The Origin of the Word Football: A Historical Perspective

The word football has a long and interesting history. It is derived from the term “association football”, which was used in Great Britain two centuries ago. The term was then adapted to “assoc”, “assoccer”, and eventually “soccer” or “soccer football”. This term was used in England until recently, but it is now used mainly in the United States and Canada.

In the United States, the term “football” was adopted to distinguish the game of American football, a hybrid of association football and rugby football. In other countries, such as Australia, the term “football” is used to refer to a different sport. In the United Kingdom, the term “association football” emerged to distinguish it from other versions of football that were being played at the time. In the 1980s, the British began to reject the term “football” as it became more popular in the United States.

This led to a debate about what to call the sport in different countries. In some countries, such as Australia, the name of the sport may not be clearly one or the other, and for some countries and languages it is evolving. The full name of the sport is “Football Association” and this is important information to understand how and why the term “football” originated. The Americans' use of the term football continues to incite frustration among those loyal to the original name of the game.

In England, aristocratic children devised abbreviated terms such as “rugger” and “soccer” to differentiate between Rugby Football and Association Football. Within Australia, the term football is ambiguous and can mean up to four different codes of football in Australian English, depending on context, geographical location and cultural factors. On Twitter, there is a tradition (at least since the 1980s) of criticizing the word football. In Canada, French parallels English in terms of usage; football generally refers to Canadian or American football, while soccer refers to association football.

It is clear that there is a long history behind why we call football football. The word has been adapted over time and has been used in different contexts in different countries. It is important to understand this history in order to appreciate why we use this term today.

Wanda Lobdell
Wanda Lobdell

Professional food expert. Total sushi scholar. Lifelong social media practitioner. Certified food buff. General pop culture fanatic.

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