The term “soccer” actually came from Britain and Americans use it to differentiate from American “football.”
Martin Meissner, Associated Press Photo
As the World Cup continues in Qatar, people around the world are disputing whether the sport should be called “football” or “soccer” in the United States.
NPR reported that many World Cup watchers are debating the topic on Twitter. One user said, “I hope the USA lose. I hate seeing people who call football soccer happy.”
Another user asked, “Why do Americans call football soccer. It’s literally a ball and you use your foot.”
Why do Americans call football soccer
It’s literally a ball and you use your foot
What many people don’t know is that the term “soccer” actually comes from Britain.
Many believe that the word “soccer” is an American invention, but the term “soccer” originated in Britain, according to TIME and other news outlets.
Business Insider reported that, “In the early 1800’s, a bunch of British universities took ‘football’ a medieval game — and started playing their own versions of it, all under different rules.”
After these different versions were born, students at the University of Oxford began to give the different versions of the sport different names. “Rugger” (rugby football) was the name for rugby football and “Assoccer” (association football) was later shortened to “soccer,” according to History.
The different names for the sports began to grow popular across Britain and the world as they spread overseas. Smithsonian Magazine reported that British fans ended up choosing to call the sport “football” in the 1980s due to Americans choosing the word “soccer.”
In the U.S., a different sport was born out of mixing rugby and association football together to create gridiron football.
Britannica reported that most people began calling the second sport “football” and, in order to tell the two sports apart, the American association-football players started referring to their sport as “soccer,” by 1945.
British people only stopped using the term “soccer” about 40 years ago as the word grew popular throughout the U.S., according to Business Insider.
Copyright © 2023 Deseret News Publishing Company. All Rights Reserved