The Origins of the Word "Soccer"

We've all heard it before, "Stupid Americans, why in the world do you refer to football as soccer.  The word doesn't even makes sense. Get with the program, Yanks!"  As it turns out, it was not the silly Americans who came up with the word soccer.  In fact the word originated in Britain. 

England had a number of "football" games which were rather popular back in the 19th century with Rugby Football ruling supreme.  In order to distinguish Soccer from the other "football" games a band of teams came together in October of 1863 and named their beloved game "Associated Football".  It was at this same meeting that the basic rules that govern the Beautiful Game were laid down.

Feeling that "Rugby Football" and "Associated Football" were too cumbersome in everyday speech, school boys began to abbreviate the names while adding the infamous 

Oxford "er"

, creating names such as "Rugger" or "Assoccer".  Eventually the name was shortened to just "Soccer" or sometimes "Soccer Football"

Charles Wreford Brown

Around the time Associated Football was formally organized, Charles Wreford Brown, a student at Oxford

allegedly began using the term "soccer" with his school friends. Legend has it that the popularity of the word sprang from this group of students, though the veracity of this story is questionable.

 As the years progressed Soccer Football was embraced by the masses, while Rugby Football's popularity declined.  And so around 1881 Soccer began to be referred to simply as "Football" while Rugby Football came to be known as "Rugby".

By the time Football made it's way to the U.S.

American Football

was already being embraced by the masses.  Thus, to avoid confusion Associated Football continued to be called "Soccer" while American Football came to be referred to simply as "Football".

Speaking of American Football...Why is it even called "Football"?  That is a subject for another "Fun Fact of the Day".


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