We do not know exactly how long FC Barcelona has been known as 'Barça', for it was clearly an abbreviated form born out of oral tradition, and the earliest known appearance of the word in printed form was on 8 December 1921 in a cartoon history of the club that appeared in the Auca column in La Jornada Deportiva, the work of Jaume Passarell. But in five separate mentions by this artist, it was always rendered “Barsa” with a S.
Just under a year later, on 30 November 1922, we find the word spelled for the first time with a cedilla (ç) is it still is nowadays. This was on page 7 of the second issue of football magazine Xut!:
“The Barça players have been offered business cards by the board with their name and the champion club's crest in the top left corner.”
The text continues:
“Nogareda and Gimeno are getting more popular by the day. The proof is that Gimeno, who sees how hard Noga works, wants to take work away from him, better said, he wants to take his job. Cabot, who has a huge heart, has taken the youngster under his wing until the Barça accountant and secretary reach an agreement.”
From then on, the term became more and more frequent in the papers, and in 1927 there was even a magazine called “Barsa” (with an S), although the club itself never seemed to endorse the name in any kind of official capacity until until 1955, when the its launched its own weekly magazine “Barça”.
Two years later, a special anthem was composed on occasion of the opening of Camp Nou, which opened with the refrain: Barça! Barça! Barça!
For the club's platinum anniversary, famous artist Joan Miró included the term “Barça" in his official poster design, and then came perhaps the most defining moment of all in 1974 when the modern-day anthem was first performed, proclaiming that "we have a name that everyone knows:
Tenim un nom, el sap tothom:
Barça, Barça, Barça!
Nowadays, everyone knows that FC Barcelona is familiarly known as Barça. Foreigners who aren't quite ao much in the know as they might think they are will also use the term to speak of the city itself. No. Barça is the football club. And only the football club. The city? That's "Barna".