Why Is It Called A Teddy Bear?: Its History And Naming

July 08, 2022

The teddy bear is the most popular and iconic plush stuffed toy ever built. The plush toy with its large head, long legs, and flappy abdomen looks engaging and cute. Also, it has become a true friend of many people worldwide due to its cuddliness.

Since its introduction to the toys market in the early 20th century, the teddy bear has enjoyed immense popularity. In fact, in many regions, it has become a part of local folklore. But have you wondered why it is called a teddy bear?

I bet you will say it looks like a bear and is a toy, so he got the fancy name. But, no, this isn't true! The history behind its naming is a surprising story. Today we will reveal it. You will also get to know the UK's most popular teddy bear character and the world's largest teddy bear plush toy collection.

Why Is It Called A Teddy Bear?

Teddy bears are only among the fewest items that have been popular since they came into the market. It is a rare thing in the world's history. What's more inspiring is that it has maintained its popularity among kids and adults for more than a century.

Many people are keen to know its history, while others are unaware of its naming specialty. It has a surprising history.

You won't believe that the teddy bear is, in reality, named after Theodore Roosevelt. He was the 26th president of the US. His friends called him "teddy" affectionately. Later, this name got associated with the stuffed bears.

The association of the name also inspired its invention. Theodore Roosevelt once went into a hunting session. His friends had wounded a large American black bear and tied it with a tree. Then, Roosevelt was asked to shoot and kill it.

Roosevelt felt pity for the wounded bear and refused to kill it. However, he instructed others to kill the bear. He did it to relieve the injured bear from its agony. Sadly, the topic became a part of political satire soon.

Following it, Clifford Berryman created a cartoon in the Washington Post. In the cartoon, he depicted the bear right at the back of Roosevelt. Later, the cartoonist redesigned the bear and made it cuter. The bigger twist came when Morris Michtom saw it.

He liked the cute bear cartoon. So, he created a bear cub following the cartoon and placed it in his candy shop. He also attached a sign “Teddy’s Bear” with it. Soon the name spread across America. Then, he made an even bigger decision.

He wrote to Theodor Roosevelt and asked permission to use his pet name, "Teddy." When he got permission, he started mass production of the teddy cub as a plush toy. At the same time, the Steiff firm showed their stuffed animal with a bear shape at the Leipzig Toy Fair.

So, this is the history of Teddy bear naming.

Cultural and Psychological Importance of Teddy Bear:

Teddy bear is amongst the most recognizable characters worldwide. Following kids' and teens' fondness for the teddy bear, it has become an iconic cultural part in many regions. Also, many educational experts and institutions have used it as a teaching medium.

There're many books where the teddy bear character is depicted. Some popular books with teddy bear characters include:

● Winnie-the-Pooh

● Corduroy

● Teddy Tells Time

● Tristan the Teddy Bear

Teddy bear stuffed toys are also used during emergencies in the US. Police, fire service, and emergency response teams use it to calm children. You will also find its use in medical literature as a symbol of child abuse. They use a bruised teddy bear to mimic child abuse.

World’s largest collection and most expensive teddy bear:

The Teddy Bear Museum held the record of the largest collection of teddies until 2006. However, the authority closed the museum in 2006. Later, it sold all the 2000 plush toys through an auction. These days, a family claims to have 5000 pieces of teddy bears in their collection. However, it hasn't been verified.

Apart from the largest collection, we also found the world's most expensive teddy bear, worth $88000. Volpps' brought it from an auction to present to his wife on their 42nd wedding anniversary.

Most popular and limited edition teddy bears in the UK

The UK is one of the largest markets for plush toys, including teddy bears. There're many classic teddy bear characters here. Additionally, companies have bought various limited-time editions of teddy bears to celebrate different occasions.

Some of the limited-time edition of teddy bear includes:

● Musical Bear Phantom of the Opera limited edition

● British Collectors 2021 Teddy Bear Limited Edition

● Steiff 660726 2002 British Collector Teddy Bear Limited Edition

● 2002 British Collector Teddy Bear Limited Edition

● Koala Ted Limited Edition

● Andrew Bear Jenner’s Exclusive Limited Edition

Over the years, the limited editions have become a cult in the UK. Thus, you may pick the huggable teddy bear and give it to your dear ones. You can pick from teddy bears and their accessories, including a rainbow teddy bear, graduation stuffed animal, leather plush toys, etc. There's also an opportunity to buy wholesale plush toys, stuffed animals, and teddies.

Frequently Asked Questions:

1. What is a real teddy bear?

Louisiana black bear is the original inspiration for the huggable, cuddly, and cute-looking teddy bears. Sadly, it is now categorized as a threatened animal. So, the government is taking initiatives to save the beautiful animal, the real ones.

2. How old is the teddy bear?

The teddy bear is now 119 years old. The first plush teddy bear was made on 15th February 1903. Morris Michtom made the stuffed toy with a bear shape and placed it in his candy shop window.


The huggable and cuteness feature of the teddy bear has made it popular among all. There's hardly anyone who doesn't like it. But did you know that it was inspired and named from an incident related to Theodor Roosevelt? However, what's in Teddy's name? It is cute, awesome, and cuddling, and that's what we want.



 As a professional plush toy manufacturer, Chaoman Toys uses environmentally friendly and recyclable materials to produce teddy bears with different design uses for holiday gifts, corporate event membership gifts, party decorations, corporate image animation toys, etc.


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