The Oscar. The Emmy. The Tony. Where do the names come from, anyway? Let’s look at a few.
The Oscars (technical & artistic merit in film) – uncertain; a popular belief is that it was named because the statuette reminded the Academy librarian Margaret Herrick of her uncle Oscar.
The Emmys (excellence in television) – because the award was designed with a female image, the “immy” tube – short for image orthicon tube used in television – was used to name her.
The Tonys (excellence in Broadway theater) – named for Antoinette “Tony” Perry, who co-founded the American Theatre Wing that distributes the awards.
The Grammys (achievement in the music industry) – The awards are little gramophones, the original recording device. The name’s pretty obvious.
The Nobel Prize (for advancement of humanity) – created as a posthumous legacy by chemist and entrepreneur Alfred Nobel in 1895.
The Edgar Award (mystery writing) – named for Edgar Allan Poe, the creator of the mystery story. I’m not putting a link in because it’s Poe. If you don’t know who he is I can’t help you. But, although he is far more famous for his horror fiction, The Murders in the Rue Morgue was the first detective story.
The Anthony Award (mystery writing) – given at Bouchercon, the convention and award are both namesakes of Anthony Boucher, the man credited with popularizing the mystery novel by reviewing them in literary journals and newspapers.
The Hugo Award (science fiction and fantasy writing) – named after Hugo Gernsback, the publisher for the first science fiction magazine, Amazing Stories.
The Wally (National Drag Racing) – named after the founder of NHRA, Wally Parks. The man on the award is not Parks, but rather a racer, Jack Jones. Wally took the picture the image is based on.
The Fields Medal (Acheivement in Mathematics by someone under 40) is not named after any mathematical field theory breakthrough but rather after mathematician John Charles Fields. In math circles he was famous.
Which leads me to the Question of the Night: have you ever won any awards, great or small, that you were pleased to have received?