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See also: Zilch
Probably from Joe Zilch, a placeholder name (compare John Doe) used by Nunnally Johnson in his column in the Brooklyn Daily Eagle from 1923; in turn from Joe Zilch, an unseen character referenced in comedian Frank Tinney's stage routine. Compare the rare German surname Zilch.
- (Received Pronunciation, General American) enPR: zĭlch, IPA(key): /zɪlt͡ʃ/
Audio (AU) (file) Audio (UK) (file)
- Rhymes: -ɪltʃ
zilch (countable and uncountable, plural zilches)
- (countable, informal, archaic) A nobody: a person who is worthless in importance or character.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:nonentity
- 1931 July, Ballyhoo, Vol. I, No. 1, p. 1:
- President Henry P. Zilch. Chairman of the Board Charles D. Zilch. Treasurer Otto Zilch.
- 1932 February, Ballyhoo, Vol. II, No. 1:
- Bernarr MacZilch [for Bernarr Macfadden] and His Dynamic-Hooey System... The WEAKLING Who Became 'The World's Most Perfect Ass!'
- 1940, Lester V. Berrey & al., The American Thesaurus of Slang, §184:
- Dinglegoofer, Mr. Zilch, indefinite nicknames.
- (uncountable, informal) Nothing, zero.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:nothing
- Her search for decent home-made winter clothes came up with zilch, so she had to get imported stuff.
- 1991, Judith Arnold, One Good Turn, page 104:
- "If the homeless wind up with zilch," James retorted, veiling his indignation behind a malevolent smile, "it's because they deserve zilch."
zilch (not comparable)
- (informal, chiefly US) No, zero, non-existent.
- 1966, University of South Dakota, Current Slang:
- Zilch, adj. Nothing, zero...
- 1977 February 3, The Telegraph, page 14:
- ...gorgeous faces but zilch talent...
zilch (third-person singular simple present zilches, present participle zilching, simple past and past participle zilched)
- (informal, US sports) To cause to score nothing, to thoroughly defeat.
- 1969, University of South Dakota, Current Slang:
- We zilched them on that rubber.
- 1990 April 2, USA Today, page 20:
- My favorite film of 1989 got zilched... That would be Field of Dreams.
- Douglas Harper (2001–2023), “zilch”, in Online Etymology Dictionary.
- “zilch, n. (and adj.).”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1986.
- “zilch, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, 1993.
- ^ Nancy Friedman (August 30, 2021) "Word of the week: Zilch" Fritinancy
- English 1-syllable words
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- Rhymes:English/ɪltʃ/1 syllable
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- English informal terms
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