Why is the World Cup called the World Cup?

When you win the Stanley Cup, you win (albeit only temporarily) an actual cup. Granted it’s what a cup would look like if it were on steroids, but still there’s a part you could drink out of, if you had the desire.

But with the World Cup, you don’t win a cup of any sort as far as I can tell. Nor is it true to my knowledge that there’s a cup involved at any part of the process. So why is it called the World Cup?

The preceding also applies to the Ryder Cup, the football (aka soccer) cup, and any other cups that don’t seem to be cups at all.

I’ve wondered the same thing. The actual thing you win is actually called the “World Cup Trophy,” and seems to have always been a non-cup trophy sort of dealie.

The original trophy was a cup. The changed it to the globe in 1974.

The word “cup” itself has taken on the meaning of “a sports championship.” I doubt any of the winning players from the 1998 World Cup (France) even know where the trophy is or care. What matters is that they won the final game and are considered the winners of that tournament. Nobody was really playing to win the ugly gold club thing; they were playing for the honor of being the winner of the tournament. So the term “cup” gets transferred to the concept of winning, not just the trophy.

As it happens the tournament took on the name of the original trophy, but the name now symbolizes the EVENT, not the trophy.

You left out the most important part. It was changed because when Brazil won for the third time they were entitled to keep the original trophy (which was since stolen and lost). The new cup was done as a design by committee.