On Friday, I’ll be hosting a fabulous guest to my blog to talk about high school football. In preparation, I wanted to spend Amaze-ing Words Wednesday in the labyrinth of mascot names.
High schools choose a name to associate with their school which will be uttered numerous times with football games, cheerleading, baseball, basketball, volleyball, soccer, hockey, etc. This name will be on the lips of the student body and supportive fans. So what names often get chosen for this honor?
Well, the number one high school mascot names is…drumroll, please…Eagles.
That tidbit comes from High School Nicknames, a website which compiled a list of the most common mascot names. I did my own research also to come up with the usual, and the unusual, mascots. Rather than just shoot the names out there all willy-nilly, let’s categorize a bit.
Animals. Animals are the most popular choice for a mascot name. Typically, a school wants a fierce creature to represent their school as a force to be reckoned with–whether on the football field or in the academic decathlon–but some like “Cardinals” may be a bit less ferocious. Here are common ones:
If we really want to make our opponents shake with fear, I wonder why I didn’t see the Cobras or the Fire Ants.
Groups of People. What comes to mind if I say “Knights” or “Pirates”? Another source of mascot names is groups of people who have demonstrated bravery or fighting skills in the past. In a tip of a hat to champions and contenders, schools often select the name of well-known or local heroes. Do you recognize these?
Rebels (probably only in the South)
Blue Devils (after French soldiers in World War I nicknamed “les Diables Bleus”)
Missing from the list are Ninjas, Cheerleader Moms, and Political Pundits–all known for their sparring skills as well.
Mythical Creatures. Forget animals and people; some schools go for the supernatural. For instance, Rhinelander High School in Wisconsin named its mascot after a creature later discovered to be a hoax: the “hodag.”
Here are some other names of teams based on myth:
Titans (elite gods of Greek mythology)
Sorry, Twilight, I couldn’t find Vampires or Werewolves. My son votes that some school adopt Zombies as their name. Can you imagine the mascot?
Weather. There are also teams such as the Tornadoes, the Cyclones, and the Hurricanes. We may not enjoy such disastrous events in real life, but on the field of competition schools seem to welcome them.
Objects. One of the more popular choices for a mascot is the Rockets. Living in the Houston area with NASA at my doorstep and the NBA Rockets basketball team nearby, I can understand the draw of this moniker. You can also find Bombers and, for reasons I don’t in the least understand, the Wooden Shoes.
Funniest Names. After combing through several sites, I did find some names that struck me as clever.
Arkansas School for the Deaf – Leopards. Did they do it on purpose? Rock on! I hope their students can at least feel the beat.
Poca High School, West Virginia – Dots. Clever, huh? The Poca Dots! In case it doesn’t sound aggressive enough, click the link to see the actual mascot.
Johnson High School – Atom Smashers. Because, really, what’s more frightening than an atom smasher?
What do you think of mascot names? Should they be animals, people, mythical creatures, or something else? Have you heard any unusual or funny ones? What was your school’s mascot?