There are a couple of theories as to why we use the word “love” to mean 0 points in Tennis. Here are the two most convincing:

tennis

1) By far the most popular theory is that the word ‘love’ comes from the French word ‘l’oeuf’ which means egg. This is because the number 0 when written looks kind of like an egg.

2) Another theory is that the word love is used to mean no points because love for the game is the only reason a player with no points would continue playing. He loves tennis so much that he will continue, even though he is losing.

I personally like the egg story myself, but as Tennis is such an old game (it dates back to 12th century France) we can’t be sure.

The famous Wimbledon tournament is being held this week in England. To find out more about tennis, check out the official Wimbledon website here (photo credits; Wimbledon website).

Vocabulary

  • as to why = the reason why
  • kind of = a little (informal)
  • to date back to = originate (phrasal verb)