I'm non-native English speaker and I found the expression "level the score" in dictionary was denoted as "British English". So I want to know if there is a counterpart in the US English.

  • 1
    Handicapping. – Elliott Frisch Dec 30 '16 at 5:48
  • Wouldn't handicapping be more like levelling the playing field? Or is this a regional thing? In Australian English to level the score is normally taken pretty literally, ie. one player or team has scored and the scores are now level. – dave Dec 30 '16 at 6:28
  • In Britain it can vary according to sport. In football, for example, whilst level the score is perfectly understood and sometimes used, the far more common expression is that United equalised against Arsenal in the 54th minute. An equaliser is a goal which levels the score. However equalise is less appropriate in sports like rugby and cricket. In either levelled the score would seem appropriate in unusual situations where the scores are exactly equal. – WS2 Dec 30 '16 at 9:34

In American English we use the term "even the score." There are many many examples of this revealed with a quick google search.

At no point in watching sports in the US would announcers or fans use the term level for two teams with the same score. More commonly, the teams are tied at 30, even at 30, or the score is 30 all.


"get even" is one phrase that comes to my mind.

However, this phrase has a negative feel about it since Cambridge Dictionary gives the meaning of this as "to punish someone who has done something bad to you by doing something equally bad to that person"

However, having said that, in a sport, if an opponent scores against you, it is "bad" against you in the context of sport. Right ?

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