In truth, there aren’t many people around the world who have never heard of bingo. Whatever name you call it, the concept doesn’t change too much wherever you are on the planet. Young children use it the world over to learn different languages, and adults young and old alike play in bingo halls and online as recreation – also play Starburst.
A bonus of bingo is that it also offers you the very real possibility of winning some cash prizes. Many people have won hefty sums of money playing bingo. It’s not just fun, it can be lucrative too.
Potential problems for newbies
Having said this, if you’re a bingo rookie, the jargon called out by the bingo caller can be confusing. This is true both for playing in-house at a bingo hall, and online too. In a game where you have to be attentive to a series of numbers being called out, if the numbers have different names, it can be frustrating not to understand the nicknames.
After all, if you’re not quick enough, someone will reach bingo before you and that prize could have been yours!
Some famous names for bingo numbers
It’s worth having a look at bingo number lists as the nicknames aren’t always that self-explanatory.
Kelly’s eye – Number 1. Some people say that this refers to the slit in Ned Kelly’s helmet.
One little duck – means the number 2.
Cup of tea – means the number 3.
Knock at the door – means the number 4.
Man alive – means the number 5.
Half a dozen – means the number 6.
Lucky for some – means the number 7.
Garden gate – means the number 8.
Brighton line / Doctor’s orders – mean the number 9. The former is simple Cockney rhyming slang, and the latter is a reference to a laxative prescribed by doctors to British soldiers in WWII.
Big Ben – means the number 10.
So that’s the important part done, right? Once you’ve got one to ten sorted, the rest should just fall into place. Shouldn’t they?
Not exactly. As each number has a story, there are some more you can learn. The following are the most common (and bemusing) ones.
Valentine’s Day – is the number 14
Young and keen – is the number 15
Dancing Queen – is the number 17
Key to the door / Royal salute – both can mean the number 21
The Lord is my shepherd – is the number 23
Duck and a crutch – is the number 27
Buckle my shoe – is the number 32
Christmas cake – is the number 38
Steps – is the number 39
Down on your knees – is the number 43
PC – is the number 49
Here comes Herbie! – is the number 53
Shotts bus – is the number 56
Heinz varieties – is the number 57
Baker’s bun – is the number 61
Clickety click – is the number 66
Sunset strip – is the number 77
Gandhi’s breakfast – is the number 80
Two fat ladies – is the number 88
Top of the shop – is the number 90
For the comical stories behind the names of the numbers, you should study List of British bingo nicknames – Wikipedia. You’re guaranteed a laugh!