15+ Slang Words For Zero (And Other Related Words)

Zero may just be a number but culture has assigned it with a lot of meaning. Zero’s meaning is tweaked here and there making it one of the most flexible numbers out there. More than just being a number, it is used in a variety of situations and contexts.

We have gathered a list of slang words that are used to refer to or related to zero. Here they are.

Slang Words for Zero (in Alphabetical Order)

Blank Slate 


  • (Noun) This is one’s psychological state of emptiness to be filled with capacities for good and evil, otherwise known as tabula rasa. This was first introduced by French philosopher John Locke in the 15th century.
  • Example: You can believe someone to be naturally good or evil. But you should always start with a blank slate with them.

Double or nothing


  • (Idiom) A gambling game that doubles the wins or doubles the losses. This was popularized to mainstream culture through the talking parrot in the Christmas movie, “Home Alone 3”. 
  • Example: Stakes have gone higher as the horse race betters were playing double or nothing.

Empty pockets


  • (Idiom) Without a single penny or cash at hand.
  • Example: Children with empty pockets can go to the soup kitchen for a hot meal.

Ground zero


  • (Idiom) The actual site of where an event happened/started.
  • Example: Reporters are at the nearest ground zero to deliver public reports of volcano eruptions, earthquakes, bombings, among others.



  • (Noun) An expression of nothingness.
  • Example: I have nothing to offer but my sincere love.

Patient Zero


  • (Noun) The first person to be diagnosed with an infection or illness especially when highly viral or contagious.
  • Example: COVID19’s patient zero was reported to be a Chinese national but Chinese authorities silenced the early claims.

Sub Zero


  • (Measurement) A temperature lower than zero degrees Fahrenheit or an extremely cold temperature.
  • Example: Creepy underwater creatures live sub zero in the ocean.

Zero Dark Thirty 


  • (Idiom) This is a military slang that points out thirty minutes exactly after 12 midnight. The phrase is also popularized by the 2012 movie of the same name.
  • Example: Person 1: Why are you so grumpy? We are watching meteor showers. Person 2: It’s zero dark thirty, am I supposed to be happy out here in the cold instead of being in bed?

Zero Effort


  • (Idiom) A slang term for being manageable without putting in a lot of effort
  • Example: Because both of his parents are biology professors, the dissection experiment was zero effort for him.

Zero fucks given


  • (Idiom) A vulgar slang phrase for not caring at all
  • Example: Since he was abusive, I have zero fucks given to my biological father.

Zero in


  • (Verb) A slang term for sparing pure and undivided attention
  • Example: If only he had zeroed in on studying over that party lifestyle he preferred, he would have been able go to a good college.

Zero out


  • (Verb) Complete removal or extraction
  • Example: The former renter cleanly zeroed out the apartment so I had no problem cleaning after them. 

Zero sum game


  • (Idiom) Someone’s win is equal to someone’s loss and vice versa.
  • Example: Cringeworthy rom-coms always have that zero sum game between the female protagonist and two male love interests.

Zero to hero


  • (Idiom) A slang term for someone who came from the very bottom then made his way to the top. This is popularized by the 1997 Disney animated film, “Hercules”.
  • Example: Hercules went from a poor and skinny nobody to a muscular and Olympian hero. Now that is a zero to hero.

Zero tolerance


  • (Idiom) A slang term that punishes someone for every mistake done whatever the reason or story may be behind it. It gives the worst kind of punishment.
  • Example: The editor has zero tolerance for writers who submit their work late. Therefore, the writer has to work over time.

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