View Full Version : why is it called "love"?

09-10-2004, 11:46 AM
I've been playing tennis for some time but I never actually bothered to ask or find out why "0" is called "love," just thinking that's the way it is. Can someone explain it to me? Thanks.

09-10-2004, 12:58 PM
I believe it comes from the French word "l'oeuf", meaning "the egg".

09-10-2004, 01:33 PM
The egg? What does that have to do with tennis??

James Brown
09-10-2004, 01:37 PM
degree, thats a joke from a movie called tadpole.,,,hehehe

Bungalo Bill
09-10-2004, 01:54 PM
The origin of the term "Love" is not known. There are several explanations on it but on eof the more popular explanations is that the term "Love" was derived from the French "l"oeuf", the egg, meaning nothing.

Another possible explanation and one that I tend to believe since the English had a lot of influence in modern tennis is the term "love" came from the English phrase "neither for love nor for money", indicating nothing.

The term "Deuce" we do know is a corruption of the word deux (meaning two consecutive exchanges needed to win).

The scoring system of 15, 30, 40 origin is also not known but there are some possible explanations on how this wacky scoring system came about. The scoring system does have medevil and French roots.

Some believe this scoring system came from the presence of a clock face at the tennis court. A quarter move of the appropriate hand on the clock was made after each rest, with the score being called as 15, 30, or 45. When the the hand was moved to 60, this was the game.

No one knows for sure. But the term deuce we do know how that came about.

09-10-2004, 02:12 PM
LOL thanks James..I missed the joke on that one :)

09-10-2004, 02:18 PM
From what I understand...

In medieval France, the number that everything revolved around was 60 - like how we use 100. So the scoring of tennis came from the idea that each point would be worth 15 accumulating up to 60 when the game would be one. The reason why it's 40 and not 45 is because it's just easier to say 40 (the other two are only one word 15 30).

That's one theory at least.

09-10-2004, 02:31 PM
I read on some website before that whoever had played with zero points had "love" for the game.

Jerry Seinfeld
09-11-2004, 04:03 AM
Here's my theory...

Once upon a time on grass courts in England a young gentleman and his lady went to the courts to play a game of tennis. This was back when the scoring was single points, 1...2...3...etcetera. The lady was far superior at the game than her gentleman suitor and after the first 15 points were played she needed a water break and said "That's 15 love, let's take a break."

After the break the couple stepped back onto the court and the lady continued pounding winners past the handsome, though unathletic and uncoordinated suitor. Spectators gathered at the site of a female athlete trouncing a male. After 15 more consecutive points the lady said "That's 30 love, let's take another break."

They returned to the court and after the next ten points were played the gentleman who was now thoroughly embarrassed said "that's 40 love...I've had enough." The lady suggested they play one final point, winner take all. They did. She won. The fans applauded. A beginnings of a new tennis scoring system was born.

09-11-2004, 04:16 AM
I like your theory Jerry...sounds logical to me, especially the woman beating her loved one!