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Darts Slang Terms

There are literally dozens of slang terms used when playing the great game of darts. Some who are new to the game may even think players are speaking another language. After a few, they probably are. 😊 Aside from this, we here at Bullseye Darts have found some of the most interesting darts terms that are used around the darts circuit that you may or may not have heard of before. As darts began hundreds of years ago, with the more modern version in England just before the turn of the century. Many of these terms originated from England or the UK.

Annie’s Room (or Annie’s House): Double 1.

Baby ton: Hitting a score of 95 points in a throw (of 3 x darts).

Bag (or Bucket) of nails: Hitting the 1s with all three of your darts within a single throw (of 3 x darts).

Bag o' Nuts: Scoring 45 points in one throw (of 3 x darts).

Basement: The double 3, one of the toughest doubles in darts.

Black eye (also called Black Hat): When a player hits an inner bullseye with all three darts in their throw.

Buckshot: A throw when (3 x) darts land wildly all over the board.

Busted: This is when you exceed the number of points required to go out. This happens often in ‘01 games.

Champagne breakfast: When a player hits the triple 20, triple 5 and triple 1 with the three darts of their throw.

Chucker: A player who just "chucks" the darts at the board, doesn't aim or care.

Dartitis: The name given to a mental state of a dart thrower unable to release their dart during a throw.

Devil: The triple 6, so called due to '666', and the fact that it is often hit in error when going for a triple 13 or triple 10.

Diaper dart: A fluke throw that misses the target completely that the player was aiming for and actually ends up accidentally scoring better on another target elsewhere.

Diddle for the middle (also known as the Bull off or Bull up): A (one dart) throw at the bullseye before the start of a game to see who gets their dart closer. Closest starts the next game.

Dinky-Doo, (also known as Swan Lake): A score of 22. (More rhyming slang)

Dirty darts: Using questionable tactics during a darts game.

Double Bull: The inner or middle portion of the bullseye. The 50 score in steel tip darts.

Downstairs: The lower portion of the board, usually in reference to the 19s in a game of ‘01. (301 or 501 etc.)

Fat: Refers to the large part of a numbered wedge, i.e. a single between the triple and double.

Fish and chips (also known as Breakfast or Bed & Breakfast): Scoring 26 points in a round by hitting a single 20, a single 5 and a single 1. Something that is all too common in a game of darts! This term comes from the cost of a bed-and-breakfast in medieval England times, i.e two shillings and sixpence, or referred to as "two and six".

Fish, chips and peas: Another way to say scoring 33. Comes from Cockney riming slang of peas = all the 3’s.

Garden Gates: A Score of “88”.

Good grouping: A compliment for extremely accurate and tight darts landed in the board.

Grand slam: Hitting the triple 20, the triple 5 and the triple 1 in one throw (of three darts).

Hail Mary: When the third dart a player throws hits a high triple score following the previous two darts that were rubbish.

Lipstick: The name given to the triple twenty. Made famous by Geordie darts commentator Sid Waddell.

Mad House: The double 1. At least two explanations for the term have been proffered. 1) Because it can drive you crazy trying to hit one in a game of x01, or 2) Because it’s impossible to "get out" of the mad house. Once a player has a score of 2 left, the only way to finish the game is by hitting a double 1.

Maximum: A score of 180, the maximum possible score with three darts.

Motown: Scoring a 44 finish. i.e hitting a single 4 then a double 20 (tops). It is a reference to the “Four Tops” group that were associated with the Motown Music label.

Mugs away: When the loser of the leg gets to start the next leg of the game.

Oche (Pronounced Ock-Key): The line players stand behind to throw their darts.

(The) Perfect Game: The least number of darts to win a leg of darts in 501 = 9 darts.

Pie: Any of the single numbered wedges on a dart board.

Premature projection: When a player gets too excited and throws a dart before it's their turn.

Robin Hood: When one dart sticks into the back of another dart already in the board. Rare, but happens a lot more than you think.

Route 66: Scoring 66 points in a throw (of three darts).

Shanghai: When a player hits the triple, double and single of the same number within the same round. (in any order)

Shooter: An American term for the dart thrower.

Shut Out: When you lose a game without ever scoring in it. Typically in an ’01 game, double start.

Slop: Not what you were aiming for, but still a scoring dart.

Spider web: Another name for the wiring on the dart board.

Splitting the 11: Landing a dart between the digits of the 11 on the number ring.

Stacker: A dart landing on top and touching the previously thrown dart, thus forming a stacking effect.

Sticks: A slang term for the darts themselves.

Straight In: When you don’t need to double in; for example, in a game of 501, you can play straight in, double finish or double in, double finish. The latter being much harder and for the more experienced player.

Striking Oil (Also Black Hat): Hitting the centre (double bull). It comes from hitting the black centre of most modern dartboards.

The Big Fish: Hitting the highest possible checkout, a 170 by hitting a triple 20, triple 20 and then the inner bullseye. Some can play darts their whole lives and not hit “the big fish”.

Three in a bed: Throwing three darts in the same number.

Ton: A score of 100 points (with the 3 x darts thrown).

Ton plus: Scoring more than 100 points in a throw (with the 3 x darts thrown).

Ton-eighty: Shortened way and another name for scoring a maximum 180 points or the perfect score with three darts.

Tops: Hitting the double 20 (at the top of the board).

Tough darts: Darts slang for "nice try" when a player gets close to their mark but doesn't quite hit it or the dart bounces out onto the floor.

Trombones: Scoring 76 points with the three darts thrown.

Umbrellas (also known as Sunset Strip): A score of 77.

Wiring: When a dart bounces off of one of the dartboard's wires and lands on the floor.

Woody: When a dart lands outside of the scoring area.

Whilst we tried to list just “some” of the most interesting darts terms, we may have gotten a little carried away as there are dozens more.

The next time you’re at your local RSA, pub or local darts club. Just listen out, you may well here a few and know exactly what they’re talking about.

Straight arrows everyone.

Paul Webber

Owner – Bullseye Darts


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