soccer, socker, and association football

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Fri Jun 20 14:11:22 UTC 2014

On  Thu, 19 Jun 2014 08:52:01 –0400, "Joel S. Berson" Berson at ATT.NET wrote: 

Subject: soccer, socker, and association football

Sarah Lyall, "Up in Arms Over 'Soccer'," NYTimes, June 18, 2014,
Sports Thursday.

On how "soccer" was not an imposition by imperialist America on the
rest of the world, but common as an alternative to "(association)
football," including in Britain, in the early 1900s and later --
including in the book titles of Matt Busby's autobiography, "Soccer
at the Top," and of "George Best: The Inside Story of Soccer's Super-Star."

The article also points out that the game is called "soccer" in
Australia.  Where, like America -- although the article does not
mention it -- there are other sports called "football."  Say
"farewell" to the Socceroos, and congratulate them for standing up
better against the Netherlands than did the world's top-ranked team, Spain.

No antedatings, however.


My husband and I made the same points in a blog post on a few days earlier:

"Soccer" originated as a slang term among public-school boys in the 19th century. Such "-er" suffixed formations were common in schoolboy slang. "Rugger," for rugby football, was a similar formation.  Nouns were clipped and "-er" added. The "soc-" in this case was from the abbreviation "assoc." 

Pat O’Conner

The American Dialect Society -

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