Anglo-Americanisms in the French Sporting Vocabulary



ABSTRACT This article shows the influence of Anglo-Americanisms on the French sporting vocabulary. The first large influx of English sport terms dates from the advent of the Industrial Revolution which favored the development of team sports and athletic associations in England. Soccer was the first English team sport introduced into France. Other Engish, and then American sports, like rugby, basketball, volleyball, golf, boxing, and tennis followed in rapid succession. Each new sport brought with it a plethora of foreignisms. Most underwent varying degrees of change in French. Some retained their Anglo-American origins; others have been replaced. Still others, while keeping their orthographies, have undergone peculiar changes in meaning and function. The author concludes that because many sports have become increasingly popular in French society, the replacement of Anglicisms will be virtually assured. Other, more “elitist” sports like polo and golf will not encourage such replacement.