A college team name unlike any other, and one of my favorites, is the Yellow Jackets from Georgia Tech. Like many older historical names, there is a lot of debate about the exact origin of the name. It first appeared in print as “Yellowjackets” in an Atlanta Constitution newspaper story in 1905 and it came into widespread use after that time. Other names had been used that disappeared about then, including Engineers and Blacksmiths. The team was also described as the “Golden Tornado” though that term seems to have disappeared after Georgia Tech’s 1929 Rose Bowl victory over Cal.
Buzz didn’t come first
One thing that is clear is that the term did not arise from the familiar, stinging insect. Buzz, the famous Georgia Tech mascot, came about after the Yellow Jackets name had taken hold. It was used to describe Tech supporters and fans that wore yellow jackets and hats when attending Georgia Tech events. Buzz was created as a symbol of the Yellow Jackets name.
Buzz is everywhere
Even though the Yellow Jackets name didn’t spring from the yellow jacket, Georgia Tech athletics are closely identified with the insect. Besides Buzz the mascot, fans are invited to swarm (buy season tickets), and the Georgia Tech website and the Yellow Jackets uniforms, and helmets have had a honeycomb pattern like that in a yellow jacket nest.