The UK’s most popular online bingo website has created its own new English phrase in the hope its new ‘Binglish’ translator will help unravel the mystery of new bingo English.
tombola, this week listed on an independent survey as the most popular bingo site throughout the UK, has launched a new service to help newcomers with what appears to be an entirely foreign language being spoken in its chat rooms.
Customer relations manager, Susanne Kennedy said: “For some, it’s a shame that ‘two fat ladies’, ‘Maggie’s Den’ and the ‘Brighton line’ are all but dead as popular bingo terms. But online bingo is huge in the UK right now and the experienced players have dropped the old bingo hall style language for what we’ve termed ‘binglish’, a mix of bingo speak and English.
“Now it’s much more about ‘WDW’, ‘GLA’ and ‘AFK’ for those in chat rooms up and down the country.” (For the bingo novices out there WDW means well done winner).
tombola, which each week hands out more than £3m in prizes to its players said it had noticed the increasing number of queries from new players keen to be involved in the live chat room gossip as the numbers are called on their favourite bingo games.
Susanne adds: “Now all they need to do is enter these confusing phrases or abbreviations into our automatic online translator and it will immediately turn Binglish into English.”
The UK’s number one site, which commands more than 17 per cent of the online bingo market, has recognised nearly 60 commonly used phrases with its own chat moderators adding new phrases all the time in a bid to keep up with the new language.
Language expert, Angela Smith, senior lecturer of Language and Culture at Sunderland University said: “This is a fascinating development in language use. As with subcultures and clearly-identified groups in general, online communities tend to produce a form of language that is marked by certain linguistic features that help create a sense of group identity. In the case of online communities, this often takes the form of abbreviations and short forms of phrases.
“These sorts of phrases and abbreviations offer the notion that people are in the same room rather than the reality of being separated by possibly hundreds of miles. The translator enables new-comers to join a community that already exists on-line much quicker than they would otherwise have been able to, and once there, have fun communicating in this very specific sort of language. For users, I’m sure it could almost be as much fun to join the community and use this language as it is to play.”
Susanne Kennedy adds: “It’ll be really interesting now to see how our players will take to our Binglish translator. We want to make new players feel welcome and help them quickly grasp what’s going on in the chat rooms so they can join in too.”
“The players frequently surprise us with brand new terms all the time, which are then adopted by the rest of their fellow players. We expect we’ll soon have to add more phrases into the translator!”