Barry’s Guide to Tic-Tac

Tic-tac is the age-old sign language used by bookmakers to communicate odds of horses and greyhounds. Mobile phones and the internet have almost put paid to the practise but it’s still used at certain racecourses in the UK. So don your flat cap and white gloves and let Barry talk you through a few of the most common gestures and slang terms used by old-school bookies...

Evens
• Slang: Straight up / Scotch / Levels, you devils! / Major Stevens
• Gesture: Extend forefingers on each hand, move up and down in opposite directions several times

11/10
• Slang: Tips
• Gesture: Bring opened hands together, tips of fingers touching

5/4
• Slang: Wrist
• Gesture: Right hand on left wrist

11/8
• Slang: Up the arm
• Gesture: Move right hand up left arm, from wrist to elbow

6/4
• Slang: Ear’ole / Exes to rouf (four backwards, pronounced “rofe”)
• Gesture: Back of right hand to left ear

13/8
• Slang: Unlucky / bits on the Ear`ole
• Gesture: Back of right hand to left ear then touch fingertips together

7/4
• Slang: Shoulder / Neves (seven backwards) to rouf
• Gesture: Right hand to left shoulder

15/8
• Slang: Double tap
• Gesture: Double touch of right hand to left shoulder

2/1
• Slang: Bottle / bice
• Gesture: Right hand touches nose

9/4
• Slang: Top of the head/nut
• Gesture: Both hands on head

5/2
• Slang: Face / bice n`alf
• Gesture: Both hands to face either side of nose

11/4
• Slang: Elef a vier
• Gesture: Both hands to face either side of nose followed by touching fingertips in front of face

3/1
• Slang: Carpet
• Gesture: Bring hand to chin, palm facing down

100/30
• Slang: Burlington Bertie / Scruffy and dirty
• Gesture: As 3/1 then touch fingertips in front of face

7/2
• Slang: Carpet and half
• Gesture: Both hands touch chest

4/1
• Slang: Rouf
• Gesture: Extend right hand in front of body and draw an `L` shape

9/2
• Slang: Shoulders / On the shoulders
• Gesture: Bring each hand up to same shoulder

5/1
• Slang: Hand / Handful / Ching
• Gesture: Right hand to right shoulder

6/1
• Slang: Exes/xis (six backwards) /half a stretch
• Gesture: Right hand to right shoulder then to top of head

7/1
• Slang: Neves pronounced nevis (seven backwards)
• Gesture: Right hand to shoulder then to nose (5 then 2)

8/1
• Slang: TH (tee aitch)
• Gesture: Right hand to right shoulder, hand to chin, palm facing down

9/1
• Slang: Enin (nine backwards)
• Gesture: Left hand on head, right hand stretched out sideways (teapot like)

10/1
• Slang: Cockle / Net (ten backwards)
• Gesture: ‘Punch’ fists together

11/1
• Slang: Elef
• Gesture: Punch fists together, then touch top of head

12/1
• Slang: Stretch/hundred to 8
• Gesture: Punch fists together, then touch nose

14/1
• Slang: Net and rouf
• Gesture: Punch fists together, then right arm in front draws an`L` shape (ten plus 4)

16/1
• Slang: Net and ex
• Gesture: Punch fists together,right hand to right shoulder, then right hand to top of the head

20/1
• Slang: Double net
• Gesture: Punch fists together twice

25/1
• Slang: Pony / Macaroni
• Gesture: Punch fists together twice, then touch right shoulder with right hand

33/1
• Slang: Double carpet
• Gesture: Arms crossed and hands flat over chest

50/1
• Slang: Bullseye
• Gesture: Hit bottom of one fist on top of the other fist

100/1
• Slang: Century
• Gesture: Pass hands over each other extended in front of body