When I was young, a workmate convinced me that there was indeed a word which described the behaviour of someone who would congratulate themselves for behaving the way a person normally ought to, anyway. I don't want to write that word here, because some people might think part of it seems racist. So instead, I'll ask as plainly as I can:

Is there a word that means "Congratulating oneself or others, for behaving the way one ought to behave?"

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    Can you please show an example sentence of how the word would be used? Are you saying there is a word you already know, but don't want to write? What has racism to do with congratulation? Jul 10 at 12:07
  • I infer from the pitch of the question that OP thinks it would be unusual for anyone to congratulate themself for behaving normally. Suppose they are tempted to behave badly, but realise they should do the right (i.e. normal) thing, then it would not be unsual to congratulate oneself for being good. As for congratulating someone else, they might be a student who is given encouragement that they are doing the right thing. Jul 10 at 12:19
  • If you ask others to supply a term that may be racist without saying it yourself, you may be patting yourself on the back. Jul 10 at 13:56
  • Not exactly the same but you may get some ideas from Word for someone who always seeks appreciation for his deeds or work
    – Stuart F
    Jul 10 at 17:38
  • @WeatherVane It's generally considered to be boasting to congratulate yourself for doing the normal thing. Self-congratulations should usually be reserved for going above and beyond. You might congratulate yourself in your head, but you shouldn't express it aloud.
    – Barmar
    Jul 11 at 0:30

2 Answers 2


There isn't a single word, but there is the phrase "patting oneself on the back".

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    Any sources to add would be most welcome.
    – livresque
    Jul 11 at 0:11
  • This means congratulating yourself for anything, not just when the action is expected.
    – Barmar
    Jul 11 at 0:24

Sorry to have to tell you that no, there is not and yes, it really is that simple.

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    This does not really answer the question. If you have a different question, you can ask it by clicking Ask Question. To get notified when this question gets new answers, you can follow this question. You can also add a bounty to draw more attention to this question. - From Review
    – alphabet
    Jul 10 at 23:52
  • @alphabet Why isn't this an answer? They asked if there's a word, this says there isn't. If you expect it to be backed by by sources, what source would prove a negative? The only proof would be an exhaustive search of all dictionaries.
    – Barmar
    Jul 11 at 0:26

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