Why is it Called an Oscar?

Updated July 24, 2020 | Infoplease Staff

The Question:

Where did the Academy Awards trophy get its nickname, the Oscar?

The Answer:

According to the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, the origins of the name are uncertain, but "a popular story has been that an Academy librarian and eventual executive director, Margaret Herrick, thought it resembled her Uncle Oscar and said so; and that the Academy staff began referring to it as Oscar." The name was used in a column by Sidney Skolsky in 1934, and officially used by the Academy itself starting in 1939.

Check out our recap of Academy Awards ceremonies for a look at past nominees and winners.

-The Editors

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