of addressing a (usually male) stranger (Bristol, England)
    – Dan
    Feb 5, 2015 at 11:20
  • 3
    Users of this site may belong to a specific demographic Yes, I think you are right; a demographic that understands words within the context. Most people on here are unlikely to ever do a Beavis & Butthead style huh huh huh, he said 'bud' when it's clear it's botanical and not prepubescent breasts, clitorises, marijuana or even beer. Be that as it may, I'll add huh huh huh, you said 'service', huh huh huh. No word is safe.
    – Frank
    Feb 5, 2015 at 12:00

3 Answers 3


i am afraid that your concern that bud might be read by other internationals in an alternate meaning is well placed, especially the meaning cannabis though some might be aware of the other connotation of clitoris also. BUD(in capital letters) is an international abbreviation also.

may i suggest:







i must say, however, that the word leaf (accompanied by a green leaf symbol) is an internationally appealing symbol.

i live in west Asia specifically Sultanate of Oman where one third of the population are expatriates many of them are English speaking.good luck!


You might try sprout. It is somewhat more generalized than bud, since it can refer to almost any part of a plant that is still developing, and has a somewhat more active connotation when used as a verb.

  • 1
    Sprouts coming from a tree are usually called suckers. Feb 5, 2015 at 13:53
  • Yeah. Hadn't thought of that. It would be inconvenient, wouldn't it? Feb 5, 2015 at 15:01

If "bud" doesn't seem quite right, why not try "sapling"? In the US, the most common use of "bud" is as a nickname for "Budweiser" - an iconic brand of beer. (In a bar or restaurant you'll often hear, "I'll just have a 'Bud'.")

  • What a miserable life they lead! If only they knew what proper beer (cask-fermented real ale) tastes like?
    – WS2
    Feb 5, 2015 at 12:48
  • @WS2 - A chaque son gout.
    – Oldbag
    Feb 5, 2015 at 14:34
  • Let me assure you that when you know what 'real beer' tastes like you will never again want the mass-produced stuff. CAMRA (Campaign for Real Ale) a non-profit body, fought a battle for over thirty years to have pubs re-instate the ale that was lost after mass-production began in the 1950s. Today most pubs have real ale on tap. Try this site and see if it doesn't induce a thirst in you.camra.org.uk The greatest triump for consumerism known to human-kind.
    – WS2
    Feb 5, 2015 at 16:45

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