Monday, July 14, 2014

Word of the Week - Soccer

With all the World Cup stuff going on right now, this one seemed appropriate. And is why my kids asked, "Why do we call it soccer and everyone else call it football?"

So naturally, I looked it up. =)

As it turns out, soccer comes directly from football...sort of. It started as an abbreviation of Football Association. For reasons fairly obvious, rather than abbreviate with the first three letters of association, university kids would abbreviate it socc instead. Sometimes socca. In the 1890s, it was pretty common for university slang to apply an -er ending to just about anything. Rugby players were called ruggers, for example, so by 1891, soccer had joined the language. Probably first applied to the players, but it apparently stuck and became applied to the game itself.

6 comments:

  1. Interesting, I always wondered why it's called soccer.

    In your research did you come cross why American football is called that? As we all know the ball is mostly held in the hand.

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    1. I did, yes! Here's what www.etymonline.com says:

      The U.S. style (known to some in England as "stop-start rugby with padding") evolved gradually 19c.; the first true collegiate game is considered to have been played Nov. 6, 1869, between Princeton and Rutgers, at Rutgers, but the rules there were more like soccer. A rematch at Princeton Nov. 13, with the home team's rules, was true U.S. football. The earliest recorded application of the word football to this is from 1881.

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    2. Thanks, I'm glad you took the time to research these words.

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  2. Glad you cleared that up. I've always wondered. Great information. Thanks for doing the legwork.

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  3. Cool info! Do you know what other countries call it soccer?

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    1. According to my quick research, "soccer" is used by: America, Canada, Puerto Rico, U.S. Virgin Isles, until recently Australia, New Zealand (mixed with "soccer" and "football"), South Africa, and the Philippines (mixed)

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