I am not sure how to formulate correctly the phrase 'a winner that took the first place in the contest'. Could you propose any idiomatic phrases? My try is below:

The corporation is a gold winner in the contest 'Brand - 2014'.

The corporation was awarded with a "golden" prize in the contest 'Brand -2014'.

The corporation is recognized [as] a gold winner in the contest 'Brand - 2014'.

If they are ok, I will be glad to learn about that.

The addition to the text

I have no idea whether or not the prize is made of gold. I even don't know how the prize looks like.

The second addition to the text:

In my language and culture, a person or an organization, that took the first place, is named figuratively a 'golden winner'. I am not sure how to convey this meaning in English without mentioning the prize. The prize should not be mentioned at all in the situation that I described.

  • 1
    This doesn't answer your question exactly, but you might find this press release from a company discussing a number of different awards they received throughout the year as helpful. I am not promoting the company, I just remember seeing the list of different awards and thought it might a good example of different ways to talk about a company receiving an award. I'm certain there are other examples from other companies; this is just the one I know about.
    – ColleenV
    Feb 3, 2015 at 16:43

5 Answers 5


Are you speaking generically and possibly metaphorically, or does the group that awards the prizes call this the "gold prize" or some such?

If the prize is actually called the "Gold Prize" or the "Golden Award" or whatever, then you should call it whatever the people who give out the prize call it. If the prize is called "the gold prize", don't you call it the "golden award". Don't make up your own name; use the official name. Anything else just gets confusing.

If the people giving out the prize don't call it the gold anything, and you are using the word "gold" in analogy to the Olympics and other competitions where first prize is called "the gold medal", then you can either use the full phrase, "The company took the gold medal in Brands 2014", or you can abbreviate it to just "the gold", as in, "The company took the gold in Brands 2014".

I would avoid straining the analogy beyond that. I wouldn't say someone "won the gold certificate" or "won a golden award" when the prize is neither called that nor is literally gold. At that point it just becomes confusing whether this is the name of the prize or an analogy to the Olympics.

The other alternative is to just say "won first place" or "came in first".

  • 4
    If the prize isn't mentioned, then just call it "first place". That works just fine all by itself.
    – stangdon
    Feb 3, 2015 at 18:17
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    After reading @oerkelens answer, I realize I may need to clarify something in mine: If the prize is not called the "gold" whatever, I would not call it "gold" except in a context which is clearly a metaphor. Like you might say, "Our company won the Foobar Prize, which is the gold medal of competition in advertising!" But I wouldn't say matter-of-factly, "Our company won the gold medal in the Foobar competition" if their first prize is actually called "the Certificate of Excellence". That just gets confusing and, as Oerkelens said, could give the impression that you are trying to mislead.
    – Jay
    Feb 3, 2015 at 21:07

I would strongly suggest to find out what the organisation that awarded the prize calls it, and use their description.

If you use any other description, the claim that you won the prize may actually backfire.

Suppose that somebody would claim:

Our film took the gold from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

  • It sounds unfamiliar
  • people that do recognize you are talking about an Oscar think you have a reason not to say Oscar — did you actually win it?

Similarly, a scientist who received a gold medal from the Nobel Committee will cause confusion by not simply calling it the Nobel Prize.

There are many companies and websites that claim to have won all kinds of prizes, and these claims are, alas, not always justified. So make sure that if you did win a prize, you make utterly clear which prize that was: if the organisation calls it a "ribbon of merit", and you call it "a gold medal", what are you hiding?


It depends what the 'Gold' is! Is it a certificate? Or some item of gold? Or the prize is labeled as 'Gold'?

But commonly, I'd write it in any of these ways for my company -

(ABC) the winner of 'gold prize' for the contest of 'Brand 2014' OR
ABC won the prize of 'gold' for the contest of 'Brand 2014' OR
ABC bagged a 'Gold Prize' for the contest of 'Brand 2014'

Please mind that these are just three ways of many possible.

  • 1
    I'd use active, exactly as you did.+1 Feb 3, 2015 at 11:57
  • see my addition. :-)
    – user11470
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:21

The corporation which scored first in the 'Brand 2014' contest.

The corporation which was awarded the first prize in the 'Brand 2014' contest.

  • @stangdon yes, my bad.
    – Clover
    Feb 3, 2015 at 13:46

There are a number of common ways of saying "won first place" using gold as metonym. Here are a few:

The company took the gold in "Brand 2014".

The company won the "Brand 2014" gold medal.

The company was awarded the "Brand 2014" gold medal.

  • Is it possible to use a 'golden winner'? I am just not keen on using the words 'medal' and only 'gold'.
    – user11470
    Feb 3, 2015 at 14:19
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    You can use "gold winner" and be understood -- though it's not a very "correct" turn of phrase and I strongly advise against it -- but no, you cannot use "golden winner" because that would imply the winner is colored gold.
    – A.Beth
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:14
  • I can see that you might not be keen on using 'medal' if it was not a medal, though I can think of no other reason. Unless there's something you're not explaining, by the same logic you should be keen on either 'gold' alone (won gold, took gold) or on 'won the gold something-on-other', if it was something other than a medal, such as a statuette or a key or some other object.
    – TimR
    Feb 3, 2015 at 15:42

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