Monday, June 16, 2014
The map above details what people around the world call the sport that we know as “soccer.” In short, Ireland, Australia, New Zealand, South Africa, and a couple other nations join the U.S. in our refusal to conform world norm of "football."
But why do Americans call it soccer? Blame the British - they started it. In late nineteenth century England, two types of football developed in parallel: rugby football and association football. The slang term for rugby football was "rugger," and the slang for association football was "assoc." The word "assoc" gradually evolved into "soccer." When association football came to North America, "gridiron" American football already had a foothold. To avoid confusion, Americans adopted the British nickname "soccer" for the new sport.