The Origins of the Word “Soccer”

Football versus Soccer

Do you call it Soccer or Football? Which one is correct? How did the word “Soccer” come about?

Interestingly the British invented the word “Soccer” and used it before keeping to just using “Football”. The upper class used to call it “Soccer”, and only when it became more popular with middle and lower classes did it become known as football.

The “Association Football” decided to set the rules of football in 1863 to distinguish it from other types of football sports such as “Rugby Football”. However, because British school boys liked to nickname everything, “Association Football” became “Assoccer”, which quickly became “Soccer”.

The game quickly spread to the masses, and “Association Football” was shortened to just “Football” by the lower classes. The game gradually spread throughout the world under the name “Football”, rather than “Soccer” as the “gentlemen” called it. Unfortunately many countries had their own games called “Football”, such as the United States, Canada, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, and South Africa, to name a few. In these countries, the name “Soccer” was and, in some, still is preferred for this reason.

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Why Football? Foot and Ball Right?

It is unfair to scoff at American Football for using mainly hands to interact with the ball, rather than the ‘foot’. The reason for this is because the name “football” is based on the fact that they are played on foot. Peasants played most of their sports on foot; aristocrats played most of theirs on horseback. Thus, games played on foot were called “football”, whether they had anything to do with kicking a ball or not.

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