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.
What is called football by most of the rest of the world, including UK English speakers, is known as soccer or European football in the USA and Canada.
Former English colonies like Ireland, Australia, South Africa, and others call the UK’s football soccer instead. The reason is that the term soccer was actually more popular than football before the 70s in England. The switch to football became acceptable as football was viewed as an American term that was frowned upon.
Although the name soccer came out of the UK, there it is predominantly called football, while elsewhere in a few English speaking countries colonized by the British it is called soccer. You will find that soccer is still the main term for the game in countries in which there is another major sport called football (e.g. USA, Canada, Australia).
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.
Soccer comes from "association football" and the term was used in the UK to distinguish it from rugby football. In countries with other forms of football (USA, Australia) soccer became more generic, basically a synonym for 'football' in the international sense, to distinguish it from their domestic game.
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