Utah High School Rejects the Cougar Mascot So It Won’t Offend Old Chicks

Fox Sports – Future students at a Utah high school had their choice of mascot — a cougar — rejected by the school district because it could be seen as offensive to older women.

The students, who in 2013 will attend Corner Canyon High School in Draper just south of Salt Lake City, were asked to vote on their new mascot and school colors, KSTU-TV reported Wednesday.

With 23 percent of the vote, the cougar was the top pick for the mascot, but board members of the Canyons School District expressed concerns over the appropriateness of using a mascot title that, according to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, can be used as a slang word for “a middle-aged woman seeking a romantic relationship with a younger man.”

Instead the board members chose a war horse as the school mascot noting the alliteration of Corner Canyon Chargers. It was also an image of strength that could unify the community, the board noted.

In making their decision, the school district also cited the fact that three other Utah high schools and Utah’s Brigham Young University already used a cougar as their mascot, the FOX-affiliate station reported.

Literally thought this was an Onion post when I read it. Nuked the name because “it could be seen as offensive to older women.” Oh really? A once underground slang term for older chicks who like young dudes is now so mainstream, you can’t name your team after it? getthafuggouttahere.

I’m dating myself here, but when I was in high school, the term did NOT exist… not to my knowledge. I say this with confidence because my cross-town rivals were the Cougars, and we’d have had a field day with them if the term was around. In college, when I first heard it, it wasn’t complimentary… it was nasty old ladies trying to get young guys drunk and prey on them like a cougar would it’s prey. Now, with TV shows, bands, movies, etc… it seems to have become a badge of honor of sorts for older hot women that can score young guys. I tried to find the origin, here’s the best I could come up with. Grant Barrett, an Oxford University Press lexicographer, who runs the Double Tongued Dictionary, had a column stating this:

Most of its popularity stems from a 2001 book by Valerie Gibson, called Cougar: A Guide for Older Women Dating Younger Men. This is the sort of book you buy as a joke for your newly single women friends, but one that they will read with interest when no one else is around.

When seeking the origin of terms, lexicographers look for printed evidence. In hunting cougars – the term, not the women or the wild cats – I found a March 3, 2001, article in the Globe and Mail of Toronto which credits “cougar” to a Canadian website called Cougardate.com, which the story says was started in 1999. It is, as you have guessed, a website where older women can meet younger men.

The story given in that article is that one of the two women who founded the website was told by a nephew that the two ladies were like cougars in search of small defenceless animals. The nephew said he picked up the term from players on his hockey team. So, 1999 is the earliest probable date we have for the term and it’s fairly reliable.

Anybody find a better origin? Regardless, it’s a friggin’ animal first. To not be able to name your team after it is asinine. If we stand for this… there’s a ton of animals we need to put on watch. In fact, I’m gonna make a list. I’ll get back to you on it. You can bet your sweet ass that Beavers will be on the list.

**update** ANIMAL MASCOTS THAT MUST BE BANNED! (& those they will offend)

-bp

[lobbed by The King]

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