There seems to be a rise these days in ladies (sorry to be gender specific here but it’s true) going to bingo.  It’s now a proper night out.  Gone are the days of the musty church hall now they are next to restaurants on retail estates and the ladies have their own dabbers (that’s the little pens that you mark your cards with for those of you who don’t know).

By far my favourite part of bingo is the lingo – it’s quintessentially British. Most are cockney rhyming slang but not all.  I knew of a few but I looked these up for the purposes of this post, here are my favourites for your delectation:

Four “Knock at the door”

Eight “Garden Gate”

Eleven “Legs eleven”

Seventeen “Dancing Queen” (A reference to the Abba song)

Twenty Two “Two little ducks” (The 2’s look like ducks)

Twenty Eight “Two and eight, in a state”

Twenty Nine “Rise and shine”

Thirty one “Get up and run”

Thirty Three ” All the threes / Fish chips and peas”

Fifty Two “Danny La Rue”

Fifty Four “Man at the door”

Fifty Five “Musty Hive”

Sixty “Grandma’s getting frisky”

Sixty Six “Clickety-click”

Sixty Nine “a meal for two” (let’s not go there)

Seventy Six “Was she worth it” This refers to the pre-decimal price of a marriage licence in Britain, 7/6d. The players shout back “Every Penny”

Eighty Eight “Two fat ladies” (due to the shape – my personal favourite)

But for those of us that don’t get to go out often or would rather just not get dressed to leave the house you can play online.  In fact it’s probably worth it not to have to go through all the cockney rhyming slang and to sit with “two fat ladies” getting over excited about a “full house” – they aren’t called bingo wings for nothing, you know! Why not grab a glass of wine, fire up the laptop and play online instead.

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