Blame the British, not Americans, for the word 'soccer'

Blame the British, not Americans, for the word 'soccer'

Posted: Updated:
NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Under lights, beneath sunshine, and in darkness, on fields of turf and grass and dirt all around the world amateurs of all ages gather to mimic their nation's most talented soccer players.

And in one Manhattan bar, thanks to one incendiary question intentionally posed by yours truly, one Brit railed against the ignorance of Americans as evidenced by our use of the word "soccer."

"If I could obliterate any word, it would be 'soccer.' Please, for Christ's sake," Mark Lalor said. "Basically it's not in the dictionary and it's the wrong name for the sport."

But Stefan Szymanski, Ph.D., a Michigan University professor of sport management, countered.

"So, the word 'soccer' is originally an English word," he said. "It was first recognized in the Oxford English Dictionary in 1893 and is thought to be used by university students in Oxford and Cambridge as a short version of the word, 'association football.'"

We'll refrain from dropping an "oh, snap" or a "don't tread on me" on our friend Mark Lalor from the bar.

The Brit-on-Brit crime that Szymanski committed against Lalor in providing that etymology would likely infuriate Lalor as much as my attempts at convincing him the word "soccer" belonged more to his founding fathers than my own.

"Come here," Lalor said. We made the sport. We invented the sport."

"When I grew up, I could call it football. I could call it soccer," Szymanski said. "I wouldn't think of them as being different words particularly and I certainly wouldn't think of it as being an American term."

"Just get rid of it," Lalor said.

But at a certain point, doesn't an ugly American with an ugly American accent trying to choke out "football" or worse "futbol" instead of calling it "soccer" like everyone else in his country start to sound like he's just trying too hard?

  • Local NewsLocal NewsMore>>

  • Mom: 4-Year-Old banned from doughnut shop

    Mom: 4-Year-Old banned from doughnut shop

    Thursday, July 24 2014 1:34 PM EDT2014-07-24 17:34:41 GMT
    4-year-old Justin Otero is a curious guy, but his curiosity got him into some trouble at his local Connecticut doughnut shop.
    4-year-old Justin Otero is a curious guy, but his curiosity got him into some trouble at his local Connecticut doughnut shop.
  • State ends hunt for snake in Lake Hopatcong

    State ends hunt for snake in Lake Hopatcong

    Thursday, July 24 2014 12:58 PM EDT2014-07-24 16:58:56 GMT
    Reports of a 16-foot-long exotic snake slithering around New Jersey's largest lake are apparently a suburban legend or the snake just isn't hungry.
    A 16-foot-long exotic snake reportedly slithering around New Jersey's largest lake is apparently a suburban legend. Or the snake just isn't hungry. The state has stopped looking for the reptile after scientists failed to find any evidence of it in Lake Hopatcong and traps baited with chicken were left untouched. Three unconfirmed sightings this month of a snake, perhaps an anaconda as long as 16 feet, raised concerns among visitors and swimmers.
  • Baldwin: Rather pay up than apologize over arrest

    Baldwin: Rather pay up than apologize over arrest

    Actor Alec Baldwin is not apologizing over an incident that led to a disorderly conduct arrest in May.
    Actor Alec Baldwin is not apologizing over an incident that led to a disorderly conduct arrest in May.
Powered by WorldNow

4739 NW 53rd Avenue, Sutie B
Gainesville, FL 32653

Phone: (352) 371-0051

Didn't find what you were looking for?
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2014 Fox Television Stations, Inc. and Worldnow. All Rights Reserved.
Privacy Policy | Terms of Service | Ad Choices