Where Did the Word “Score” Come From and What Does the Term Mean?

Scores are tallied to decide the winner of a game.

The word “tally” comes from “talea”, the Latin word for stick.

Scoring is the act of cutting notches or nicks onto that stick to keep track.

A stick was sometimes split down the middle so a creditor and debtor could keep an honest tally by notching transactions at the same time.

In sport, the side with the most scores or notches cut into a tally stick was the winner.

The outcome of a game is known as the “score”.

About Karen Hill

Karen Hill is a freelance writer, editor, and columnist. Born in New York, her work has appeared in the Examiner, Yahoo News, Buzzfeed, among others.

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