So the French government hired me to help teach English knowing full well that I am an American (God damnit). What they failed to consider is the fact that French children learn British English in schools. This means that all of my English teaching colleagues have learned British English as well.
This can sometimes put us in awkward situations, as I do not speak British.
About a month ago, one of the students said, “footballer.”
I replied, “Footballer?? Do you mean football player?”
The head teacher then said, “You don’t say footballer? I thought I read it somewhere and I taught it to them.”
I replied with my typical response to any vocabulary dispute, “Well… I’ve never heard the word ‘footballer’ before, but maybe they say it in Britain.”
The teacher then decided to use my American, native speaker vocabulary and went with football player.
Fast forward to a couple of weeks later. My best friend came to visit, and we spent one night in Paris. Her British friend met us there, and we all went out to dinner. During dinner, the Brit began dishing details about her current crush, where she let known this little tidbit, “and he has an amazing body because he’s a footballer.”
I guess it is a word after all.