What's it called when you get a type of award because you didn't get the award you were supposed to get? Let's say someone was trying to get an award, and they tried really hard, but they didn't get it, but because people felt bad that they didn't get it, they got a different award called a(n) ___ award, meaning "Hey, you didn't do it, but here's this instead, because at least you got something."
A non-winner might be awarded a
A prize given to a competitor who just fails to win or who has come last.
A two-week holiday in Cape Town was the consolation prize.
The word consolation itself means
The comfort received by a person after a loss or disappointment.
This is a participation award/trophy/ribbon. According to Wikipedia:
A participation trophy is a trophy given to children (usually) who participate in a sporting event but do not finish in first, second or third place, and so would not normally be eligible for a trophy. It is frequently associated with millennials, those of Generation Y.
When it's not an official reward, you can also use the expression "got an A for effort". From Farlex via TFD:
A verbal acknowledgement of appreciation for attempting a task, even if it did not produce a successful result.
You forgot to sand the wood before you painted it, but I'll give you an A for effort since you tried to help.
Weather Vane’s answer, consolation prize, is what first came to my mind. You could also say that the judges made it up to the recipient for not giving her the award she truly deserved. A consolation prize is always of lower value, but we make up for not giving someone a prize he deserved by giving him another of equal value.
An award for the second-best finisher is also a runner-up award or silver medal. An American might sometimes ironically call a person who comes in second Miss Congeniality, the title of the runner-up in the Miss America beauty pageant. Someone who always does well but never wins is “always a bridesmaid, never a bride.” Thus, a special award given to honor someone who never won the annual award is a bridesmaid award. Or, more politely, a lifetime achievement award.
In some other contexts, we would use make-up as an adjective. When a referee sees a replay, realizes he got a call wrong, and calls the next play wrong for the other team to make up for it, balance the scales, and even things out, that’s a make-up call. We don’t say that for awards, though. A “make-up award” is an award for cosmetics.
This is not a participation trophy, because everyone gets one of those. It’s also not a booby prize. Those are given out mockingly, although it is possible to accept one with grace and dignity, or at least good humor. It’s not a wooden spoon either, as that is for last place, not the person who should have won.
Other commenters have suggested, replacement trophy, and that could work. It could be confused for a new trophy commissioned to replace one that has been lost or stolen.
It’s not a well-known saying, but thinking about it, the best metaphor for this in American culture might be the Academy Award for Best Actress. The Oscars are notorious for repeatedly giving it to the actress who most people felt deserved to win the year before, when they voted to give it instead to the woman who’d deserved to win the year before that.
- Runner Up Prize
- Runner Up Award
What is runner up prize? English Language Learners Definition of runner-up : a person or team that does not win first place in a competition but that does well enough to get a prize especially : a person or team that finishes in second place. See the full definition for runner-up in the English Language Learners Dictionary. runner-up. noun.
noun, plural run·ners-up. the competitor, player, or team finishing in second place, as in a race, contest, or tournament. runners-up, the competitors who do not win a contest but who place ahead of the majority of the contestants and share in prizes or honors, as those who place second, third, and fourth, or in the top ten.
Depends on the award. I'd start with calling it a substitute, anything else is more denigrating variants of it really.
E.g. I know of people who got awarded the second highest military honours during the Vietnam war because the people writing the citations were aware that because of the political situation and/or rank of the soldier involved they'd not pass the political process involved with granting the congressional medal of honour. I'd not call that a booby price, participation trophy, or some other denigrating thing at all and neither does the US military (these people are awarded almost the same honours and ceremony when visiting a US military base as any CMH recipient for example).
Especially a participation trophy is something worthless that you get simply for taking part. A campaign ribbon in the military would be such, for example.
An almost-winner might receive an
a commendation given to a candidate in an examination or competition who is not awarded a prize
From Oxford Languages
One might consider that honorable mentions would have won the award, or placed in the top three, if the eventual winner had not entered.
Therefore an honorable mention would equate to a fourth/fifth/sixth place if there were awards for first, second, and third place.
A wooden spoon is an award that is given to an individual or team that has come last in a competition.
It was presented originally at the University of Cambridge as a kind of booby prize (see other answer) awarded by the students to the person who achieved the lowest exam marks but still earned a third-class degree in the Mathematical Tripos.
Definition of booby prize
1: an award for the poorest performance in a game or competition
2: an acknowledgment of notable inferiority
Examples of booby prize in a Sentence
Recent Examples on the Web
And a booby prize awaits for whichever team happens to finish second: a possible date with England in London in the round of 16. — Joshua Robinson, WSJ, 22 June 2021
Right now, that seems like more a booby prize than a reward. — Ann Killion, San Francisco Chronicle, 6 Mar. 2021
I win 2nd place booby prize in Loser pool if the OH teams win. — King Hippo. Admin. October 13, 2019 12:04 pm [DOOR FLIES OPEN]
An award that is given which is nevertheless lacking in real weight and significance is sometimes referred to as a 'Bauble'. For example, in this news article Dominic Raab was reported to be appointed to the constitutionally almost meaningless role of 'Deputy Prime Minister' of the UK. His new role is described thusly:
But even with the bauble of deputy prime minister as part of his title [...], Mr Raab, the now former foreign secretary, is a less senior figure in the government.