For the suburb of Sydney, Australia, see Mascot, New South Wales. For the American city, see Mascot, Tennessee.
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Mascots at the 'Mascot Olympics' in Orlando, FL.

A mascot is something, typically an animal or human character used to represent a group with a common identity, such as a school, professional sports team, or corporation. American university and school sports teams are often identified primarily by their mascot. Sports team merchandise often bears the team logo as well as mascot. The team will employ an individual to accompany them to home and away games who dresses up as the creature.

Tribal symbols and totems can be considered as mascots. Mascots are also popular with the military, both on a large scale such as the United States Marine Corps bulldog, or on the scale of individual units. Nations can also have mascots, such as the eagle, the symbol of Imperial Rome, the United States and Nazi Germany, or the bulldog, the symbol of Great Britain; even a continent can have a mascot, such as the condor symbolizing South America.

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Yale bulldog logo, showing its bulldog mascot, Handsome Dan

A mascot is not always an animal or person; for example, Stanford University's mascot is a color (cardinal), and its band's mascot is a tree.

In the United States, there has been controversy surrounding some mascot choices, especially those of human characters. Mascots based on Native American tribes have proven particularly contentious, as many argue that they constitute offensive exploitations of an oppressed race. However, such debates are not unique to Native American mascots: Alfred University, a school of about 2,000 students in Western New York State has the "Saxon" as its mascot. Its representation is a charging knight in armor. Meant to symbolize strength and courage, others protest that the Saxon represents chauvinism and rape.

Etymology of the term

In 1880, French composer Edmond Audran wrote a popular comic operetta called "La Mascotte", French slang derived from the Provencal word "masco", meaning witch. It was so popular that it was translated into English as "The Mascot", creating an English word for an animal, person, or thing which brings good luck.

See also

External links

de:Maskottchen fr:Mascotte ja:マスコット simple:Mascot no:Maskot tr:Maskot zh:吉祥物


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