What does the expression “as proud as Satan” (sin, or Lucifer) mean and Where does it come from?

This notion of evil being arrogant, supercilious, or contemptuous arose in the minds of people more than four hundred years ago.

The first record in English is in The Pilgrimage of Perfection (1526) with “as proude as Nabugodonosor (Nebuchadnezzar).”

Then came “as proud as Hell,” by Dean Swift in 1711. Then “as proud as Lucifer,” by Madame d’Arblay in 1782.

And we have since substituted Satan, sin, the devil, Beelzebub, the Prince of Darkness, Old Scratch, Old Harry, or whatever synonym of evil may occur to us.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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