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.
In England, Szymanski writes, aristocratic boys came up with the shortened terms “rugger” and “soccer” to differentiate between Rugby Football and Association Football.
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.
With American football already popular in North America and being popularly known as football, Association football needed a new name to distinguish it in the United States, so it was called soccer.
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 name of the game: football or soccer? In most parts of the world, football is used as the name for the “chess of the green pitch”, the biggest sport in the world. In the United States and Canada, however, soccer is used instead as a distinction from American football. A more formal name sometimes used is association football, but in popular speech, it is either football or soccer.
Both began as kicking games. Soccer- the most popular sport in the world – was originally known as “association football.”. Newspapers seeking a shorter phrase began to refer to it as “assoc.”. That name was soon shortened to “soc” and then grew back a bit to “soccer.”.
Gridiron was a simple one word designation to differentiate American football from the other two versions of the game back in the late 19th century; association football (soccer) and rugby football. Before forward passing was introduced (1906), 19th century Gridiron or American football rules allowed a punting team to recover its own punt, hence it was an often used tactic to gain ground, as it is today in rugby.