O is for 00

When I learnt to say the numbers in English I was surprised that zero can be letter O. The same symbols mean different things in different countries sometimes.

I can imagine if I say I need to go the nil/zero room some might not understand. In Mongolia and Russia toilet signs were 00 in 19th century. Since then in Mongolia the phrase ‘going to the nil’ means ‘spending a penny’ in UK. In other words it means going to toilet. Another idiomatic traditional Mongolian phrase is ‘to see a horse.’ Basically the nomadic lifestyle meant horses were and still are used as transport. So horses need to be checked regularly to see if they are nearby.

 

 

Horse breeding ranch, Grant Co., Oregon (LOC)


One Response

  1. Anne Mackle says:

    This is funny, imagine saying here you need to go to the zero room! Differences are always good to know.

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