While some arts awards – the New York Film Critics Circle Awards, for instance – more or less tell you what they are by their name, other awards have a little more mystery in their monikers.


According to the Oxford English Dictionary (OED), the alternate name for an Academy Award – an ‘Oscar’ – has an uncertain origin, but perhaps comes from the name of Oscar Pierce, an American wheat and fruit farmer. The reason behind this unlikely namesake is Margaret Herrick, librarian (and later executive director) of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, who noted in 1931 that the award statuette reminded her of her ‘Uncle Oscar’, the name by which she called her cousin Oscar Pierce. The reference stuck and the award is still referred to as an ‘Oscar’ more than 80 years later.


Perhaps surprisingly, the ‘Tony’ of the Tony Award does not refer to a man, but to a woman. The annual awards, which are given by the American Theatre Wing and the Broadway League in New York City to honor achievement in live Broadway theater, are named in honor of Antoinette ‘Tony’ Perry, an actress, manager, and producer.


In an era of binge-watching prestige dramas on tablets, the idea of cathode ray televisions feels awfully old-fashioned. However, it is likely that this old-fashioned technology is where the ‘Emmys’ got their name. Awarded for achievement in television by the American Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the Emmys are said to be an alteration of Immy, which is itself a shortening of the term image orthicon. Image orthicon refers to a type of television camera tube popular in the cathode ray television sets of the mid-20th century.
在用平板电脑就可以大享电视剧盛宴的今天,阴极射线电视听起来就是个老古董。然而它却是艾美奖名字的来源。这个由美国电视艺术与科学学院颁发给电视剧界杰出贡献者的奖项,Emmy据说是由Immy演变过来的。Immy是image orthicon(影像正析管)的缩写,这是在19世纪中叶广为使用在电视机上的摄像管。


The etymological origins of Grammy, of the Grammy Award, which is awarded for achievement in the recording industry by the American National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences, may also seem obscure to some millennials. After all, in an era when turntables have mostly been supplanted by digital music players, what exactly ‘Grammy’ refers to – surely not their grandmother? – may confuse some. The name comes from the shortening of gramophone to gram, with the added -my influence of ‘Emmy’.
格莱美奖是由美国国家录音艺术与科学学院颁发给音乐界卓越贡献者的奖项。Grammy(格莱美)这个词可能千禧年后出生的人看到也会云里雾里,总不能是外婆(grandmother)吧?在这个时代,唱片已经被数字音乐播放器取代,而Grammy就是gramophone(留声机)的简写gram+ my后缀(和Emmy奖一样)组成。

Palme d’Or


The top jury prize awarded at the annual Cannes International Film Festival in Cannes, France, the reason why the award appears in the form of a ‘palme d’or’ (‘golden palm’) is probably confusing to industry outsiders and those living outside of France. The award is a reference to the coat of arms of Cannes, which features a palm leaf.


The infamous Razzies, also known as the Golden Raspberry Awards, are given to the worst in the world of film, and are juxtaposed with the Academy Awards, or Oscars, which traditionally take place the following day. The award was named a ‘raspberry’ with reference to the sense of raspberry as a ‘sound made with the tongue and lips, expressing derision or contempt’.
Razzies(金酸莓奖)又叫Golden Raspberry Awards,是一个向烂片致敬的奖项,一般都抢在学院奖,也就是奥斯卡的前几天发布。金酸莓奖起名raspberry(覆盆子)是因为它有喝倒彩(把舌头放在两唇之间并发出声音)之意。