Posted by Brad @ 12:06 am on June 18th 2014

This Used to Be a Blog And it Had Brits and Stuff

And if those things were still true, I’d point out that “soccer” is a perfectly acceptable term for the sport – in many ways, actually, a lot more reasonable given the other “football” sports (American football, rugby)(soccer being an abbreviation on “association football” which the sport was termed to avoid being confused with rubgy football). And it was only relatively recently that the British decided it wasn’t cool anymore because the yanks used it.

If the word “soccer” originated in England, why did it fall into disuse there and become dominant in the States?

To answer that question, [sports economist Stefan] Szymanski counted the frequency with which the words “football” and soccer” appeared in American and British news outlets as far back as 1900. What he found is fascinating: “Soccer” was a recognized term in Britain in the first half of the twentieth century, but it wasn’t widely used until after World War II, when it was in vogue (and interchangeable with “football” and other phrases like “soccer football”) for a couple decades, perhaps because of the influence of American troops stationed in Britain during the war and the allure of American culture in its aftermath. In the 1980s, however, Brits began rejecting the term, as soccer became a more popular sport in the United States.

In recent decades, “The penetration of the game into American culture, measured by the use of the name ‘soccer,’ has led to backlash against the use of the word in Britain, where it was once considered an innocuous alternative to the word ‘football,’” Szymanski explains.

So really the fact that Americans call it “soccer” is less a function of the seppos bastardizing it and more a function of the English being snobs and all “I was into this band before it was cool” and stuff.

1 Comment »

  1. Given that England have likely been knocked out of the World Cup already, allow me to say that I shall be supporting America in this kickball tournament.

    Comment by Adam — 6/19/2014 @ 11:04 pm

RSS feed for comments on this post.

Leave a comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.