The former became known as rugby football, the latter becoming association football (in reference to the associations that collaborated to play the sport). “Soccer,” a convenient abbreviation for “association,” began as a European term. When soccer became more popular in Europe than rugby football, the nomenclature was dropped, while it stuck in the US, where football more commonly referred to American football.
Soccer can be derived from ‘associated’ and football is derived from the second term. Rugby (rugby rootball), too, was called rugger around 200 years ago, when soccer was colloquialized also (adding -er must have been a trend). Over time, the British had ditched the word ‘soccer’ for football because the word was too American by the 1980s. Americans adopted the term soccer to distinguish from football.
Indeed, both association and rugby football stemmed from the many folk and country games that had been played for centuries, and were even referred to as ‘football’ in documents from as far back as the 13th century. But in terms of when an official set of rules were established, rugby came first.
Association football gained the nickname "soccer" in 1871 when the Rugby Football Union was founded. Both sports were called "football", so people called Association football "soccer" and Rugby...
Rugby Football (the official name of the sport) became ‘rugger’ and, likewise, the shortened word ‘soc’ became ‘soccer’, a fact our reader Alan Moore was already clued up on. The only difference these days is that ‘soccer’ is considered more than just a nickname in some quarters, one of those quarters being Ireland.
Answer (1 of 11): There are several basic types of football played throughout the world: Association football (soccer), Rugby Union, Rugby League, American/Canadian football, Australian Rules, Gaelic football.
By the 20th century, rugby football was more commonly called rugby, while association football had earned the right to be known as just plain football. Meanwhile, in the United States, a sport emerged in the late 19th century that borrowed elements of both rugby and association football. Before long, it had proved more popular than either of them.
The word “soccer” originated in England, and was originally used to differentiate association football from its rugby cousin. Just as rugby football was shortened to “rugger”, the game of association football became known as “soccer” thanks to a shortening of the word “association”.