oscars (Getty) Oscar statuettes are lined up in a local souvenir shop 10 days prior to this year's upcoming Oscars, the 85th Academy Awards, in Hollywood, California, on February 14, 2013. The ceremony is scheduled for February 24, 2013. AFP PHOTO / JOE KLAMAR (Photo credit should read JOE KLAMAR/AFP/Getty Images)
Just how did that famous statue get its nickname? (Picture: Getty Images)

We are just hours away from the 2017 Academy Awards, or the Oscars as it’s known.

Titanic star Bill Paxton dies aged 61 after complications from surgery

La La Land is the talk of the town at the moment, with its stars Ryan Gosling and Emma Stone looking like likely winners too.

A-list acting talent such as Meryl Streep, Denzel Washington, Natalie Portman and Dev Patel are also hoping to walk away with an Oscar when the big event takes place later on.

It’s definitely Hollywood’s most coveted prize, what’s the story behind it, and where did the Academy Awards get its nickname: the Oscars?

The short answer – no one really knows. But there are a few theories floating around…

They were named after someone’s uncle

Does gaming need its equivalent to the Oscars?
Does this really look like someone’s uncle?

Possibly the most popular theory is the idea that the statue was so named because Academy librarian Margaret Herrick – later to become the Director of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences – claimed that it ‘looked like her uncle Oscar’.

A journalist thought of it

oscars

It’s claimed that journalist Sidney Skolsky later wrote about Herrick’s remark in his New York Daily News column, although he later claimed that he actually first used it in a column where he was poking fun at the entire ceremony, taking his inspiration from a Vaudeville joke which used the name.

It was all Bette Davis’ fault

Bette Davis (1908-1989), US actress, wearing a white shoulderless dress and a pearl necklace with a large pendant in a studio portrait, circa 1940. (Photo by Silver Screen Collection/Getty Images)
Did Bette Davis have something to do with it? (Picture: Getty Images)

The legendary actress claimed she had coined the phrase ‘Oscar’ by naming the statue after her husband Harmon O Nelson Jr.

While some reports claim it was merely a tribute to his middle name, others suggest a cheekier reason for the nickname – namely that the statue’s rear reminded her of hubby when he emerged from the shower in the morning. Er, OK then.

Somebody else had the idea

oscars (Getty) NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 25: Overview of the Oscar statue at "Meet the Oscars" at the Time Warner Center on February 25, 2010 in New York City. (Photo by Andrew H. Walker/Getty Images)
Maybe it got its name from an entirely different source (Picture: Getty Images)

Other early mentions of the name – making the whole thing even more confusing – came from a Time magazine article about the ceremony in 1934, while other stories cite Walt Disney thanking the Academy for his ‘Oscar’ in 1932. None of which makes it any clearer to us…

The Oscars take place on Sunday February 26, with coverage on Sky Cinema’s special Oscars channel from midnight on Sunday night/Monday morning.

Don’t forget Metro.co.uk is live in Los Angeles with all the action so stay with us for regular updates.

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