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THE INSIDE TRACK | NOW YOU KNOW

June 27, 1997|HOUSTON MITCHELL

Why are zero scores in tennis called "love"?

According to "The Encyclopedia of Modern Tennis," in France, a big, round zero on the tennis scoreboard looked like an egg and was, in fact, called an egg, which in French is l'oeuf.

When tennis became popular in this country, Americans copied the French and also called the zero score l'oeuf, but pronounced it "love."

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The phrase "The Real McCoy" got its start in the world of sports, according to the book "Ever Wonder Why?"

Kid McCoy, boxing's welterweight champion from 1890-1900, was such a popular fighter that crooked promoters would sometimes travel to small towns and try to pass off another fighter as McCoy to increase the size of the gate.

The problem of imitators became so severe that McCoy began billing himself as Kid "The Real" McCoy, and from that came the expression that is now applied to any genuine article.

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