Skip to main content
Skip to navigation

Why We Call it “Mizzou”

What is “Mizzou?”

Mizzou is the University of Missouri’s nickname and is pronounced muh-ZOO. The word Mizzou is an example of clipping. That means a longer word, Missouri, becomes shortened (or clipped) to Mizzou, which is similar but shorter. We’re not sure who first used the word Mizzou, but we know it was used in the Missouri Alumni Quarterly (now called MIZZOU) as early as December 1905.

Function and tone dictate use of the nickname. We use the word Mizzou in friendly, informal messages such as student publications and Facebook posts. In formal communications, such as invitations to science events or announcements of guest lectures, we use the official University of Missouri designation.  

Several print and online publications incorporate the affectionate nickname, including our alumni magazine called MIZZOU, our monthly e-newsletter @Mizzou, the faculty and staff newspaper Mizzou Weekly, the Web magazine Mizzou Wire and our science magazine Mizzou Magic, for students in sixth to eighth grades. Mizzou also has many fun uses, such as a call-and-response cheer at football and basketball games in which people on one side shout “M-I-Z” and the other side replies “Z-O-U.” The cheer has become so popular that you could receive an "M-I-Z" greeting anywhere in the world. And you know the answer.

For students and former students who use the name Mizzou, the word prompts bonding among generations. Recognition of our nickname has spread beyond our protective reach; national sports reporters now commonly refer to Mizzou teams. Regardless of its origin, the nickname Mizzou is as much a part of campus tradition as Homecoming and the Columns. After all, there’s only one Mizzou!

Taking names

Need help with other names? Get information about academic titles, schools, colleges, departments, facilities and other terminology in the MU Editorial Style Guide.