People barely realize why football is called football

Perhaps one of the most offensive remarks you can make to a match-goer in the British Isles is to refer to football as football.

Fans across Britain seem almost unanimous in their stubborn stance that the sport should be called soccer and football only.

The debate can often get quite heated on social media when the topic comes up and was recently revived following a tweet from the official Major League Soccer (MLS) account in the United States.

The association posted: “It’s called football. If anyone disagrees, reply to this”, – to which the account was flooded with replies stating: “10 of your teams have ‘FC’ in their name”.

But where exactly does the term football come from? And who is actually right?



David Beckham was one of the biggest names to play in Major League Soccer (MLS) with LA Galaxy

Known as football – or “fútbol” – in the majority of countries around the world, the sport is almost exclusively called soccer in the United States, however, you might be surprised to learn that this term actually originated from the English origin.

Modern football was founded in England in 1863 when representatives from schools and clubs across the country agreed on a set of standardized rules for matches.

As a result of their discussions, the organization known as the Football Association (FA) was formed, with the game in England now known as ‘Association Football’ to differentiate itself from other popular games in the UK. era, such as ‘rugby football’.

However, unbeknownst to most, this is where the soccer part comes in.

Who is the greatest footballer of all time? Tell us in the comments section.



The FA Cup competition was created shortly after the Football Association was founded in 1863
The FA Cup competition was created shortly after the Football Association was founded in 1863

According to History.com, the word “football” is actually an abbreviation of the word “association”.

British players of the time shortened the term to ‘assoc’ and ‘assoc’ before the sport eventually adopted the moniker ‘football’ – or the somewhat inconceivable ‘soccer football’.

And, if you want to get particularly corny, the addition of the suffix -er was, in fact, often given to nicknames in the British dialect and was attributed to Oxford students of this period.

This is why rugby is often referred to as “rugger”.



Football remains the term for association football in the United States
Football remains the term for association football in the United States

The terms soccer and soccer (or “soccer football”) became interchangeable when describing the sport until well into the 20th century, when the word football is said to have come into prominence in most of the world.

However, in countries like America and Australia, where a different form of football had already been established, the term soccer stuck and is still in popular use today.

So the next time you find yourself arguing with an American about why he insists on referring to the beautiful game as football, just remember: it’s actually us Brits who have coined the term in the first place!

Comments are closed.