Thursday, July 8, 2010

Origin of Soccer, Not Football

The New Yorker has a fairly crappy commentary up on its site addressing the question "Do Americans hate football?"

Although the overall article isn't worth the 1s and 0s used to code it, this particular factoid caught my attention.

From The New Yorker...
“Soccer,” by the way, is not some Yankee neologism but a word of impeccably British origin. It owes its coinage to a domestic rival, rugby, whose proponents were fighting a losing battle over the football brand around the time that we were preoccupied with a more sanguinary civil war. Rugby’s nickname was (and is) rugger, and its players are called ruggers—a bit of upper-class twittery, as in “champers,” for champagne, or “preggers,” for enceinte.

“Soccer” is rugger’s equivalent in Oxbridge-speak. The “soc” part is short for “assoc,” which is short for “association,” as in “association football,” the rules of which were codified in 1863 by the all-powerful Football Association, or FA—the FA being to the U.K. what the NFL, the NBA, and MLB are to the U.S.

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