English Edit

Etymology Edit

From rugby (Rugby football) +‎ -er (Oxford “-er”). Compare contemporary soccer, from Association football. Both words seem to have originated at the University of Oxford during the 1880s. See Oxford -er.

Pronunciation Edit

Noun Edit

rugger (countable and uncountable, plural ruggers)

  1. (uncountable) rugby [from 1886]
    • 1886 November 10, A. Macaulay, “The Advance of Science”, in The Oxford Magazine[1], page 356:
      That . . . . . . may for once put a full Rugger team in the field
    • 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.
    • 1890, Albert Barrère, Charles Leland, A Dictionary of Slang, Jargon & Cant[3], volume 2, Ballantyne, page 191:
      Rugger (schools), the Rugby game at football
    • 1929, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, When the World Screamed[4]:
      It was clear to me that I was dealing with a lunatic, so I thought it well before I went any further in the matter to call upon my friend Malone, whom I had known since the old days when we both played Rugger for Richmond.
    • 1959 April, William Jones, John Hodge, “Resorts for Railfans - 28 Cardiff”, in Trains Illustrated, page 210:
      To complete the picture of the main line passenger workings, mention must be made of the excursions for International rugger and soccer matches. [...] For the rugger matches especially, a dozen or so packed trains from West Wales are put on [...]
  2. (US) rugby player
    • 1889 November 23, "Banshee", “The World of Pastime”, in The Penny Illustrated Paper, volume 57, number 1486, London, page 407:
      Some people refer to a Dropped Goal as if it were a misfortune rather than the perfection of football ... Genuine "Ruggers" will, of course, scoff at this
    • 1974 August, Paul Burka, “The Sport of Rough Gentlemen”, in Texas Monthly[5], volume 2, number 8, page 42:
      To this day ruggers belittle soccer, and they will tell anyone who expresses the slightest interest in their game that rugby is "a ruffian's game played by gentlemen," while soccer is "a gentleman's game played by ruffians."
    • 1977 Apr, Robert McKay, “My Heart's In Highlands, A Chasing The Ruggers”, in Cincinnati Magazine[6], volume 10, number 7, page 80:
      When you put sixty ruggers and their friends and lovers in a bar, you've really got something going.
    • 1996 December 16, Shannon Black, “Rugby: Aliens 3, Locals 0”, in New York Magazine[7], volume 29, number 49, page 22:
      Some of the world's most talented ruggers had come to New York for the weekend to play for fun. "What's football — just an Americanization of rugby," exclaimed one fan at the 38th Annual New York Sevens Tournament. … Brian Corcoran, who in 1990 played for Team USA for free, distinguished ruggers from "the spoiled, arrogant professionals you're dealing with in other sports."
    • 2011 June 8, “Club sports: Touring British Army ruggers welcomed”, in Santa Monica Daily Press[8]:
      After the game, the teams adjourned to the Dolphins’ usual after-match location, O’Brien’s Irish Pub on Main Street, where they enjoyed a spirited social together: songs were sung, speeches and presentations were made, and mutual admiration was expressed, particularly toward the soldier-ruggers of the 7th for their sacrifice and dedication.

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Norwegian Bokmål Edit

Verb Edit


  1. present of rugge