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See also: Noughties


Alternative forms[edit]


nought (zero) +‎ -ies (plural of -y), in imitation of the names of other decades (twenties, thirties, etc)



noughties pl (plural only)

  1. (sometimes capitalized) The decade consisting of the last year of the previous century and the first nine years of the next: from 1900 to 1909, 2000 to 2009, etc.
    • 1914, Amherst College, “Amherst graduates' quarterly”, in (Please provide the book title or journal name), volume 4, page 6:
      Our readers — and contributors — are apt to elect a good deal according to years. The seventies and eighties, we may suppose, are concerned for the large educational and cultural interests of their Alma Mater; the nineties are deep in the practical and business activities; the noughties are not naughty, but still young enough to sport a fantastic costume at reunion and let the college wag as it will; the oneties are the really wise as to what the college ought to be, especially on its athletic side, but as contributors modest.
    • 1933, Poetry: A Magazine of Verse, volume 43, Chicago, page 36:
      I doubt if any modern poet can boast of as loud acclaim or as liberal reward as Longfellow received for Evangeline or Tennyson for the Idylls, but his fate today is somewhat kinder than that of Poe or Whitman, and much gentler than the stony dole dealt out to poets in the nineties and noughties.
    • 1934, Parker Morell, Diamond Jim: The Life and Times of James Buchanan Brady, page 219:
      During the Naughty Noughties, Jim was worth between ten and twelve million dollars and his income was more than even he could reasonably spend.
    • 1966, Jean Gould, Modern American playwrights, page 30:
      Every young woman with "advanced" ideas must live in Paris during the decade of the "noughties," as they were dubbed by some wit.
    • 2009 [2006], Naomi Rosh White, “Tertiary education in the noughties: the student perspective”, in Malcolm Tight, editor, The Routledge international handbook of higher education:
    • 2008, Cunningham, Gleeson, Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny, Painting in the noughties: 21st century British and Irish abstract painting:
    • 2009, Brenda Polan, Roger Tredre, The Great Fashion Designers, page 237:
      An obsession with designer handbags, at ever-spiralling prices, became a phenomenon of the mid-noughties, driven principally by Louis Vuitton.
    • 2021 November 5, Jess Cartner-Morley, “The noughties are back – but do they warrant a revival?”, in The Guardian[1]:
      The noughties are the bridge between the pre-internet era, and the life we live now.

Usage notes[edit]

  • Sometimes avoided because it is a homophone with naughties; it is even sometimes spelled Naughties.
  • Less precise phrasing such as at the turn of the century or in the early years of the century is more common.
  • In context, as during that decade or in the immediately following years, or in a list of decades, the 1900s/nineteen-hundreds and 2000s is commonly used, but this becomes ambiguous in a broader context, as the 1900s more commonly means the entire century, and the 2000s may mean the entire millennium.
  • The first decade of the twentieth century is frequently referred to as the Edwardian era in the UK, as it coincides very closely with the reign of King Edward VII.


Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]