Saturday, 8 September 2007


Q: Does anyone know the origin of the word "soccer"? The origin of the word "football" is obvious, but why do British people sometimes call the game soccer?

A: Actually, it's usually Americans and Australians who call it "soccer", as they have their own sports that they prefer to call "football"!

But, that aside, the term is of British origin. It comes from Oxford university slang of the 1930s, which was notable for abbreviating words and then adding "er" to the end of them. "Football", in this system, obviously mutates to "footer"; and that, or its variant, "footy", is still commonly used as well. But there is more than one form of football. The two most common in Britain are Association Football, which is the round ball game, and Rugby Football, which is the oval ball game. So, in the slang usage, these became "soccer footer" and "rugger footer", or simply just "soccer" and "rugger".

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