Football (was: Baseball or Base Ball)

Damien Hall D.Hall at KENT.AC.UK
Mon Aug 20 11:47:02 UTC 2012

Geoff said:


Not sure if this is connected, but Is football the only one of these in which the full name of the ball (e.g., "the football)" is routinely used, as in "He's going to have to start throwing the football," or "They don't have a lot of time to move the football"? You don't often hear "He can really hit the baseball" or "She's put a lot of spin on the tennis ball," etc. Maybe a shape thing (or more likely, a pretension thing).


As a side-note, this use of the full name of the ball in commentaries on American football doesn't extend to UK commentaries on what _Brits_ call 'football', ie soccer.  We do still usually call the sport 'football' ('soccer' is heard, but not nearly as much);  when talking about the ball, though, it's just the ball.

Is anyone familiar enough with (eg) Australian-rules football to comment?


PS  Sorry that my out-of-office message appeared in everyone's Inboxes this morning.  I didn't think that normally happened!

The American Dialect Society -

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