Chapter 13. English direct loans in European football lexis
Football language is arguably the world’s most widespread special language, where English has played – and still plays – a dominant role. The present study reports on the influence of English in terms of direct loans in this field, as manifested in 16 European languages. Based on a set of 25 English football words – dribble, goal, offside, hooligan, etc. – the investigation shows that while direct borrowing is common, there is a great deal of variation between the languages studied, Norwegian exhibiting the highest number of foreign loans and Finnish the lowest. The significance of the resulting patterns is discussed, providing some tentative explanations of the phenomena noted, where linguistic, sociolinguistic and cultural factors are taken into account.