The Oscars, also known as the Academy Awards, is one of the most prestigious award ceremonies in the world. It celebrates the best achievements in the film industry and is watched by millions of people from around the globe. The awards are named “Oscars,” but how did they get their name? There are several stories that explain the origin of the name and in this article, we will explore each of them to identify the real reason why the Oscars are called the Oscars.

The first story suggests that the name “Oscars” was coined by actress Bette Davis in the 1930s. According to the legend, when Davis saw the statue for the first time, she thought that it looked like her then-husband Harmon Oscar Nelson. She then reportedly said, “it looks like Oscar!” and the name stuck. While this story is charming, it is unlikely to be true. There is no evidence that Davis ever said this, and the statue bears no resemblance to her husband.

The second story suggests that the name “Oscars” came from the Academy’s librarian, Margaret Herrick. Herrick claimed that the statue reminded her of her Uncle Oscar and referred to it as “Oscar” while organizing the ceremony in 1931. Again, this story is not definitive, but it is more plausible than the first. Herrick was indeed a librarian for the Academy and may have used the name informally. However, there is some dispute about whether her uncle was named Oscar, and the Academy has not confirmed this story.

The most compelling explanation for the origin of the name “Oscars” is easy to track down. In 1934, the Academy’s executive secretary, Margaret Herrick, officially used the term “Oscar” in an Academy publication for the first time. The story goes that when she first saw the statue, she remarked that it resembled her uncle Oscar. Herrick then began using the name informally on interoffice memos and other communication within the Academy.

The Academy officially adopted the nickname “Oscar” for the statuette in 1939. The origin of the name has nothing to do with Bette Davis’ husband or any other famous person. However, Herrick’s Uncle Oscar was not actually named Oscar, and it’s unclear whether the statue of the iconic figure was the inspiration for her choice.

The Oscars statuette, as it is officially known, was designed by artist Cedric Gibbons and sculpted by George Stanley in 1928. The figure is a stylized representation of a knight holding a crusader’s sword and standing on a reel of film with five spokes, which represent the original branches of the Academy – actors, directors, producers, technicians, and writers. The statuette is made of gold-plated bronze and stands 13.5 inches tall. It is valued at approximately $400.

The first Oscar ceremony was held in 1929 at the Hollywood Roosevelt Hotel in Los Angeles. The ceremony was a modest affair, attended by a small group of industry professionals. The awards were bestowed in just twelve categories, and the entire ceremony lasted only fifteen minutes. The presentation of the statuettes was not televised until 1953, when the ceremony was broadcast live to television viewers across the country.

In conclusion, although there are several stories about where the name “Oscars” comes from, the most probable one is that it was a nickname coined by the Academy’s executive secretary, Margaret Herrick. The name became official in 1939 and has been used ever since. Regardless of its origin, the name “Oscars” has become synonymous with excellence in the film industry, and the statuette has become an iconic symbol of one of the world’s most celebrated entertainment events.