Traveling to the United Kingdom to catch a soccer game is perhaps a right of passage for every true “football” fan. England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are home to some of the most enthusiastic fans in the world, and they have the history to back it up. Organized soccer has been played in England since 1848, when the game’s first set of rules was drawn up at Cambridge University. So, before you join the ranks of these fans at pitches and pubs, there are some British football terms that you should know.
- Boots: U.S. soccer players know these shoes as cleats.
Whether custom or sponsored, your favorite players are lacing up their boots before every game.
- Offside: This is a very subtle dialect difference that will make you sound like a local. While U.S. fans and players say “offsides,” those in the UK say “offside.”
- Pitch: You will hear this term used quite frequently. The pitch is the British word for the field. A field, on the other hand, is part of nature or a farm.
- Adverts: Joining a football watch party at a pub or at someone’s house? Adverts are what U.S. fans call commercials. So, when you’re complaining that the network interrupted your game, now you have the right word to use.
- At The Back: Go ahead and use this term to boast about your favorite team. When you hear someone say, “Chelsea is great at the back,” it means that they have a strong defensive lineup.
- City: Especially while enjoying soccer in England, you might hear people refer to “City” in conversation. Chances are they are referring to Manchester City, not to be confused with Manchester United.
- Full Time: When a British football game is over, you will notice the letters “FT” on the scoreboard. This stands for “full time,” which as you might guess, means that the game is over.
England, Scotland, Wales, and Northern Ireland are some of the most spirited places in the world to become part of local soccer culture. While you are enjoying this unique cultural experience, remember to soak it all in and understand your place as a visitor. This unforgettable trip will leave you full of pride for the sport you love.