soccer vs. football

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soccer vs. football

Post by Archived Topic » Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:29 am

What is the origin of the word soccer?
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Re: soccer vs. football

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Feb 04, 2004 7:44 am

From the M-W, Coll., 10th ed.:

Main Entry: soc·cer
Pronunciation: 'sä-k&r
Function: noun
Etymology: by shortening & alteration from association football
Date: 1889
: a game played on a field between two teams of 11 players each with the object to propel a round ball into the opponent's goal by kicking or by hitting it with any part of the body except the hands and arms -- called also association football

Reply from Leif Thorvaldson (Eatonville - U.S.A.)
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Re: soccer vs. football

Post by Ken Greenwald » Wed Jun 30, 2010 9:58 pm

In this season of SOCCER hysteria, some may wonder why we in the U.S. call this game soccer, while most of the rest of the world calls it football. Here's a an excerpt from a Slate article that addresses this question:

Why Do We Call It Soccer?
Most countries think of the World Cup as a football tournament. What's our problem?
By Brian Phillips
Posted Thursday, June 10, 2010, at 6:56 AM ET

The 2010 FIFA World Cup kicks off on Friday, with the United States slated to play England this weekend. For the 10th time since 1950, citizens of the two countries will square off over a game they call by different names. Given that so much of the world favors football, why do Americans call the game soccer?
It's an abbreviation of association football. Both soccer and American football come from the same set of precursor sports, which became popular in upper-class English schools in the early 19th century and spread across the Atlantic. All these games involved advancing a ball through an opponent's territory and scoring at the far end, but the rules varied from place to place. Ultimately, the version adopted as standard in the United Kingdom came to be known as association football, while another set of rules won out in the United States. Thus the Americans took to calling their gridiron variety football, and referred to the British sport by the slang term soccer, derived from the soc in association. . . .

For the full article go to And for some related Wordwizard postings go to football and hold the line.

Ken G – June 30, 2010

Re: soccer vs. football

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Jun 30, 2010 11:16 pm

England once again received the soccer punch in the knockout stages.

Re: soccer vs. football

Post by Bobinwales » Thu Jul 01, 2010 9:45 am

When I was a boy 50 odd years ago, we never used the word "football" in this part of Wales. We always talked of soccer and rugby. I believe that the round ball game has always been called football in England, and of course the rise of television English has meant that youngsters look at me daft when I say 'soccer', asking why I am using the American word.

They are equally astonished when I tell them that 'soccer' derives from Association Football as opposed to Rugby Football, and is very much a British word.

I have noticed something similar with 'railway station' morphing into 'train station'.
Signature: All those years gone to waist!
Bob in Wales

Re: soccer vs. football

Post by Wizard of Oz » Thu Jul 01, 2010 1:53 pm

.. the problem in Aus is that we have 4 codes of football all played with their own legion of followers that varies from place to place .. Aussie Rules (AFL), Rugby Union (ARU), Rugby League (NRL) and of course poor insecure Soccer (FFA) .. so insecure that they constantly have to tell everyone that they are the self titled world game .. so insecure that they play their national competition in our summer so that they do not have to compete for spectators with the other football codes .. so insecure that they have to remind everyone that they are the only code that doesn't handle the ball so therefore they are the true football .. give it a break !!! .. in Aus it totally depends where you are and who you are talking to as to what reference point you will get from using the word football .. in Melbourne there is little doubt that if you tell someone you are "Going to the footy." you will be off to see a game of AFL .. in Brisbane the same statement would see you watching the NRL .. in Hobart the AFL .. in Adelaide the AFL .. in Sydney the NRL .. all qualified by who you were speaking to .. for in Sydney and Brisbane if you were talking to a university person then it would mean ARU .. amongst the European migrant communities you may start to get a movement towards footy meaning FFA .. but in general in Aus soccer is still soccer ..

WoZ who has played all codes
Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

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