Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Behind the Name: The Origin of The Word Soccer

Have you ever wondered why football is called soccer?  Apparently, since Americans have their own game called football, soccer was used to distinguish between the two.  Many hard-core fans of football have always blamed the Americans for using such an obscure term for their beloved sport, but it wasn’t the Americans who coined the term.  A recent study of the etymology of the word soccer was conducted by Stefan Szymanski, a professor at the University of Michigan and what he found out was quite interesting.

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A lot of our British brothers had always argued about calling football soccer when according to Szymanski’s study, the word actually originated in England.  About 200 years ago, soccer was used to shorten the proper name of the sport, association football.  At the time, there were two kinds of football: Rugby and Association football.  Both were derived from an ancient game of the same name but to promote order, a couple of people came together to consolidate an organized rulebook where the differences of each type were established.  Although at first, rugby and soccer were almost similar, the passage of time has helped rugby evolve into its own sport.

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 Kids started calling rugby football while soccer was used to contract association football to shorten the long names.  When the sport began to gain fame in other countries like the United States, Canada, and Australia, they already had sports called football, so the name soccer was preferred.  Eventually though, England began to revert to calling soccer football again until the word soccer came to be believed as an American word.

Find out more interesting facts and trivia about football by following this John Eilermann Google+ page.