In England, Szymanski writes, aristocratic boys came up with the shortened terms “rugger” and “soccer” to differentiate between Rugby Football and Association Football.
What’s The Origin Of The Word "Soccer"? 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. Rugger is probably the most common example, but other examples included in the Oxford English Dictionary are brekker (for breakfast ...
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The word “socker” was first used in 1892, then in 1894 (when “rugger” was compared to “socker”) 1895 when it was spelled “soccer” and 1899 when Socker was used without quote marks. In the anglo countries Association Football was called “Sock-er” and other variations, usually in quotes for another couple of decades.
Origin of the word soccer, surprisingly, comes from England. Soccer word origin starts from shortening Football Association, to Assoccer, and eventually to the origin of the word soccer.
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 out of the first three letters of Assoc. Compare 1890s English schoolboy slang leccer, from lecture (n.).
The word “soccer” originated in England, and was originally used to differentiate association football from its rugby cousin. Just as rugby football was shortened to “rugger”, the game of association football became known as “soccer” thanks to a shortening of the word “association”.
Because the sport originated in England, it is often assumed that soccer is an Americanism. In fact, the word is thoroughly British in origin. So why is it that Americans (not to mention Canadians, Australians, and others) are likelier to use the word than Brits are? The answer lies in how the sport developed in each country.
The word soccer was derived from an abbreviation from the word association. The -er suffix was popular slang at the Rugby School and Oxford University and used for all sorts of nouns the young men shortened. The association came from the formation of the Football Association (FA) on October 26, 1863.