'love' is 'zero' Why?

Explain, please, the etymology of the word [color=red]‘love’ standing for [color=red]‘zero’ score in tennis.
Thank you.

Hi Abeille,

Love is really a distortion of French word oeuf, which means egg, as in goose egg. Love is definitely a kinder way of referring to zero point than goose eggs.


Hi!I have listened to a song with the name “2+1=0” I think that’s the best Explanation!
2Boys fall in love with 1girl!And the result is zero

Hello guys,
Well, as I’m a keen in tennis player I heard a stroy which is there was a king -I think- was playing tennis with his wife who he loved so much, and she didn’t know how to play it well so, she couldn’t get any points but zero. He felt sorry for her :cry: and as he didn’t want to make her sad, he was saying love everytime he got new point so it was this way: 15/ love insted of 15/ zero. :wink:

Aha!So that’s it!Yeah you’re right!I’m very happy when receive your answer!thanks!have a nice day!

[color=brown]Oh! Thank you all very much!
The answers are interesting and rather funny :slight_smile:
Think, when some more people join this story session in such a way there would be an anthology of ingenuity and humour!
I’m eager to see more explanations. Will much appreciate all of your answers, my dear friends!

As Infin1ty said, “love” in tennis is a distortion of the French term “l’oeuf”, which means “the egg”, because a zero is shaped like an egg.

Below is an extract from the article in Wikipedia as regards any ‘‘eggs’’ standing for ‘‘love’’ and meaning ‘‘zero’’, still it doesn’t reveal a half of that secret.

[color=olive]There is no definitive origin for the tennis score name for 0, “love”. It first occurred in English, is of comparatively recent (albeit inexactly dated) origin, and is not used in other languages. The most commonly believed hypothesis is that it is derived from English speakers mis-hearing the French “l’œuf”, “the egg”, which was the name for a score of zero used in French, because the symbol for a zero used on the scoreboard was an elliptical zero symbol, which visually resembled an egg. There is tangential support for this in the use of “duck” as the name for a score of zero in cricket, which name derives from the full name “the duck’s egg” for that score, and which is still called “the duck” by some cricketers even now.
A name related to the “duck egg” in cricket is the “goose egg” in baseball, a name whose origin is a description in The New York Times of 1886 where the journalist states that “the New York players presented the Boston men with nine unpalatable goose eggs”, i.e. nine scores of zero.
However, the “l’oeuf” hypothesis has several problems, not the least of which is that in court tennis the score was not placed upon a scoreboard, and there is scant evidence that the French ever used “l’oeuf” as the name for a zero score in the first place, that name being as anecdotal as the hypothesis that “love” is then derived from it. (Jacob Bernoulli, for example, in his Letter to a Friend, used “à but” to describe the initial zero-zero score in court tennis, which in English is “love-all”.) Some alternative hypotheses have similar problems. For example: The assertion that “love” comes from the Scots word “luff”, meaning “nothing”, falls at the first hurdle, because there is no authoritative evidence that there has ever been any such word in Scots in the first place.

Here’s the link - en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Names_for_ … _.22nil.22