Ever wanted to read about the Bingo numbers and where their rhymes or nicknames come from? Well, today is your lucky day! Read on as we delve deeper into the meanings and origins of the most loved British Bingo number slang in the game.
Some numbers are easier to come up with nicknames for than others. A lot of them are names based purely on how they look. As we talk you through some of the most-used nicknames, see if you can see the correlations and shapes yourself!
Perhaps one of the most well-known Bingo phrases, we’re sure you’ve heard the call of “number 88 – Two Fat Ladies”. More often than not, this call has rubbed quite a few players up the wrong way, due to its somewhat critical description of two women. The number was given this name because it’s thought that it looks like a couple of curvy ladies that are sitting next to each other. With this in mind, you’d also think that an eight on its own would be “one fat lady” – but I guess we’ll leave that one for another day!
Another infamous slang term for a Bingo call is for the number 11, being known as “Legs 11” because – that’s right – it looks quite like a pair of legs. When this nickname is called out, it’ll often earn a cheer or wolf whistle from the patrons of the Bingo hall. However, in some places this is frowned upon and people are actually asked to leave if they react in this way. After all, Bingo is serious business for a lot of people!
Despite being currently known as “eight and blank”, the number has previously had a much stranger visual comparison. Bingo lovers used to image that the number 80 looked a lot like how the Indian independence-movement leader, Mahatma Gandhi, would have looked when he’d sit cross-legged on the floor with his dinner plate in front of him. Can’t say that we see it ourselves but we’ll take their word for it!
Other numbers get their names from rhyming slang, which also makes them that little bit easier to remember.
Abba’s 1976 hit song “Dancing Queen” is often used to illustrate the number 17. The caller will simply say “you are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only 17” before officially announcing the number. Drawing from chart topping classic, this phrase always gets a few smiles or laughs amongst the many poised players who fill the brick-and-mortar halls.
When it comes to the number 15, there are two different rhymes to choose from, at the caller’s discretion. They have the choice of: “young and keen, number 15” or “number 15, rugby team” – we guess it’s all down to who your audience is!
This phrase has little reason attached to it, other than the fact that it rhymes. The caller will declare “tweak of the thumb, 51” and each player with that number on their card will mark it off. Alternatively, they can announce the number with “I love you mum, 51”, if they want to win a few points with the ladies!
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