The Language of Football


Simon Jenkins

Player Pronunciation: Kieran Trippier

The Tottenham right-back is Lancashire to the core, yet there is a French flourish to his name which casts doubt on the pronunciation.

What’s In A Name?: Wanderers

In the first of almost certainly many posts on the derivation of football clubs’ names, we take a look at the brief popularity of the term Wanderer during the formative years of league football in England.

Player Pronunciation: Kevin De Bruyne

He’s back, so we should probably nail that surname once and for all…

Who needs English when you can speak football?

Gabriel Paulista may not speak a word of the Queen’s but he can always rely on the language spoken by his hands, feet and head. Is spoken English entirely necessary in order to succeed as a footballer in the UK?

Nothing but a ‘G’ thing at Manchester United, with Louis van Gaal and David de Gea

Silence may be golden with a hard ‘g’ but can the same be said for the surnames of Louis van Gaal and David de Gea? Perhaps a cameo appearance by a former Manchester United favourite will help to clarify this particular player pronunciation.

How long before David Moyes “does a Shteve”?

The resurrection of David Moyes in Spain brings inevitable comparisons to recent expatriates who dared leave the Premier League and embrace different cultures/affect a silly accent.

Player Pronunciation: Graziano Pellè

The apparent ambiguity over how to pronounce the surname of the breakout star of Southampton’s unexpectedly successful season is perhaps almost as much of a surprise as the lofty position the Hampshire club finds themselves in currently.  As the player… Continue Reading →

Player Pronunciation: Ole Gunnar Solskjær

As a first entry on this blog, the name of the aforementioned, much-loved super sub is perhaps as good a start as any, representing as it does an example of how previously unfamiliar, non-native pronunciations can adapt into common awareness and usage.

Every day, when I wake up, I thank the Lord I’m Welsh!

It is heartening to hear that the Wales national team manager, Chris Coleman, is taking Welsh language lessons, in an effort to better engage with native speakers at the Welsh FA and across the nation.

Player Pronunciation: Gustavo Poyet

Until recently, I would not have been aware as to any other pronunciation of the former Chelsea and Tottenham midfielder’s name. But it was in a recent post-match interview at current club Brighton

The joy of Peter Reid’s colourful language

The Guardian reminded me today of the classic documentary Premier Passions, a five-part series following Peter Reid and his Sunderland side during their doomed Premier League campaign of 1996/1997.

Player Pronunciation: Dirk Kuyt

In response to a friend’s suggestion, I have cast a casual linguistic eye over the pronunciation of one Dirk Kuyt, industrious forward for The Netherlands and Liverpool.

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