Most bingo phrases used in British bingo halls and in some online games are self explanatory but where not, we'll try to offer an explanation, at least as far as we are able! The following is a list of the most commonly used bingo sayings followed by a section devoted to a short description of the supposed meaning behind some of the more obscure pieces of bingo lingo!
1 Kelly's eye / At the beginning / Nelson's column
2 One little duck / Me and you
3 You and me / Cup of tea / One Little Flea
4 Knock at the door / B4 (and after)
5 Man alive
6 Tom's tricks / Tom Nix / Chopsticks
7 Lucky seven / God's in heaven
8 One Fat Lady / Golden gate
9 Doctor's orders
10 Tony's Den
11 Legs eleven
12 One dozen, One and two - a dozen, Monkey's cousin (rhymes with "a dozen")
13 Unlucky for some, Devil's number, Bakers dozen
14 Valentines day
15 Rugby team, Young and keen
16 Sweet sixteen / She's lovely / Never been kissed
17 Often been kissed / The age to catch 'em / Dancing Queen
18 Key of the door / Coming of age
19 Goodbye teens
20 Getting plenty / Blind 20
21 Key of the door
22 Two little ducks / All the twos
23 Thee and me / The Lord is my Shepherd
24 Two dozen
25 Duck and dive
26 Bed and breakfast / Half a crown / Pick and mix
27 Little duck with a crutch / Gateway to heaven
28 In a state / Over weight
29 You're doing fine
30 Burlington Bertie / Dirty Gertie / Speed limit / Flirty thirty / Blind 30
31 Get up and run
32 Buckle my Shoe
33 Dirty knees / All the threes / All the feathers / Two little fleas / Sherwood Forest
34 Ask for more
35 Jump and jive
36 Three dozen
37 A flea in heaven
38 Christmas cake
39 Those famous steps
40 Naughty Forty
41 Time for fun
42 That famous street in Manhattan / Whinny the Pooh
43 Down on your knees
44 Droopy drawers / All the fours
45 Halfway house / Halfway there
46 Up to tricks
47 Four and seven
48 Four dozen
49 PC (Police Constable) / Copper / Nick nick
50 Bulls eye / Blind 50 / Half a century
51 Tweak of the thumb
52 Weeks in a year / Danny La Rue
53 Stuck in the tree
54 Clean the floor
55 Snakes alive / All the fives
56 Was she worth it?
57 Heinz varieties
58 Make them wait / Choo choo Thomas
59 Brighton line
60 Three score / Blind 60 / Five dozen
61 Bakers bun
62 Tickety boo / Turn on the screw
63 Tickle me
64 Red raw / The Beatles number
65 Old age pension
66 Clickety click / All the sixes
67 Made in heaven / Argumentative number
68 Saving grace
69 The same both ways / your place or mine / Either way up / Meal for two
70 Three score and ten / Blind 70
71 Bang on the drum
72 A crutch and a duck / Six dozen / Par for the course
73 Crutch and a flea / Queen B
74 Candy store
75 Strive and strive
77 Sunset strip / All the sevens / Two little crutches
78 Heavens gate
79 One more time
80 Gandhi's breakfast / Blind 80 / Eight and blank
81 Fat lady and a little wee / Stop and run
82 Fat lady with a duck / Straight on through
83 Fat lady with a flea / Time for tea / Ethel's Ear
84 Seven dozen
85 Staying alive
86 Between the sticks
87 Fat lady with a crutch / Torquay in Devon
88 Two fat ladies / All the eights / Wobbly wobbly
89 Nearly there / All but one
90 Top of the shop / Top of the house / Blind 90 / End of the line
Meanings behind some of the more obscure bingo phrases
Many of the terms used in bingo are simply based upon rhyming slang, similar to the kind used by Cockney's in the East End of London England. For example, "Heaven's Gate" is 78, simple as that. You can make up your own if you like and there are many variations used around different bingo halls.
Equally simple to understand are the bingo terms based upon the shape of the numbers. For example 8 looks like a fat lady, hence 88 is "Two Fat ladies". Equally, 2 looks like the neck of a swan, so 22 is "Two Little Ducks", 7 is a little crutch, 3 is a flea and so on. Mixing two numbers you end up with things like 87 - "Fat Lady on Crutches"! Some of the other bingo sayings have these number shapes at their root, you just need to work backwards, for example, "Wobbly Wobbly" is 88...which is also "Two Fat Ladies"...getting there? ;o)
Others need more exmplaination:
1. Kelly's Eye: Seems to hark back to when a variation of bingo was a popularised British Army game - in fact, the only gambling game allowed by the army. I'm yet to see an explaination of who Kelly is or was...
9. Doctor's Orders: Another relic from the Army days. A pill known as Number 9 was a laxative given out by army doctors. Nice...
10. Tony's Den: This piece of bingo terminology changes depending on who the British Prime Minister is at the time. Number 10 Downing Street is the traditional residence of The British PM, and in the UK it is simply refered to as "Number 10" hence the easy association. At the moment the PM is Tony Blair, so therefore it is "Tony's Den".
17. Dancing Queen: From The ABBA Song, Dancing Queen. "You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen..."
23 The Lord Is My shepherd: Refers to Psalm 23 in The Bible.
26. Bed and Breakfast: The traditional price of Bed and Breakfast accomodation in the UK was 2 shillings and 6 pence which was always shortened to "2 and 6".
30. Burlington Bertie: Bingo slang crossing over into horse racing lingo! Burlington Bertie is odds of 100-30 on the racing circuit.
30. Speed Limit: The imposed vehicle speed limit in residential areas of the UK.
33. Sherwood Forest; Home of Robin Hood. 33 all the threes or all the 'trees'.
39. Those Famous Steps: From the classic espionage book / film "The 39 Steps".
49. PC etc.: PC refers to Police Constable. PC 49 was a well known cop show in ye olden days of British radio i the 40s and 50s. The show also made it into a few film and comic strip spin-offs, hence all the police references associated with this number.
50. Bulls Eye: This piece of bingo slang comes from the game of darts, which for those who do not know, is a popular game in the United Kingdom which entails throwing small, flighted darts at a circular board divided up into numbered segments. The centre of this board is typically a small, circular dot called the "Bull's Eye" which, if hit, is worth 50 points. Hence 50 = Bulls Eye.
52. Danny La Rue: Famous British drag artist.
57. Heinz Varieties: Heinz 57 is a popular variety of canned baked beans in the UK.
64. The Beatles Number: "When I get older losing my hair, many years from now..." based on the song "When I'm 64" by British pop group legends The Beatles.
65. Old age Pension: Traditional British minimum age for claiming a state pension (although now lowered to 60 for women).
69. ....: If you have to ask about ANY of these phrases then far be it for me to corrupt you!
72. Par for the course: Based on golfing terminology.
76. Trombones: Simply refers to the brass section musical piece "76 Trombones" typically heard at just about every single parade you'll come across.
77. Sunset Strip: Cult American TV show.
80. Gandhi's breakfast: Umm...probably something politically incorrect from 60's Britain. Two beans on a plate maybe? Heh, I'm yet to see it explained so make your own assumptions!