More mascot mania

Mascot Mania Strikes Back at Jay Greene’s blog. Graduates of rival high schools (“Trevians” vs. “Giants”), Greene and I share a fascination with this issue. But he’s a lot more compulsive. He’s analyzed 19,785 mascot names (including some private and Canadian schools). Some 182 names account for 88 percent of mascots; he counted 1,566 unique names.

Human or humanoid (like devils) mascots are about 36% of all names. The remaining 64% are almost all animals, with a sprinkling of weather names (e.g., blizzards, hurricanes, tornadoes).

Eagle, which suggests both patriotism and ferocity, is by far the most common mascot name, accounting for 6% of all names. The next most common names are tigers, bulldogs, panthers, and wildcats. The most common ”person” mascot is warrior, which ranks 6th and accounts for 3% of all mascot names.

Not counting “warrior,” about 4 percent of mascots have Indian names. Other ethnic names include Vikings, Highlanders, Irish and Scots.

War-like names, including anything with “fighting” in it or warriors, raiders, pirates, bombers, etc …, are about 19% of all mascot names. Excluding animal mascots, war-like mascots account for about half of the remaining ”people” mascots. Respect for a martial spirit is represented in a very large portion of all mascot names.

Many of the animal mascots represent ferocity or toughness. There are a lot more eagles, hawks and falcons than doves, robins and bluebirds.

Newer schools are somewhat more likely to choose an animal mascot rather than a person; Indian names are less popular as well. But the change hasn’t been dramatic.

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  1. We’re the Redbugs.

    Only one in the nation.

    (then again there are the Hutto Hippos outside of Austin Texas.)

  2. How about the Battling Bishops? (yes, Catholic high school)

  3. Catch Thirty-Three says:

    Or, the Rough Riders of Theodore Roosevelt High School in San Antonio?

  4. greeneyeshade says:

    Muhlenberg College in Pennsylvania, where a niece of mine considered going, is the Mules. And the Bryn Mawr School here in Baltimore (founded by the same people who founded the college) has my current, possibly all-time, favorite: the Mawrtians.