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Chicken Legs Between the Sticks Bingo Nicknames

Written by: Nikola Zugic on 25/09/2007 09:00

If you here it being called "Chicken Legs!" then you might be playing Bingo at your local church or Bingo hall. For a game based on numbers one through ninety it's pretty amazing how nearly every number in a game of bingo has a slang term associated with it.

 If you hear "Lucky for some" you ought to check your card for a seven. "Chicken legs" would be eleven and if you have it, dab it.
 How do games such as bingo get to have such a rich collection of nicknames? In the case of bingo it speaks to the time before computer number drawing replaced air-blown balls emblazoned with the numbers to be called. The caller would announce the number then repeat it with a whimsical saying. These unique names became mostly standard and regular attendees of the games would soon recognize the nicknames given to the numbers.
 Here are some samples of commonly called nicknames and possible meanings behind them:

1 At the Beginning - The first number in the game of Bingo.
2 One Little Duck - The number two being nicknamed "One Little Duck" is based on the shape of the numeral being similar to a swam or duck.
3 Cup of Tea - In this case the number rhymes with the name and the number resembles the handle of a teacup.
4 Knock at the Door - This is a simple case of rhyming.
5 Man Alive - Number five "man alive" is another case of rhyme.
8 The Garden Gate - Number eight and "garden gate" is another example of a bingo number nickname based on a rhyme.
9 Doctor's Orders - There are a number of theories as to the origination of this nickname, but the most commonly accepted explanation is the "#9 Pill" prescribed by doctors for virtually anything during WWI.
10 Downing Street - "Downing Street" for the number ten is based on the address of the Prime Minister,
11 Chicken Legs - This refers to the simple line drawing of legs as two straight lines.
13 Lucky for Some - Playing on the notion that the number thirteen is unlucky.
22 All The Twos - All the twos simply means twos in each digit.
26 Bed And Breakfast - To understand this one we have to know that historically the typical cost of lodging for an evening was two shillings sixpence which becomes 2 and 6.
40 Over the Hill - Though many might not want to admit this is true, forty is classically considered over the hill.
45 Halfway There - This name refers to being halfway through the full range of ninety numbers.
69 Two Can Chew - Perhaps this one ought not to be described.
76 Trombones - Seventy six trombones led the big parade...
77 All The Sevens - Like 22, 33, 44 and the other sets of double digits the caller will often refer to these as "all the ____".
80 Gandhi's Breakfast - This is explained as ate (8) and nothing (0). Others have described it as a pictogram with a large empty plate in front of a cross legged Gandhi.
88 Two Fat Ladies - Eight is sometimes also called the "Fat Lady" and therefore 88 becomes a pair of them.
90 Top of the Shop - Ninety is the last number in Bingo games, making it the "top of the shop"
 These are but a few of the nicknames often used in Bingo Halls. Many times the names rhyme with the number, making it somewhat easy to discern the meaning of the name, but often the names are based on the appearance of the numbers as pictograms or by meanings found in popular culture. At your next game listen closely and see if you can discern the meaning of the nicknames.

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