Tête à Toto

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example of Toto (as he appears in the school game)

The tête à Toto is a French typographical design and children's game, well known to French schoolchildren, depicted to the right. It consists of the equation "0+0=0", written with the first two "0"s for eyes, the "+" for a nose, the "=" for a mouth, and the final "0" surrounding, as a stylized face or skull.

It is drawn while reciting:

Zéro plus zéro égale
la tête à Toto

Translated:

Zero plus zero equals
the head of Toto (Toto's head)

As his head equals zero, it means that his intelligence is null.

The name, or character, of Toto is a common stock character in French culture; he is the generic child used in jokes ("Toto asks his mother..."). See Blague de Toto (Toto joke).

Other uses[edit]

  • A circumlocution for "zero"
  • In prostitution, slang for a prostitute – or rather, prospective prostitute – who has not had a single client (i.e., who has had zero clients).[1]

See also[edit]

  • Henohenomoheji, similar typographical face in Japanese
  • Mondgesicht, similar typographical face in German, consisting of "Punkt, Punkt, Komma, Strich": . . , –

References[edit]

  1. ^ Merle, Pierre (2005). Mots de passe : dictionnaire de l'argot de la prostitution (in French). Lausanne: Éditions Favre. p. 123. ISBN 2-8289-0835-6.