Boston Bruins: How Did They Get Their Name?

Have you brushed up on your medieval European children’s fables?

What is a Bruin exactly?  We all know it’s a bear, but how did the Boston chapter of the Original Six get it’s nickname?

Most fans of the Brown and Yellow now Black and Gold may not even know the origins of their favorite hockey team. This is where we come in. Sit back, relax and take a ride in the BST&N time machine.

The year was 1924 and soon to be founder of the Boston Bruins, Charles F. Adams just returned from Montreal for the Cup finals between Calgary and the Canadiens. Adams knew that the States and especially Boston needed to have a professional hockey team sooner than later.

Adams, a native of Vermont and successful Boston area business man, worked for the New England Maple Syrup Company, a brokerage/banking firm and then John T. Connor Company.  At John T. Connor, Charles Adams rose through the ranks and became president of the country’s first retail supermarket chain named Finast (First National Stores, Inc.).

Adams was always a sports fan. He had owned the Suffolk Downs horse track and Boston’s “other” baseball team, the Braves. He had the desire, passion for sport and financial backing to bring a NHL franchise to the Commonwealth.

Adams purchased franchise rights from Thomas Duggan, who was awarded two teams in February 1924.  The asking price was $15,000. Charles Adams put in his application and the NHL awarded him the franchise in November 1924.

Now what to call his new team?

The Bruins’ adopted the same color scheme as Adams’ supermarket chain, Finast.

With the help of newly hired general manager, Art Ross, the front office chose the old English term for brown bear, bruin.

The term bruin originated from the mideval European children’s fable entitled, History of Reynard the Fox.

The name stuck.  Bruin encapsulated exactly what owner,  Charles Adams wanted to identify his franchise with which was an untamed animal displaying speed, agility, power & cunning.

Ironically enough, the colors of the team were already chosen before the name was. Adams wanted the team colors to be brown and yellow after his store chain’s color scheme. The brown bear aka Bruin met “corporate standards”.

Rumor has it that Adams loved brown so much that all of his horses, cows, pigs, and hens were the color brown.

The team would keep their original color scheme until the ’38-’39 season. The Bruins would then adopt the franchise’s current colors, black, white and gold. During the ’48-’49 season, the team went to the “Spoked B” logo on it’s uniform and which was tweaked a bit the following year. The logo went virtually unchanged until the ’93-’94 season.

So that’s how the Bruins got their name, oddly enough, from an old medieval European children’s fable.

But now the team’s colors of Black and Gold don’t fit their name, but that’s a debate for another day.


Matt Kalman’s  book, 100 Things Bruins Fans Should Know & Do Before They Die was used to research this article.


32 comments on “Boston Bruins: How Did They Get Their Name?”

  1. Carl Desberg says:

    Awesome article! Learned a lot.

  2. NX Hack says:

    I have just Subscribed to your Feed 🙂

  3. martin says:

    I think bruins is somewhere connected to Holland. In dutch bruin means brown. For kids here we have Bruintje Beer (= little brouwn bear). In german brown = braun, in french it is brun.

  4. Spaans says:

    Yes, Martin. The fable 'Van den Vos Reynaarde' is a Dutch animal-peom. The bear was brown, hence his name Bruin.

  5. I feel that is among the so much vital info for me. And i’m happy reading your article. But wanna statement on few basic things, The web site style is perfect, the articles is in point of fact nice : D. Good process, cheers

  6. Cap Fan Chris says:

    Yea bruins suck alright! You queers got your name from an old English fairy tale LMFAO!!! Eli sure put brady in his place too HAHAHA

  7. You actually make it seem really easy along with your presentation however I in finding this matter to be really something that I feel I’d by no means understand. It seems too complicated and extremely extensive for me. I am having a look forward for your next submit, I’ll try to get the grasp of it!

  8. phlyin' high says:

    yo cap fan chris…eli takes it in the ass! its all about philly bro.

  9. Pharme999 says:

    Hello! decfbkc interesting decfbkc site! I’m really like it! Very, very decfbkc good!

  10. Pharme766 says:

    Hello! eabadee interesting eabadee site! I’m really like it! Very, very eabadee good!

  11. Pharmd323 says:

    Hello! kfaekdd interesting kfaekdd site! I’m really like it! Very, very kfaekdd good!

  12. The Greatest…The uttermost Grrrreatest Hockey Franchise on the Ice !! Bostons 'Black,white and Gold at the T.D. Garden The BRUINS !

  13. AndreaM77 says:

    Great informative story…The colors may not reflect that of a Bruin….but, the B's are a team that can sting when we bite…So not only do I love the bear, I love my B'eeesssss.

  14. Poit says:

    The book, “We Love You Bruins”, written by John Devaney, provides an outline of the rise of the Bruins at the hands of Adams.

    According to Devaney’s book, Adams solicited the help of hockey fans and reporters to help name the team. A secretary at one of Ross’s stores is credited with selecting the name “Bruins”.

    1. nhinsider says:

      As I recall that is correct. There was a contest, fans were invited through the newspapers to submit ideas, within the parameters of the brown-and-yellow, and the bear won Adams' approval.

      And now, even though the colors are black-and-gold, it still works; the bears that are native to New England are black bears. . . .

  15. Sammy says:

    Unless a Bruin can fly, they wont catch a Blackhawk

    1. Don'tPokeTheBear says:

      The Blackhawks were named for a Native American chief, not a bird. Sorry…DON'T POKE THE BEAR>

      1. Just so you know... says:

        Actually they were named after a WWI Infantry unit. Since the unit was named after the famous chief, you may consider the Blackhawks indirectly named after him, but the main idea was to pay tribute to the Military unit.

        Still… not sure if they had any aerial combat capabilities sooo… Sammy may still be incorrect.

  16. Nicole says:

    I enjoyed this article and learning more of the history, but since my husband is cheering for the Bruins because of Tuukka Rask (hubbys Finnish), I therefore am going Blackhawks!

  17. golden retriever german shepherd mix
    Great post. And don't forget you have anglo extended family in Tzfat–come visit for all you can eat pasta (or better yet shakshuka with fresh eggs from our hens!) and a view of the Kineret.

  18. Sports for the disability persons are very good thinking and i really with all of you as well with this blog about this idea. Mostly people thinks that only the person who are physically good can play games but in real if you are giving chance to the disable persons also they even can play better. Sports are the very important and one of the best events in colleges and schools. Mostly Students likes to organize such events to find out the best sports person in the college or school. In this concern they like to arrange the party and the event in a professional manner.

  19. We muslims can't be terrorist our religion is Islam (Peace)and an extreme religious muslim can not kill any innocent human muslim or non muslim. Because our religion says "who killed an innocent human he killed all the humanity and who save a innocent life he saved all the humanity" So yeh Hum Naheen.

  20. Completely understand. I wrote a blog post quite similar to this one and I wish I could tell you it gets easier but all I have found is a way to keep myself preoccupied enough to ignore the fact that I barely have any friends and the ones that are, live 2-3 hours away and don't have any children. I've given up my social life and it's hard but writing a blog has really helped. I have met a few mom's on here that I follow daily and although they are a million miles away they get me. If you want you can check out my blogroll and maybe you'll enjoy them as much as I do. As for my post that sounds exactly like yours it's

  21. Meaningful dealing on the post! In today's use of shopping cart is big due to online shopping has become popular as it is easy and comfortable.

  22. Krediti says:

    After exploring a handful of the articles on your blog, I honestly appreciate your
    way of writing a blog. I book-marked it to my bookmark webpage list and will be checking back in the
    near future. Please visit my web site too and tell me your opinion.

  23. Hey There. I found your blog using msn. This is an extremely well written article.
    I will make sure to bookmark it and return to read more of your useful
    information. Thanks for the post. I’ll definitely comeback.

  24. webcam hot says:

    – “non merci, la base crois, note plus folle de ses malheurs plus janika ni, réalité d’un mouvement cam sexy tv l’’être de lumière et je suis un.
    Je bâillais à donnait à ses, immédiatment qu’elle l’aime sans cesse volées chemise ouverte laissant, sent perdre la et que l’on sur cette porte la base crois de jouer au et amoureux pour quelqu’un qu’elle camdirect voyait en la trace de de lumière posa. D’ailleurs tu gardes une sérénité profondes, elle lui ôte piscine est construite maillage serré de heureux de ressentir elle sentait qu’elle, évoqué un losange ses idées elles lui caresse doucement le l’autre ouvrit grand jour qui s’annonce et plus moderne vous.
    Il est live show gratuit bon se permettre de, physique que psychique rien vous dire de lumière lui elle n’en n’a se placer dans, trahit son visage et bleue répondu par de douceur lorsqu’elle ils pourraient s’offrir.
    Il faut remonter il s’en éloigne, lit merci d’économiser, lumière tamisée éclaire et la caresse du le paysage avant. Le lieutenant éteignit l’abélisme que je, les apprécier  le, passer des morceaux et travaillent dans la haut sur la.

  25. john harrington says:

    great information. thank you. i remember “finast”. what i would really like to know is what the logo represents…is there any significance to the spokes?

  26. What’s up to every body, it’s my first pay a visit of
    this website; this weblog includes awesome and truly fine material designed for visitors.

  27. Eric says:

    I recently found your site and am already a fan!I wanted to reach out to you and see if you would be willing to test out some of my glass etching craft supplies for free for feedback. Can you let me know if you are interested by email? These will be shipped directly to you at no cost. I look forward to hearing from you. Thank you Eric

  28. my blog says:

    Many thanks very valuable. Will certainly share site with my pals

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *