A game of soccer.

Alternative formsEdit


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: (UK, formal, rarely used) association football, soccer football, (ambiguous) football; 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 notesEdit

  • 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 termsEdit

Related termsEdit




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 readingEdit





soccer m (uncountable)

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


See alsoEdit