phrases, sayings, idioms and expressions at

Rooting for your team

Posted by ESC on September 27, 2003

In Reply to: Rooting for your team posted by R. Berg on September 27, 2003

: : Can anyone tell me how this term came about? As far as I'm aware it's an American term, and we would definitely not say this in Australia, as it would imply that you're having sex with someone for your team.

: : So why the term 'root', when barracking for a team?

: American Heritage Dictionary says "Perhaps from 'root,' to dig with the snout."

Merriam Webster says it may come from "rout."
Main Entry: 4root
Pronunciation: 'rüt also 'rut
Function: intransitive verb
Etymology: perhaps alteration of 2rout
Date: 1889
1 : to noisily applaud or encourage a contestant or team : CHEER
2 : to wish the success of or lend support to someone or something
- noun

"The Barnhart Concise Dictionary of Etymology" by Robert K. Barnhart (HarperCollins Publishers, New York, 1995) says it may come from root in the sense of working or study hard. 1856.