What would be a word for a zero score in sports in BrE/ AmE?

Suppose, in a game of baseball or football (soccer), a team (Team A) scores one point, but its opponent (Team B) scores none, so Team A wins. In my experience, in the US, one would usually say "Team A beat Team B one to nothing", and the score would be written "Team A 1, Team B 0". In the UK, on the other hand, one would usually say "Team A beat Team B one - nil", and the score would be written "Team A 1 - 0 Team B". Saying "zero" for 0 when giving scores is, I believe, very rare in both the US and the UK. Do other readers find these observations to be true or mostly true?


1 Answer 1


A Baseball score of zero, when spoken in the US, is never "nil" or "nought," as in other sports in the UK. It may be "zero" or "nothing," the latter probably being more common, but I have routinely heard both, and I am a big baseball fan. Additionally, this is known as a "shutout" in baseball when one of the teams fails to score completely.

  • 1
    also, zip, as in 5-zip (5 to nothing) May 24, 2018 at 5:44
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    "Zip" is frequent in US sports talk, but decidedly more informal than "nothing", or "no score".
    – tautophile
    May 24, 2018 at 15:23

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