University of Wisconsin

BADGERS & BUCKY BADGER

Wisconsin most likely was dubbed the “Badger State” because of the lead miners who first settled there in the 1820s and 1830s. They lived like badgers in the winter, burrowing tunnels into small hillsides to keep warm. In 1889, the University of Wisconsin officially adopted the Badger as its nickname.

Bucky Badger’s full name is Buckingham U. Badger. The name is said by some to have originated in a line from “On, Wisconsin,” “…buck right through that line.” Although the University of Wisconsin has been known as the “Badgers” since the late 1800s, the image of Bucky Badger was first introduced in 1940 when a contest was held for the mascot design. A live badger was used at home games for a few years, until the keepers were no longer able to handle the wild beast. A live raccoon named “Regdab” (Badger spelled backwards) replaced the badger for a while, until 1949 when a UW art student created the first paper mache head that became part of the Bucky Badger costume, which is worn by a cheerleader.

The 2008 documentary film “Being Bucky” follows the process of Bucky tryouts and the day to day life as Bucky Badger.


“Teach Me How to Bucky”

 

Photo @ Slambo_42/flickr

Photo @ SweetMustache/flickr