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Why Borussia Dortmund are Called ‘BVB’

Written by on May 1, 2024

Highlights

  • Borussia Dortmund are one of the most famous clubs in Europe, with their adoring fan base being admired across the globe.
  • The club are commonly known as ‘BVB’ – with the three letters appearing prominently on the badge.
  • ‘BVB’ originates from the full German club title, which is ‘Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund.’



Borussia Dortmund are one of the most iconic clubs in European football. The German side can often be found towards the top of the Bundesliga table, although they haven’t lifted the trophy in over a decade now. Even despite their lack of success over recent years, the passionate fan-base are always loud and emotionally invested in their team’s fortunes.

Jurgen Klopp led the club to a Champions League final during their best era of the past two decades, while Edin Terzic now has the opportunity to repeat that feat this season, as only Paris Saint-Germain stand between Borussia Dortmund and the last two of Europe’s biggest competition.

Klopp’s team were beaten 2-1 by arch-rivals Bayern Munich in the 2013 final at Wembley Stadium in London. There could potentially be a repeat of that match as this year’s final will again be held at the England national team’s ground. Bayern will need to overcome 14-time winners Real Madrid if they are to meet their compatriots on June 1.


Terzic has the chance to go one better than Klopp and be only the second manager in the club’s long history to lift the Champions League trophy. Despite being one of Europe’s most famous clubs, there’s one notable detail about the side that’s often accepted without explanation: their curious nickname.

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Why Borussia Dortmund Are Known as BVB

The three letters feature on the club badge

Borussia Dortmund flags

Many fans will have noticed that Borussia Dortmund are known as ‘BVB’, with the three letters even appearing prominently on the German outfit’s badge in bold black letters. However, many football fans won’t have given a second thought to why that’s the case, as these letters aren’t a straightforward abbreviation of the club’s name.


According to the Bundesliga official website, the pronunciation of ‘BVB’ in German is ‘bay-fow-bay’. This shortened name comes from the full club title, which is ‘Ballspielverein Borussia 09 e.V. Dortmund.’

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To break this name down into English, it reads: ‘Ball game club – Borussia – 1909 – registered association – Dortmund’. The latter part of the name refers to the city the club is situated in, while the ’09’ section indicates the club was founded in 1909. These parts of the name are irrelevant when it comes to the ‘BVB’ moniker.

The parts to focus on are ‘Ballspielverein Borussia’, which is made up of four distinct German words. The former is a compound word which commonly appears in sports teams in the country to describe the nature of the game. In this case, Dortmund take part in a ball game. The confusion comes when the three separate words ‘Ball’, ‘spiel’ and ‘verein’ don’t all contribute to the overall title of ‘BVB’, otherwise it would be ‘BSVB’.


Instead, the two pre-existing words ‘Ballspiel’ and ‘verein’ are used for linguistic reasons, which explains the first two letters of the well-known name. The final part of this equation is ‘Borussia’ which stems from the Latin for the former German region of Prussia and was taken from a local brewery in Dortmund by the founders.

Borussia Dortmund Look to Make History

Another Wembley final could be on the cards

Kobel and Marcel Sabitzer celebrate

Few would have given Terzic and his players much hope of making it so far in the 2023-24 Champions League campaign. However, the Germans have reached the semi-final of Europe’s elite competition after completing a comeback against Atletico Madrid in the previous round. This came after they emerged from the ‘Group of Death’ earlier in the tournament, progressing from a group consisting of Paris Saint-Germain, AC Milan and Newcastle United.


Club legend Marco Reus may play fewer minutes in his twilight years, but it would be a remarkable moment to see the 34-year-old lift the iconic trophy over a decade after his last appearance in the final, during that heartbreaking loss against Bayern Munich in 2013.

The Yellow Wall is a huge part of the club’s history, with the passionate fans urging their team on to victory time and time again. There’s no doubt any travelling Dortmund fanbase for the final would be a sight to behold.

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Kylian Mbappe and his superstar teammates stand in the way of this dream becoming a reality, but it’s actually the German side that have the greater pedigree in European football after first winning the competition in 1997.


Emre Can will be the man to lift the famous trophy above his head should Terzic’s men go all the way and achieve glory against all odds. The ex-Liverpool midfielder was handed the armband by Reus, who stepped back from the responsibility due to his lack of playing time.

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