England's defender Harry Maguire drives the ball during the Russia 2018 World Cup quarter-final football match between Sweden and England at the Samara Arena in Samara on July 7, 2018.
According to David Pickering's "Soccer Companion" (Cassell, 1994) Charles Wreford Brown (who went on to become an England international and Vice President of the Football Association) was the student who when asked in 1889 if he wanted to play "rugger" said "no, soccer" - meaning Football Association rules as opposed to Rugby rules.
The word “soccer,” which is believed to have originated in Britain some 200 years ago, comes from the official name of the sport, “association football.”. As other versions of the game evolved to include Rugby Football, it is believed the Brits adopted colloquialisms to distinguish each game.
One of the best-known differences between British and American English is the fact that the sport known as football in Great Britain is usually called soccer in the United States. Because the sport originated in England, it is often assumed that soccer is an Americanism. In fact, the word is thoroughly British in origin.
Soccer, originally “association football” or “asoccer,” is the traditional version of “football” where people don’t use their hands.
The word soccer comes from an abbreviation for Association (from Association Football, the ‘official’ name for the game) plus the addition of the suffix –er. This suffix (originally Rugby School slang, and then adopted by Oxford University), was appended to ‘shortened’ nouns, in order to form jocular words.
soccer (n.) 1889, socca, later socker (1891), soccer (1895), originally university slang (with jocular formation -er (3)), from a shortened form of Assoc., abbreviation of association in Football Association (as opposed to Rugby football); compare rugger. An unusual method of formation, but those who did it perhaps shied away from making a name ...
The history of football (soccer) Football (or soccer as the game is called in some parts of the world) has a long history. Football in its current form arose in England in the middle of the 19th century. But alternative versions of the game existed much earlier and are a part of the football history.