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 â€personâ€ 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 â€œfightingâ€ in it or warriors, raiders, pirates, bombers, etc â€¦, are about 19% of all mascot names. Excluding animal mascots, war-like mascots account for about half of the remaining â€peopleâ€ 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.