No-Fault Narcissism?

PRIDE: n. a high or overweening opinion of one’s own qualities and attainments; an attitude of superiority over and contempt for others; inordinate self-esteem


The earliest recorded use of pride in this sense appears in Anglo-Saxon in the Homilies by Aelfric of Eynsham. By 1205 it had taken on the sense of “arrogance; haughtiness.” In 1597, Shakespeare used the word in Henry IV, Part 2 to express a much softened sense: “a feeling of elation, pleasure, or high satisfaction derived from some person or possession.” In 1970, members of the LGBT movement began to use the word in reference to what, until then, had been more commonly associated with shame.


The modern noun pride derives from Anglo-Saxon pryto, which became prede in Middle...


is a retired secondary teacher of English and philosophy. For forty years he challenged students to dive deep into the classics of the Western canon, to think and write analytically, and to find the cultural constants reflected throughout that literature, art, and thought.

This article originally appeared in Salvo, Issue #63, Winter 2022 Copyright © 2023 Salvo |


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