The list below shows the nickname of each bingo number with variants. Remember that no list is definitive and some nicknames may not make sense. If you are planning to make up a list of nicknames for use in a bingo hall or at home, choose the ones that most appeal to you. If you know of others to add, please email firstname.lastname@example.org or use this online form.
Bingo play using nicknames persisted in British Bingo halls until faster computer draws replaced air-blown balls. This is a way of announcing or repeating the Bingo number drawn in a humorous way. In a crowded, noisy room, it also helps to confirm the number called.
The bingo game starts with the traditional call to attention: "Eyes Down".
See below for some nickname explanations.
1.... Kelly's eye - Buttered scone - At the beginning - Little Jimmy - Nelson's column - B1 Baby of bingo - First on the board - Number Ace - Son of a gun
2.... One little duck - Baby's done it - Doctor who - Me and you - Little boy blue - Home alone - Peek a boo
3.... Dearie me - I'm free - Debbie McGee - You and me - Goodness me - One little flea - Cup of tea - Monkey on the tree
4.... The one next door - On the floor - Knock at the door - B4 Crowd says "and after" - Bobby Moore - Shut the door
5.... Man alive - Jack's alive - One little snake
6.... Tom Mix - Tom's tricks - Chopsticks - In a fix
7.... Lucky seven - God's in heaven - One little crutch - David Beckham - One hockey stick - A slice of heaven
8.... Garden gate - Golden gate - At the gate - Harry Tate - One fat lady - She's always late - Sexy Kate - Is she in yet - Wow, I could have had a B8 (USA)
9.... Doctor's orders - Dinner time
10.. Downing street - Cock and hen (rhyming) - Uncle Ben (rhyming) - A big fat hen - King blairs den
11.. Legs eleven - Legs - they're lovely - Kelly's legs number eleven - Chicken legs - Skinny legs
12.. One dozen - One and two - a dozen - Monkey's cousin (rhymes with "a dozen") - One doz' if one can
13.. Unlucky for some - Devil's number - Bakers dozen
14.. Valentines day - Tender - Pork chops (USA)
15.. Rugby team - Young and keen - Yet to be kissed
16.. Sweet sixteen - She’s lovely - Never been kissed
17.. Often been kissed - Over-ripe - Old Ireland - Dancing queen - The age to catch ‘em - Posh and Becks
18.. Key of the door - Now you can vote - Coming of age
19.. Goodbye teens - Cuervo gold (USA)
20.. One score - Getting plenty - Blind 20
21.. Royal salute - Key of the door - If only I was.. - Just my age - At 21 watch your son
22.. Quack quack - Two little ducks (suggesting the necks of two swans) - Ducks on a pond - Dinky doo - All the twos - Bishop Desmond - Put your 22's on - Too[t] too[t] (train whistle)
23.. A duck and a flea - Thee and me - The Lord's my shepherd (based on 23rd Psalm) - A duck on a tree - Dr. Pepper (USA)
24.. Two dozen - Did you score? - Do you want some more?
25.. Duck and dive - At 25, wish to have wife
26.. Bed and breakfast (traditional price was 2 shillings 6 pence) - Half a crown (equivalent to 2 shillings 6 pence) - Pick and mix
27.. Little duck with a crutch - Gateway to heaven - Ugly ball (USA)
28.. In a state - The old brags - Over weight - Duck & its mate
29.. You’re doing fine - In your prime - Rise and shine
30.. Burlington Bertie - Dirty Gertie - Speed limit (in built-up area - UK) - Blind 30 - Flirty thirty - Your face is dirty - Tomato ball (USA)
31.. Get up and run
32.. Buckle my Shoe
33.. Dirty knees - All the feathers - All the threes - Gertie Lee - Two little fleas - Sherwood forest (all the trees)
34.. Ask for more
35.. Jump and jive - Flirty wives
36.. Three dozen - Perfect (as in 36-24-36) - Yardstick... he wishes! (USA)
37.. A flea in heaven - More than eleven
38.. Christmas cake
39.. Those famous steps - All the steps - Jack Benny
40.. Two score - Life begins at - Blind 40 - Naughty 40 - Mary (USA)
41.. Life’s begun - Time for fun
42.. That famous street in Manhattan - Whinny the Poo
43.. Down on your knees
44.. Droopy drawers - All the fours - Open two doors - Magnum (USA)
45.. Halfway house - Halfway there - Cowboy's friend - Colt (USA)
46.. Up to tricks
47.. Four and seven
48.. Four dozen
49.. PC (Police Constable) - Copper - Nick nick - Rise and shine
50.. Bulls eye - Bung hole - Blind 50 - Half a century - Snow White's number (five-oh - five-oh..) - Hawaii five O, Hawaii (USA)
51.. I love my mum - Tweak of the thumb - The Highland Div[ision] - President's salute
52.. Weeks in a year - The Lowland Div[ision] - Danny La Rue - Pack 'o cards - Pickup (USA)
53.. Stuck in the tree - The Welsh Div[ision] - The joker
54.. Clean the floor - House of bamboo (famous song)
55.. Snakes alive - All the fives - Double nickels - Give us fives - Bunch of fives
56.. Was she worth it?
57.. Heinz varieties - All the beans (Heinz 57 varieties of canned beans)
58.. Make them wait - Choo choo Thomas
59.. Brighton line (engine 59 or it took 59 mins to go from London to Brighton)
60.. Three score - Blind 60 - Five dozen
61.. Bakers bun
62.. Tickety boo - Turn on the screw
63.. Tickle me - Home ball (USA)
64.. The Beatles number - Red raw
65.. Old age pension - Stop work (retirement age)
66.. Clickety click - All the sixes - Quack quack (USA)
67.. Made in heaven - Argumentative number
68.. Saving grace - Check your weight
69.. The same both ways - Your place or mine? - Any way up - Either way up - Any way round - Meal for two - The French connection - Yum yum - Happy meal (USA)
70.. Three score and ten - Blind 70 - Big O (USA)
71.. Bang on the drum - Lucky one
72.. A crutch and a duck - Six dozen - Par for the course (golf) - Lucky two
73.. Crutch with a flea - Queen B - Under the tree - Lucky three
74.. Candy store - Grandmamma of Bingo - Lucky four
75.. Strive and strive - Big Daddy - Granddaddy of Bingo - Lucky five
76.. Trombones - Seven 'n' six - was she worth it? - Lucky six
77.. Sunset strip - All the sevens - Two little crutches - The double hockey stick - Lucky seven
78.. Heavens gate - Lucky eight
79.. One more time - Lucky nine
80.. Gandhi's breakfast - Blind 80 - Eight and blank - There you go matey
81.. Fat lady and a little wee - Stop and run - Corner shot
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 - Wobbly wobbly - All the eights
89.. Nearly there - All but one
90.. Top of the shop - Top of the house - Blind 90 - As far as we go - End of the line
Explanations of some nicknames:
1 Kelly's eye: In reference to the one-eyed Australian bushranger gangster Ned Kelly. (Note: apparently this explanation is incorrect. A viewer from Australia sent this message: "Ned Kelly didn't have one eye! He didn't even lose an eye in the shoot out at Glenrowan. And when he was wearing his helmet, you couldn't even see his eyes through the slot." But another Australian viewer sent this explanation: "The reason for "Kellys eye" may have been referring to Ned Kelly's helmet, which had one large slot for his eyes that looked like one eye.")
2 One little duck: The shape looks a bit like a swan.
3 One little flea: Looks a bit like a flea.
7 One little crutch: Looks like a crutch.
8 One fat lady: Resembles the two halves of a large lady.
9 Doctor's orders: A pill known as Number 9 was a laxative given out by army doctors in Britain. Apparently in the second world war in Britain doctors wrote on sick notes a 9 pm curfew, thus if patients were found out of their homes after that time they were violating their sick note. (Provided by a visitor)
The curfew story's not true. In the Great War, however, there was such a thing as a "number nine" pill, that was freely prescribed for virtually everything. (Provided by another visitor)
10 Downing street: UK Prime Minister's address, 10 Downing Street.
12 Royal salute: As in, a 21-gun salute for a Royal birthday or other celebration.
13 Bakers Dozen: Bakers in olden times used to make one extra piece of bread/cookie etc to the dozen ordered by a customer so they could do a taste test before it was sold to the customer, hence the phrase.
17 Dancing queen: From the Abba song of the same name. Over-ripe: Opposite of tender; 14 and 17 straddle 16 which is sweet!
23 Lord's My Shepherd: From Psalm 23.
26 Bed and breakfast: Traditionally the cost of a nights' lodgings was 2 shillings sixpence, or two and six.
26 Half a crown: Equivalent to 2'6d. Or two and six.
39 The famous steps; all the steps: From the 1935 Hitchcock film
59 The Brighton Line: The London-Brighton service was no. 59.
65 Old age pension: 'Pension' age in the UK is at the age of 65.
76 Seven 'n' six - was she worth it?: The price of the marrige licence, seven shillings and six pence.
A marriage license may have been 7/6 (37.5p in new money) once upon a time, but 7/6 was more recently the cost of a "short time" with a lady of negotiable affection.... (Provided by a visitor)
78 Heavens gate: it rhymes: heaven-seven, gate-eight.
80 Gandhi's breakfast: in reference to Ghandi’s famous peace protest, in which he abstained from food - Imagine him sitting crosslegged with a big empty plate in front of him, looking from above. Another suggested explanation: ate (8) nothing (0).
81 Corner shot: Generally used in Military clubs tambola aka housie in India; origin unknown.
83 Ethel's Ear: Fat lady beside ear-shaped three.
(Above explanations are courtesy of visitors' feedback and bbc.co.uk)
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