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Why Do We Call It "Soccer"? (A Noob Story)

By John Clayton

The entire world calls it "Football" but in the US (and Canada) it's called "Soccer". Why? Blame the English, and bad-English (slang, specifically). As many of you know (and many don't) Football (American) and Soccer had similar origins in the schoolyards of England. By the mid 1800's as school and neighborhood teams began playing farther afield (pun intend) rules became codified. There became "Association" football (the first set of rules) and "Rugby" football (the rules were written in Rugby, England). While in the US, where a game with elements of both emerged called "Gridiron" football. Gridiron became the most popular in the US and so was just called "Football". So where did the word "soccer" come from? This is where the bad-English, or slang comes in. In England, in the late 1800's a slang version of "Association" came into usage which was "Assoccer" (as opposed to "Rugger" for Rugby) and eventually, simply "Soccer". Since in the US (and Canada) Gridiron had already become "Football", "Soccer" became the name for "Association Football".


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