These rhymes originated in the mid-20th century in East London, where people used rhymes to communicate hidden messages.
These rhymes quickly moved into bingo halls as a way to clarify all 90 numbers on the board.
From far away, 42 and 52, for example, can sound the same, so these nicknames served as a way to tell the two numbers apart.
People imagined that the appearance of the number is what Indian independence movement leader Mahatma Gandhi would look like if he sat cross-legged with a plate in front of him.The number eight also provides a reference to curvy women, which means 82 is alternatively nicknamed “fat lady with a duck,” playing off the imagery with the number two.Below is a complete list of numbers and their nicknames, followed by an analysis of some of the numbers and how their names differ by caller and region.Of the 90 total bingo calls, more than 50 take their names from rhymes with their numbers.If you’re not sure of the rhyme, some numbers make it possible to remember the nickname through their shapes.
The number two looks like a duck, providing the nickname “one little duck” as an alternative call.A few rhyming numbers stick about because they have interesting cultural or visual references that lead to the nickname. rhymes, the “garden gate” is possibly a reference to a meeting place or drop-off point for smugglers and gang members.Below are a few of the most interesting ones, many of which have regional alternatives depending on the caller’s personal preference. For a different rhyme, you can use the nickname “rugby team,” for the number of players involved in the sport.This number is easy to remember because the two ones look like a pair of legs.Historically, patrons would shout a wolf whistle when this number was heard, but some bingo halls view the practice as sexist.If you can’t remember a particular number of a nickname, you can create your own by forming a rhyme.