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Glossary of darts

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This is a general Glossary of Darts, the popular pub sport.

A [ top ]

ANNIE'S ROOM (or ANNIE'S HOUSE) The number 1.

ARROWS Another term for darts.

ARCHER Refers to a player who throws very quick smooth darts, like an archer's arrow (also known as a 'Derek'). Contrast "FLOATER".

B [ top ]

BABY TON A score of 95, usually by scoring five 19s.

BAG O' NUTS A score of 45.

BARREL The part of a dart you grip, right behind the point.

BASEMENT The double-3.

BOUNCE OUT When a dart hits a wire on the board flush-on and bounces back off the board. Can be potentially dangerous to spectators who are too close.

BREAKFAST (or BED 'N' BREAKFAST) A score of 26, made up of a single-5, single-20, single-1 in a game of x01. This is a common score in darts because players aiming for the 20 sector (which contains the highest scoring area on the board) will often accidentally hit the 1 and the 5 sectors, which are located on either side of the 20. The term comes from the typical price of a bed-and-breakfast in times gone by: 2 shillings and sixpence, or "two and six". (See also "CHIPS")

BUCKET/BAG OF NAILS Landing all three darts in the 1s. This is also known as "The Eric Bristow", who once scored three 1s in televised tournament.

BUCKSHOT A throw when darts land wildly all over the board.


BULLSEYE (or BULL) The center of the board. (see also: "SINGLE-BULL" and "DOUBLE-BULL")

BUST Hitting more than you needed in an x01 game. The darts do not count and the player begins his next turn on the same score he had prior to.

C [ top ]

In a Cricket game this refers to high scores base on the number of darts scored. For example a triple-20, single-20, single-20 would be called a C-5 because "5 darts" were scored with three darts.

CHAMPAGNE BREAKFAST Hitting treble 20, treble 1 and treble 5 in three darts (see "BREAKFAST")

CHIPS A score of 26. (See also: "BREAKFAST")

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

CIRCLE IT When a player scores a single digit (less than 10) with three darts, his team-mates would shout out "Circle it!" to the scorekeeper to highlight the terrible throw. A variation on this tradition is to draw a fish around the score, often leading to aquarium-related jokes being aimed at particularly poor or unlucky players.

CLOCK The dartboard itself, usually in the context of "ROUND THE CLOCK".

CORK The center of the board. This comes from the cork in the end of a keg where it is tapped. The ends of kegs were used for targets in the game's early days.

COVER A term frequently used by Sid Wadell, meaning aiming for treble 19.

D [ top ]


DAIRYLEA DARTS A throw that is 'spread' around the board, named after the cheese spread Dairylea.

DEVIL The treble-6, so called due to '666', and the fact that it is often hit in error when going for treble-13 or treble-10.

DIDDLE FOR THE MIDDLE A throw to see who gets one dart closer to the bullseye to determine who throws first in the game. Also known as a "BULL OFF", "MIDDLE FOR MIDDLE" and "OUT FOR BULL". DOUBLE The thin outer ring of the board. In standard x01 games, a double counts for two times the number hit.

DOUBLE-BULL On dartboards configured with a bullseye consisting of two concentric circles, the outer circle is commonly green and worth 25 and the inner circle is commonly red and worth 50 points. Hitting the innermost ring of this type of bullseye is a "DOUBLE-BULL". (See also: "BULLSEYE")

DOUBLE IN A variant of x01 in which a double is needed to start the game.

DOUBLE TOP The double-20. DOUBLE TROUBLE Not being able to hit the double needed to win the game.

DOWNSTAIRS The lower portion of the board, usually in reference to the 19s in a game of x01.

E [ top ]

EASY IN A game that requires no special shot to begin scoring.

EDDIE SHUFFLE (The) The art of adjusting ones stance or position along the ockey in an attempt to circumnavigate a troublesome 'blocking' dart. Also referred to as The Milk Float.

F [ top ]

FEATHERS The number 33.

FOGLE A series of castaway darts thrown with no other purpose than to irritate opponents.

FLIGHTS The "wings" at the end of a dart that make it fly straight. Also known as feathers.

G [ top ]

GAME ON Advises all players that the match has now started

GAME SHOT Signifies that the match winning double has been hit

GRANNY  A lose without scoring, see SHUT OUT

H [ top ]

HAT TRICK A score of three bullseyes.

HIGH TON A score greater than 150.

HOT TODD-E Refers to a player who throws well despite intoxication.

I [ top ]

ISLAND The actual playable area of a dart board (inside the doubles ring). Missing this area entirely is sometimes referred to as "Off the island".

ICHIGO-BYO In Japanese it means "Strawberry Disease" but taken apart it, the word strawberry: "ICHIGO" can mean 1 (ichi) and 5(go). Japanese players use this term for when they aim at 20 but hit a 5 and a 1 along with the intended 20. It is equivalent to the English term "Breakfast".

K [ top ]

KILLER A game variant where a number of players "own" a number on the dartboard and compete to build up "lives" (by hitting that number) until a threshold is reached (usually 4 or 6) before attempting to "kill" other players by removing the lives they have built up (by hitting those other players' numbers) until a single player is left.

L [ top ]

LEG One game of a match. Most professional matches are made up of a number of sets, each of which is split into legs.

LEG SHOT Signifies that a player has completed (Won) the "leg".

M [ top ]

MAD HOUSE The double-1. At least two explanations for the term have been proffered; because it can drive you crazy trying to hit one in a game of x01, or because it impossible to "get out" of the mad house - once a player has a score of 2 the only way to finish the game is by hitting a double-1.

MAXIMUM A score of 180

MAXIMUM CHECK-OUT A score of 170 to end a game. treble-20, treble-20, inner bull

MCQUIGGINS GOLD An unorthadox finish to a game such as finishing 101 with (3,T20,D19), a cheeky (3,8,D20), perhaps even a 113 outshot with (17,T20,D18) or other less popular routes. Also referred to as Maverick play.


MONGER A person who deliberately scores many more points than needed to win the game.

MUGS AWAY Loser of the previous game goes first in the next game.

MURPHY A score of single-5, single-20, single-1 in a game of x01. Based on Murphy's Law.

N [ top ]

NAIL Another word for 1. See "Bucket of Nails" and "Ton of Nails".

NINE DARTER When a player completes a game of 501 in the minimum required nine-darts. This is a very rare event. There is usually a cash prize for professionals throwing a televised nine-darter. Main article: nine dart finish

NOT OLD A score of 37 (usually by hitting a 20, a 5 and a 12). The phrase is believed to have its origins in a Monty Python sketch.

O [ top ]

OCHE The line you stand behind and throw the darts from.


P [ top ]


PERFECT SCORE When a player scores a maximum 180 points in one throw of three darts.

PERFECT FINISH When a player finishes a game with a maximum score of 170. This must be done by scoring treble 20, treble 20, double bull, with only three darts. This is considerably more difficult than hitting a perfect score as the player must break focus to change targets and it can only be done if the player has an exact score of 170 remaining.

POPCORN When the darts land so close to each other, they knock their flights out.

R [ top ]

REDEEMER A dart, (often a T20) that "redeems" two previous poor efforts.

RIGHT CHURCH, WRONG PEW or RIGHT HOUSE, WRONG BED Term for hitting a double or triple, but the wrong number. Also known as "DADDY'S BED"

ROBIN HOOD When you shoot a dart into the shaft of another.

ROUND OF NINE Throwing three triples in one turn in Cricket.

ROUND THE CLOCK Any of a number of game variants where players compete to be the first to hit all the sectors on the board in an agreed order (usually numerical), finishing with the outer bull followed by the bull. In some versions hitting a double entitles the player to skip the next number, with a treble entitling the player to skip two numbers. Also commonly played by single players as a form of practice.

S [ top ]

SCROAT A dart that is aimed for treble 20, but ends up in double 20.

SET A scoring method used in many tournaments.

SHAFT The part of a dart behind the barrel when the flights are mounted.

SHANGHAI A score of a single, double and triple in the same number. "Shanghai" sometimes refers to a checkout of 120 (single, treble and double 20, also as "Shanghai 20"). In some games this is an automatic win. This is also the name of a game.

SHARKEY A non-registered player who has to assume a false identity in order to fill in for an absent player in a league game, e.g. "due to poor turnout, The Arms had to use a Sharkey".

SHUT OUT When you lose a game without ever scoring in it.

SINGLE BULL On dartboards configured with a bullseye consisting of two concentric circles, the outer circle is commonly green and worth 25 and the inner circle is commonly red and worth 50 points. Hitting the outermost ring of this type of bullseye is a "SINGLE-BULL". (See also: "BULLSEYE")

SKUNKED When you lose a game without ever scoring in it.

SLOP Darts that score, but not where you wanted them. (See also: "SPLASH")

SPIDER The metal web that divides the dartboard into sections.

SPLASH Darts that score, but not where you wanted them. (See also: "SLOP")

SPRAY 'N' PRAY Darts thrown by an irate and less talented player, rather quickly (See Kev Redhead)

STICKS The darts themselves.

STRAIGHT IN A game that requires no special shot to begin scoring (also "straight off").

STRIKING IRAQ Hitting a double bull when 'diddling for the middle'- comes from the Gulf War, when Iraq was being bombed, as Iraq has lots of oil. (See Striking Oil).

STRIKING OIL Hitting a double bull when 'diddling for the middle' - comes from the black centre of some modern dart boards.

T [ top ]

THREE IN A BED Three darts in the same triple of a number. i.e. three triple 20's 180!

THROW LINE The line you stand behind and throw the darts from.

TOE LINE The line you stand behind and throw the darts from.

TON A score of 100 in a game of x01. Scores over 100 would be called a "ton-whatever" for example, a ton-thirty would be a score of 130.

TON OF NAILS A score of 5 where all three darts fell in the 1 bed with 1 dart in the treble 1.

TOP BANANA Double 20. Usually exclaimed after hitting this bed to win a match.

TOPS The double 20 bed. As in "he wants tops for the match".

TRIPLE/TREBLE The thin inner ring of the board, it usually counts for three times the number hit.

U [ top ]

UPSTAIRS The upper half of the board

W [ top ]

WANKER'S FIFTY (or BURGESS' FIFTY)  Crude term for scoring 50 by hitting single 20, single 18 and single 12 with three darts, so called because often poor players achieve it when aiming for the triple 20.

WET FEET (or PADDLING) Standing too close to the board (that is, in front of the toe line).

WHITE HORSE Scoring three virgin (untouched) triples in Cricket.

WIRE Darts that just miss where you aimed but on the other side of the spider.

X [ top ]

X A double-one out.

A | B | C | D | E | F | G | H | I | J | K | L | M | N | O | P | Q | R | S | T | U | V | W | X | Y | Z

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