Ask McFartnuggets: “Why Do Spanish People Call Soccer Fútbol?”

Dear McFartnuggets: 
Why the hell do Spanish speaking people call soccer “Fútbol”? The Spanish word for “foot” is “pie” and the Spanish word for “ball” is “bola.” So shouldn’t they call it piebola? Or bola del pie? That would mean “football” which is what soccer is called everywhere in the world besides America. Instead they call it “Fútbol.” They call basketball “baloncesto” and use the actual Spanish translation instead of calling it “bosqueteból” or some shit so… What the hell is going on here? -- Cedric from Juneau, Alaska

Dear Cedric:
Yes that is a tad odd now that you mention it. However, I would say it has to deal with the fact that soccer or “association football” was first played in England. Since the English people called it “football,” the Spanish people they introduced it to called it “football.” However, in their accent it sounded more like “fútbol.” Later, when a Spanish person decided to actually write it out they wrote “fútbol” because it was more natural for them. As far as why Spanish speakers call that “fútbol” and call basketball “baloncesto,” that’s just how it worked out. Basketball was invented by a Canadian guy in America and it’s nowhere near as important to Hispanic people as fútbol is. I would liken it to how Spanish speaking people call New York “Nueva York” meanwhile they call Mississippi “Misisipí.” Words and names can sound better or worse when translated into Spanish. “Bola del pie” doesn’t sound nearly as good as fútbol” and “baloncesto” sounds a lot better than “bosquetbol.”

Pies smell a lot better in English.

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