The number 0


zero


A number with no value and yet the word ZERO is not enough. Let’s take a look at some of the situations where this number takes a different name.

  • Think football results (or other sports, but not tennis or badminton), such as 3 – 0. Here, we speak it as NIL however it’s also correct to say ZERO
  • For telephone numbers and room numbers, OH (pronounced like the letter O) is commonly used. Again, it’s just fine to say ZERO
  • Tennis and badminton, the number is spoken as LOVE. That’s right, LOVE. For a brief history of tennis and LOVE, click here
  • A slang term for the number 0 is ZILCH; it can also mean nothing. For example: “Did you buy any souvenirs while on holiday?” “ZILCH!”
  • When the O comes before a point, such as 0.24, some people still speak it as NOUGHT (also spelled NAUGHT). I don’t hear it so much nowadays, as most simply say ZERO or OH

I’m curious. Do have so many names for this number in your language? Are they used in the same way? Tell me about it.

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