Bingo Lingo: Test Your Knowledge

What do Tom’s tricks, Kelly’s eye, and Tony’s den have in common?
As many old-school bingo players would know, they’re all bingo nicknames used in traditional, noisy bingo halls to clarify the number being called. But if you’re still trying to figure out who Tom, Kelly, and Tony are, you’re probably one of the new generation of online bingo players who have yet to experience the fun of bingo nicknames.
So what are bingo nicknames?
Each of the bingo numbers has one or more special rhymes or short descriptions. Some Bingo nicknames are derived from rhyming slang while others have historical references or describe the shapes of numbers. Kelly’s Eye, for example, refers to the number 1 and has been derived from the one-eyed Australian gangster, Ned Kelly. Tom’s Tricks, which refers to the number 6, and Tony’s Den, which refers to the number 10, are used simply because they rhyme.
Other interesting bingo nicknames
#11 – Chickens Legs
#22 – Bishop Desmond
#30 – Your Face is Dirty
#42 – Winnie the Pooh
#56 – Was She Worth it?
#69 – Your Place or Mine?
#80 – Gandhi’s Breakfast
#87 – Fat Lady with a Cane
#88 – Two Fat Ladies
Test your knowledge of bingo nicknames by taking this quiz. Even if you don’t get a perfect score, you’ll get to experience some of the fun of the good ol’ days of bingo halls.
1. Is “two little fleas” the nickname for the bingo number 2, 11, 22, or 33?
2. Which song from The Beatles is referred to in bingo nicknames?

  • Eight days a week
  • Lucy in the sky with diamonds
  • When I’m 64
  • Strawberry fields

3. True or false: “Duck and dive” describes the number “25” in bingo.
4. Which nickname is the odd one out?

  • Baker’s dozen
  • Unlucky for some
  • Devil’s number
  • Monkey’s cousin

5. Match the number 52 with the correct bingo nicknames:

  • Weeks in a year
  • Tickety Boo
  • Pack o’ Cards
  • Buckle my shoe

Answers:
1. Well done if you’ve answered 33! The 3 is referred to as like a little flea throughout traditional bingo calling.
2. The correct answer is When I’m 64, which is a calling term for 64.
3. The answer is true. The two is a duck shape so it represents the 2, and “dive” rhymes with “five”, representing the number 5.
4. Monkey’s cousin is the odd one out as it’s the only nickname used to call the number 12. Baker’s dozen, Unlucky for Some, and Devil’s number is used to call the number 13.
5. The correct answers are Weeks in a year and Pack o’ Cards. Tickety Boo is the nickname for 62, and Buckle my shoe is the nickname for 32.
While there seems to be more rhyme than reason to the way in which bingo nicknames have been derived, there’s no denying that it adds an interesting twist to the numbers game.