Re: Soccerball [the game]
I have not consciously heard it before the current World Cup season in fact, but is seems to be catching on fast. I also read it in a print newspaper this week.
Originally Posted by Gwan
I think with my use of "mocking" that I am saying that there is more than a hint of, well, mockery, in this term, and I'm afraid it is inescapably the US attitude that is being mocked. There is a strong feeling that US Americans don't understand football, don't take it seriously, are dismissive of it, etc. (the term "soccer mom" is indicative of this) and therefore when they do take it seriously (by taking part in the World Cup, for example, or by buying-in coaches, managers and players from the UK) we, perhaps naturally, given how seriously it is taken in the UK, take to mocking them out of a certain resentment.
I think it might be said to be patronizing or (mildly) contemptuous, but in a very playful way. It's a very British word, in other words.
Essentially, soccerball is simply funny to the the British ear, and it wouldn't surprise me to start hearing it used to refer to football without any reference to the US. In this case it might be football itself which is being mocked.
As for football being called soccer in NZ, football was called soccer in the UK too, without any sense of wrongness. I remember this when I was a child, in the 60s. The word originated in the UK in the 19th c. I imagine the same was true in NZ and Australia (who eventually, by the way, both changed the official, in FIFA terms, name to football) but the difference being that the change in acceptability of the term never came. At what point the term came to be sneered at in Britain, and why, I do not know.
I have spent most of the day putting in a comma and the rest of the day taking it out. — Oscar Wilde