The unofficial name of the Academy Award was not yet coined when the first Academy Awards took place in 1928 and did not become officially adopted by the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences until 1939. The little golden dude got his name some time in the mid 1930s, but stories vary as to who actually did the naming and what was the name's meaning.


  • According to AMPAS librarian Margaret Herrick, she named the statue because of its resemblance to her Uncle Oscar.
  • Hollywood columnist, and sometime screenwriter and producer, Sidney Skolsky claimed he chose the name arbitrarily ("to negate pretension") in reference to Katharine Hepburn's winning her first Academy Award for Morning Glory in 1934. Skolsky himself never won or been nominated for an Oscar for any of his film-related work.
  • The most popular theory originated from Bette Davis, a two-time winner with eleven nominations. Davis claimed she named the statue thus because its' derriere reminded her of the equally sculpted tuchis of her then-husband Harmon Oscar Nelson. Davis eventually surrendered this claim when the nickname was found in print at an earlier date, used by Skolsky some three years before she was initially thought to have coined it.