I have been reading answers to this question. Someone has written this phrase:

In the late 90s/early 00s, Java became an extremely popular language for server-side business applications

I know we read 90s as nineties. But I am not able to read the bold text above. How do we pronounce it? Something like zero zero iz?

  • 1
    If you were to read it as separate digits, it would be "zero zeroez" - the final "zeroez" is just one syllable.
    – stangdon
    May 2, 2017 at 11:37

1 Answer 1


Contextually, whenever decades are referred to by their last two digits, they refer to decades that have occurred in the last 100 years. As you've already noted, 90s is read as "nineties", 80s is read as "eighties" and so on. However, unlike those decades, there isn't a clear consensus as to what to call the 00s.

Some of the terms used include the "noughties" (deriving from the British name for the digit 0), "aughts" (an archaic word meaning "nothing at all", referencing the double 00s) as well as "two thousands" (deriving from the fact years from 2000-2009 were often referred to as "two thousand and number").

Personally I read it as "two thousands", but as far as I know there's no clear accepted standard.

  • Interesting to know there is not a consensus about it even among the native English speakers. I thought it is something too simple and evident for "others". Thank you for the useful feedback. May 2, 2017 at 6:46
  • @BillalBEGUERADJ As a matter of interest, how are they saying it in French? Les (années) soixantes...(années) quatre-vingts-dix, et ...?
    – WS2
    May 2, 2017 at 8:09
  • The position is not much easier for the decade we are currently in. Will we, looking back, talk of "the tens", "the teens", or what?
    – WS2
    May 2, 2017 at 8:11
  • No, you should write Les années soixante because numeral adjectives do not take s . We also write Les années quatre-vingt [but there are situations where you must write quatre-vingtss ... better to ping me in a chatroom otherwise people will flag our comments as they are not related to English (I am not French, I am Algerian, moved to France when I was 30 years old) @WS2 May 2, 2017 at 8:23
  • 1
    @WS2 I forgot about it, sorry, but in French we do not reason the same way as in English. In French we say simply Les années deux milles to refer to 00s. May 2, 2017 at 14:24

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