Virginia Tech is commonly referred to as the “Hokies,” but where did this nickname come from? It turns out that there are a few different stories about how Virginia Tech got its nickname, but the most popular one involves a student who was late for class.
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History of the Name
Virginia Tech has been known as the “Hokies” since 1896. The name was originally used as a rallying cry by the school’s football team. The term “hokie” is actually a nonsense word that was created by the team’s manager at the time. The word doesn’t mean anything, but it did help the team to get fired up and play harder.
The first use of the word “Hokie”
The earliest known use of the word “Hokie” in reference to Virginia Tech was in 1896 by O.M. Stull (class of 1900), who used it in a spirit yell he wrote for a contest. The yell was originally published in the October issues of The Bugle, Virginia Tech’s student newspaper. It read:
Hokie, Hokie, Hokie, Hy!
Tech! Tech! VPI!
Sawbuck, Militia, U. Va.!
Rip, Rah, Ree;
Kick ’em in the knee;
Whack ’em in the belly with a broom stick handle;
Throw ’em over the fence by the seat of their pants;
Hurry up and catch ’em before they get away!”
The origin of the word “Hokie”
The word “hokie” has a long and complicated history. It is thought to have originated as a nickname for Virginia Agricultural and Mechanical College, which is now Virginia Tech. The earliest use of the word “hokie” in this context was in an 1896 issue of the student newspaper, The Bugle. In the article, the author referred to the school’s football team as the “hokies.”
It is unclear how exactly the word “hokie” came to be associated with Virginia Tech. One theory is that it was a play on the school’s initials (V.A.M.C.), but this seems unlikely given that the newspaper article was published more than 10 years after the school changed its name from V.A.M.C. to Virginia Tech.
Another theory is that it comes from the phrase “hook ’em horns,” which was used by University of Texas football fans in the late 19th century. This seems like a more likely origin, as it would explain why the word “hokie” was first used in relation to Virginia Tech’s football team.
Whatever its origins, the word “hokie” has been closely associated with Virginia Tech for more than 100 years. It is now used as the official nickname for all of Virginia Tech’s sports teams and is perhaps most famous for being chanted by students and alumni during halftime of football games.
The Meaning of “Hokie”
“Hokie” is an unusual word, and it’s one that many people have probably heard but don’t know the meaning of. The word actually has a very interesting history. “Hokie” was originally used as a school spirit yell at Virginia Tech.
What “Hokie” means today
The word “Hokie” has a different meaning today than it did when it was first used as Virginia Tech’s fight song in 1896. The original meaning of “Hokie” was simply a nonsense word that was used to create a catchy rhythm for the song. Over time, the word came to represent the spirit of Virginia Tech and its community.
Today, “Hokie” is a source of pride for Virginia Tech students, faculty, staff, and alumni. It represents our commitment to excellence and our dedication to serving others. When we sing the fight song, we are celebrating our Hokie Nation and everything that makes it special.
The different interpretations of “Hokie”
The word “Hokie” has several different interpretations. The most common interpretation is that it is a derivation of the Old English word “hoe,” meaning to work or till the ground with a tool. This interpretation is supported by the fact that the first known use of the word “Hokie” in reference to Virginia Tech was in an 1886 newspaper article describing the school’s agricultural fair.
Another popular interpretation is that “Hokie” comes from the Native American Hockiocki tribe who once lived in Virginia. This interpretation is also supported by historical evidence, as the school was originally built on land donated by members of the Hockiocki tribe.
The most likely explanation for the origin of Virginia Tech’s nickname, however, is that it was simply made up by school founder Cassell as a rallying cry for his new school. In an 1892 meeting of the Board of Visitors, Cassell are recorded as saying, “Why not call it V.P.I.—the initials of our beloved State and institution? Then we can adopt as our yell something that will express more fully than does our present one what we mean by ‘Hokie,’ Aye! Aye! Aye!”
So, while we may never know for sure where the word “Hokie” came from, what we do know is that it has been synonymous with Virginia Tech for over 130 years and will continue to be so for many years to come.
The Use of “Hokie”
The term “Hokie” originated in the late 1800s as a nickname for Virginia Tech. The word was originally used by Virginia Tech’s founder, James H. Ott, to refer to a type of Virginia sandstone used in the construction of the original buildings on campus. The name “Hokie” was eventually adopted by the student body as a school spirit rally cry in the 1920s.
How “Hokie” is used today
While the use of “Hokie” has changed over time, it is still an important part of Virginia Tech’s tradition. Today, “Hokie” is used as both a spirit rallying cry and as an affectionate term for students, alumni, and fans of Virginia Tech.
The most well-known use of “Hokie” is as Virginia Tech’s official fight song, “The Hokie Pokie.” The Hokie Pokie is played during Virginia Tech football and basketball games, and at other sporting events and school functions.
“Hokie” is also used in other ways to show school spirit. For example, students often wear Hokie clothing and use Hokie stuffed animals and other memorabilia to show their support for the school. The Virginia Tech Alumni Association even has a special “Hokie Club” for alumni who want to stay connected to the university.
So whether you’re singing along to the Hokie Pokie or just cheering on your favorite team, remember that you’re part of a long tradition of Virginia Tech spirit when you use the word “Hokie.”
The different ways to use “Hokie”
“Hokie” can be used in different ways, depending on the context.
When Virginia Tech first began using the term in the late 1800s, it was simply a nickname for the school. Over time, though, “Hokie” has come to represent much more for Virginia Tech students, alumni, and fans.
Today, you might hear people use “Hokie” to refer to:
-A Virginia Tech student
-A Virginia Tech graduate
-A fan of Virginia Tech athletics