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Volume Listing > Volume 76 > From where come the badgers?

Bicha, Karel D. "From where come the badgers?"


From Where Come the Badgers?: This article investigates the traditional explanation for the origin of the nickname, Badger State. It begins by reviewing the claim that prospectors and miners in territorial Wisconsin lived in dugouts in hillsides and ravines like the mammal called a badger, and concludes that this practice likely happened only selectively around the years 1825-1827. It then reviews a wide selection of contemporary publications, letters, diaries, and journals and finds a lack of conclusive evidence linking the practice and the nickname. It also points out that accounts of this etymology came largely from self-styled “old settlers” long after the fact, and concludes that while the accepted explanation may be sound tradition, it is not based on verifiable history. (11 pages)

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Citation: Bicha, Karel D. "From where come the badgers?" Wisconsin Magazine Of History. Volume: 76 /Issue: 2 (1992-1993)

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