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A game of soccer.

Alternative forms[edit]


British English; Colloquial abbreviation for association football, via abbreviation assoc. +‎ -er (slang suffix); earlier socker (1885), also socca (1889), with soccer attested 1888.

Compare contemporary rugger, from Rugby, and note vulgar connotations of analogous *asser if abbreviating on first syllable.[1] Similarly constructed coinages from the same period include: brekker (breakfast), fresher (freshman) and footer (football). See Oxford -er.


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈsɒk.ə/
  • (file)
  • (US) IPA(key): /ˈsɑk.ɚ/
  • Rhymes: -ɒkə(ɹ)


soccer (uncountable)

  1. association football
    Synonyms: association football (UK, formal, rarely used), soccer football, football (ambiguous); see also Thesaurus:football
    • 1885 December 1, “Our Oxford Letter”, in The Oldhallian[1], page 171:
      The 'Varsity played Aston Villa and were beaten after a very exciting game; this was pre-eminently the most important "Socker" game played in Oxford this term.
    • 1888 February 15, “Charley Symonds”, in The Oxford Magazine[2], page 224:
      Golf is perhaps seven or eight years old in Oxford, ... football, seu Rugger, sive Soccer, not more than sixteen or seventeen.
    • 1889 September 16, “Football Prospects in the West of England”, in The Western Daily Press, volume 63, number 9757, Bristol, page 7:
      Those who play under the "Socker" (Association) rules in the North of England, the Midlands, and Scotland take no heed of the warmness of the weather
    • 1890, Albert Barrère and Charles Leland, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant[3], volume 2, Ballantyne, page 275:
      Socker (public schools), football played according to the Association Rules
    • 1987, Charles Hughes, The Football Association Coaching Book of Soccer: Tactics and Skills, London: BBC, →ISBN:

Usage notes[edit]

  • football (soccer) is more commonly used in the UK, Ireland, and many other places in the world, with the exception of the US, Canada, Australia, and South Africa.

Derived terms[edit]

Related terms[edit]




soccer (third-person singular simple present soccers, present participle soccering, simple past and past participle soccered)

  1. (Australian rules football) To kick the football directly off the ground, without using one's hands.
    • 1990 Geoffrey Blainey, A Game of Our Own: The Origins of Australian Football, 2003, Black Inc. Publishing, p73.
      The rule seems to have encouraged players to soccer the ball along the ground.
    • 2008, John Devaney, Full Points Footy′s WA Football Companion, page 334,
      [] West Perth seemed on the verge of victory, only to succumb by 4 points after a soccered goal from Old Easts with less than half a minute remaining.
    • 2010 March 27, Michael Whiting, “Lions give Fev debut to remember”, AFL - The official site of the Australian Football League.
      Fevola showed the best and worst of his play after dropping a simple chest mark, only to regather seconds later and soccer the ball through from the most acute of angles.


  1. ^ Douglas Harper (2001–2021) , “soccer”, in Online Etymology Dictionary

Further reading[edit]





soccer m (uncountable)

  1. (Canada, Quebec, Louisiana) soccer (association football)


See also[edit]