In tennis, love is a word that represents a score of zero, and has been used as such since the late 1800s. It's not perfectly clear how this usage of love came to be, but the most accepted theory is that those with zero points were still playing for the 'love of the game' despite their losing score.
According to the first theory, the term comes from the expression “to play for love”. More specifically, the phrase means that tennis was not played for money, but exclusively for the love of the game.
Origin of the Term Love in Tennis While the origin of the term “love” in tennis remains a bit of a mystery, there are two commonly shared ideas. The first, and less likely, would be that the term love is an adaptation of the French word l’oeuf, which translates to egg or the shape of a 0.
Tennis is a game that is dearly loved by many players and spectators. One theory suggests that people liked the game so much that they didn’t mind if they got a score of zero, because they played for the love of the game. So if they got zero points, they still had love. 3. The “Lof/ Love” Theory . The final possible origin of the term love is Dutch variation of the “playing for nothing but love” theory. The theory is that “love” comes from the Dutch word, “lof”.
When a match starts, the score is zero-zero; in the tennis world, that’s called “love all.” There are a couple of theories on why. One is that the number zero has an oval shape, just like an egg.
Why is it called love in tennis? At the beginning of the game, when both sides have no score, the game is love - love because in tennis , love means having a score of zero or nil. Others theorize that love arose from the French word for “egg,” l'oeuf, because a zero on a scoreboard resembles an egg.
It is commonly believed that a score of zero in tennis is called love because of a mispronunciation of the French word L'oeuf. L'oeuf means egg in French and is sometimes used as slang for zero....
Whoever scored 60 (4 points) first would win the game. However, instead of using “zero” the word “love” was used. Since, the word “love” comes from the French word l’oeuf, meaning egg which symbolizes nothing, it is assumed that “love” was used because it is represents zero.