What is a Sooner

The term “Sooner” has historical and contemporary meanings, particularly associated with the state of Oklahoma in the United States. Here’s a detailed look at what “Sooner” means:

Historical Meaning

Sooners in the Land Run of 1889:

  • The term “Sooner” originally referred to settlers who entered the Unassigned Lands in what is now the state of Oklahoma before the official start of the Land Rush of 1889.
  • On April 22, 1889, the U.S. government opened up land for settlement, and thousands of people rushed to claim land at the sound of a gunshot at noon. However, some individuals entered the territory earlier than allowed to stake their claims, thus gaining an unfair advantage. These early settlers were referred to as “Sooners” .

Contemporary Meaning

University of Oklahoma:

  • Today, “Sooner” is most commonly associated with the University of Oklahoma (OU). The term is the official nickname for the university’s athletic teams, known as the Oklahoma Sooners.
  • The Sooner Schooner, a covered wagon pulled by two ponies named Boomer and Sooner, is a famous mascot and symbol of the university, appearing at various sporting events .

Broader Cultural Context

Oklahoma State Identity:

  • The term “Sooner” is also used to describe residents of the state of Oklahoma. It embodies a sense of pride and identity linked to the state’s history and heritage.
  • Oklahoma is known as the “Sooner State,” reflecting the importance of the Land Run and the early settlers in the state’s history .


  • Historical Context: Refers to settlers who illegally claimed land in Oklahoma before it was officially opened in 1889.
  • University of Oklahoma: The nickname for the university’s sports teams and a key part of the university’s identity.
  • State Identity: A term used to describe residents of Oklahoma, symbolizing the state’s pioneering spirit.

By understanding these different contexts, one can appreciate the depth and significance of the term “Sooner” in both historical and contemporary settings.


the authorD. Trump