Blake Snow

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Why Americans call it “soccer”

soccer-more-boring-with-better-climax0You can blame England—the inventors of the game—not America for the word.

As the U.S. Embassy in London explains, “Soccer’s etymology is not American but British. It comes from an abbreviation for Association Football, the official name of the sport. For obvious reasons, English newspapers in the 1880s couldn’t use the first three letters of Association as an abbreviation, so they took the next syllable, S-O-C. With the British penchant for adding ‘-er’ at the end of words—punter, footballer, copper, and rugger—the word ‘soccer’ was born, over a hundred years ago, in England, the home of soccer. Americans adopted it and kept using it because we have our own indigenous sport called football.”

Still don’t like the word soccer? You can file an official complaint with South Africa, Australia, Ireland, New Zealand, and a handful of others in addition to the U.S. who all refer to the sport as “soccer.”

See also