What's in a Word | All Blogs

Football, English-style

By Debra Dobbins

The second “Jumble” word stymied me today, so I left it and worked on the others: round, smooch and bother. Then I came back to it … still no luck.

I tried bugry, gubry, gubyr, rubyg, gybru, rybug and guyrb. All were footless and fruitless attempts, but suddenly the right answer floated up in my mind, much like words do in a Magic 8 ball: rugby.

It turns out that the game of rugby, which is a type of football, comes from the public school by the same name. That’s where the earliest version of the game was first played, according to the Online Etymology Dictionary. The school was in the city of Rugby in Warwickshire in central England, and the word was first used in 1864, the dictionary also notes.

The field at Rugby School
Photo courtesy of Wikipedia



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