What Is a Maryland Terrapin?

min read
What is a Maryland Terrapin? The University of Maryland athletics nickname has been a turtle since the 1930s.
(AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar)
Chase Kiddy @chaseakiddy Nov 15, 2022, 2:46 PM
  • Maryland sports teams have played as The Terrapins since the 1930s.
  • Terrapins are a species of brackish turtles common in the Chesapeake Bay.
  • The Terrapin nickname first came from former football coach, Dr. H.C. Byrd.

This is a crucial time in the world of sports. The 2022 college football season is winding down, with Heisman favorites and college football championship odds both taking center stage.

In addition, college basketball is starting, the NFL’s last undefeated team has lost, and the NBA and NHL have both begun new seasons.

With so many exciting things happening in the world of sports, I’m excited to bring you the history of turtles in the state of Maryland.

What is the Maryland Mascot?

Since 1932, athletics teams at the University of Maryland have played as the Maryland Terrapins. 

The mascot himself is an anthropomorphic terrapin named Testudo, which is the Latin word for turtle. 

Maryland Terrapins: What is a Terrapin?

A terrapin is a kind of turtle native to the eastern United States and ubiquitous in Maryland and along the Chesapeake Bay.

The “Maryland Terrapin” is, in reality, a diamondback terrapin whose natural range runs from New England to Florida. 

Why is Maryland called the Terrapins?

Maryland football coach Dr. H.C. Byrd recommended the Terrapin as an option in 1932 following public outcry for a better mascot. Byrd was from a prominent town on the Chesapeake Bay – Crisfield, Maryland – where turtles were a common sight. 

In the early 20th century, Maryland sports teams were previously known as the “Old Liners” – a reference to Maryland’s state nickname of “The Old Line State.” 

What is the Difference Between a Turtle and a Terrapin?

A terrapin is a specific type of turtle. Turtles are found worldwide, whereas diamondback terrapins (Malaclemys terrapin) are found specifically on the east coast of the United States.

The Diamondback Terrapin: How Big do Maryland Terrapins Get?

Not that big. The average terrapin is smaller than a foot and weighs less than three pounds. 

Maryland Online Sports Betting Update

Thousands of Marylanders are looking forward to the upcoming legalization of online sports betting when anyone inside the state of Maryland can access and bet with an online sportsbook like BetMGM.

Maryland Sports Betting

The legal sports betting market became available in Maryland in November 2022. BetMGM is your go-to sportsbook to bet online on all your favorite players and sports throughout the year.

From college football and NFL odds, NBA live betting, and MLB playoff odds to golf odds to win the Masters, BetMGM has hundreds of wagering options for you.

Is Sports Betting Legal in Maryland?

Yes, sports betting is legal in Maryland.

How To Bet Online in Maryland

Marylanders can make wagers on their favorite sports using the BetMGM Sportsbook via our apps in the iOS App Store and Google Play Store, as well as on our website. Be sure to check out BetMGM’s welcome offers for new sports bettors in Maryland, including first-bet insurance valued up to $1,000 by registering here.

Now that sports betting is legal in Maryland, you may place exciting wagers that include moneylines, parlays, and straight bets on pro and college teams like the Baltimore Ravens, Washington Commanders, Baltimore Orioles, and Maryland Terrapins, as well as thousands of other squads around the world.

Jamie Foxx holding a mobile phone next to the BetMGM's risk-free bet offer.
About the Author

Chase Kiddy

Read More @chaseakiddy

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.

Chase Kiddy is a writer for BetMGM and co-host of The Lion's Edge, an NFL and college football podcast available on Spotify, Apple Podcasts, and everywhere else. He has also written for a number of print and online outlets, including the Richmond Times-Dispatch, Washington Post, Daily News-Record, and HERO Sports. His first novel, Cave Paintings, is in development.