Soccer: A Perfectly Cromulent Word


Soccer, we all know, is called “football” by everyone in the world except Americans! We’re such a clueless people. Why, we can’t even call a sport by its correct name, because we’re only interested in the weak-sauce known as American football!

This would all be true, if it were. But it isn’t. Check this map.

Click to embiggen!

Click to embiggen!

That map shows us what soccer is called around the world. As you can see, we’re far from alone in calling it “soccer” or some variation thereof. It also turns out that the word has a decent pedigree, coming from the term “Association Football”. Association = soccer, more or less.

So call it soccer, if you like. Just resign yourself to the fact that America will probably never take home a World Cup victory. Still, we did beat Ghana in round one, and I like our odds against Portugal, so perhaps anything is possible?

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3 Responses to “Soccer: A Perfectly Cromulent Word”

  1. Sorin Suciu Says:

    Love how you managed to squeeze “embiggen” and “cromulent” in a single blog post 🙂

  2. Zach Says:

    This is my quadrennial pet peeve. Bonus factoid: It’s not called football because it’s played with feet, it’s called football because it’s played _on_ foot (as opposed to on horseback as most noble sports were played back in ye olde days). “Football” generally refers to whatever (foot) sport is most popular in a particular country: Gridiron here and in Canada, rugby in New Zealand and South Africa, Australian Rules in Australia, Gaelic in Ireland, etc.

  3. tokyo5 Says:

    It’s called 「サッカー」 (soccer) in Japan too. The NFL game, which isn’t very popular here, is called “American Football” here.


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