Institutions often hand out awards that include trophies that are either to be returned after the ceremony, or after one year when a new candidate is awarded the same trophy and their name is engraved on it, alongside its previous recipients'. These trophies are often named after the first recipient or the person who initiated its existence, and are thus rarely referred to by the type of trophy they are. My best guess is 'exchange trophy,' but I'd like to know if there is a proper term for this type of trophy.

  • Please see also Sports Good Luck – Kris Mar 2 '16 at 10:26
  • Like a relay race. Maybe a "relay trophy" or a "baton trophy" (as in passing the baton), or, similarly, a "torch trophy" (passed along between caretakers like the Olympic torch)? – Dan Bron Mar 2 '16 at 12:16

Perpetual trophy, such as the auld mug.

Perpetual trophies are held by the winner until the next event, when the winner must compete again in order to keep the trophy. In some competitions winners in three consecutive or non-consecutive events receive the trophy or its copy in permanent ownership.


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  • Very interesting question. I have never heard of a trophy being referred to as perpetual. I think if you actually used perpetual in a conversation you'd have to explain what you meant. In the sport pages I don't think I've ever seen the word used. It's always "...awarded annually to..." and so on. There are whole wiki pages about "perpetual" trophies that never use the word. The word is correct however. – user116032 Mar 2 '16 at 16:08
  • @user116032 Most people don't need a word for it, because the honor lies in the recognition more than its physical representation. But perpetual plaques, perpetual trophies, perpetual medals, and so on is how they are sold at retail, to distinguish them from the awards that are permanent gifts. – choster Mar 2 '16 at 16:18
  • @user116032, I didn't stumble across the answer. I have heard this usage quite often. It refers to trophies with large bases that have room to add engravings of each successive winner. For instance, you can go into a trophy shop and buy a perpetual trophy.trophycentral.com/qttennisperp.html – Phil Sweet Mar 2 '16 at 16:21
  • Thanks everyone! You've been a great help =) If I look up 'Perpetual trophy,' I find exactly what I was looking for. <3 – LouLou Mar 3 '16 at 11:41

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