Maybe not, as some of the example usages in here, but it still has a negative feel to me. Is there some positive way that can be used instead?

  • Delete or close General Reference. Question answers itself in reference cited.
    – MetaEd
    Sep 3, 2012 at 16:43

1 Answer 1


It doesn't have negative connotations in itself.

Abraham Lincoln was born in Kentucky, and ended up the 16th president of the United States.

There are no negative connotations there.

If you keep that up, you'll end up in jail.

Here, there are no negative connotations from "end up" either. If we replaced "jail" with "the White House", it would be a positive sentence. "End up" has no bearing on the positive or negative connotations of a sentence.

  • Thanks. I wonder though what is a more common usage/connotation?
    – Vic
    Sep 3, 2012 at 14:45
  • 1
    "End up" is very common.
    – Luke_0
    Sep 3, 2012 at 15:54
  • Yes, but is it more used more common negatively or positively?
    – Vic
    Sep 4, 2012 at 6:20
  • 1
    I agree that end up doesn't necessarily have a negative connotation. However, the core component of end up is "did not intend/plan/want". In some contexts, lack of planning implies negativity.
    – Alex B.
    Sep 21, 2012 at 23:31
  • 1
    I agree with Luke that "lack of planning" is not part of the connotaiton of this phrase.
    – GEdgar
    Oct 1, 2012 at 21:33

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