Random, Just Read It!

David Ruffin & Dominoes

It’s Whatever Wednesday.   Every Wednesday someone from The Block will hit you Whateva tickles their fancy. This is a chance for the Writerz to freestyle and give you little bit of themselves.  Just an FYI, I’m way to random to participate in Whatever Wednesday, but they gave me a shot anyways.  Heeerrrreee we go <in my Slick Rick voice>.

While I will not consider myself to be a scholar, I do fancy myself a self-taught genius.  So lets get into things that I’m pretty sure black people invented or perfected.  If you believe in the theory of evolution that all people came from Africa then that means that black people probably invented head & doggystyle.  While I’m not 100% on black people inventing prison shanks, I’m about 90% sure black people perfected it.  Now things black people invented is NOT the topic at hand, but it’s about black people’s creativity.  Most call it “Black Ingenuity”.  Don’t believe me?  Take a trip to the hoodest (well white folks still say “Ghetto” but that’s so 1990) spot in your town and you may find a flat-screen hanging from a ceiling fan so you have a 360 Panorama view, a dishwasher where the toilet should be, or something else amazing.

Handy Domino Carrying Case

Recently I was jamming my Old School R&B station on Uverse and David Ruffin came on.  Now on these music channels they give facts about the artist as their song plays.  David’s read that he was the “lead singer of the Temptations from 1964-68…” in which my companion read it aloud because I’m a die hard Temptations fan.  Even though my favorite Temp was Eddie Kendricks, my natural reply to her statement was “Shocked the Nation singing My Girl!”  Now to all my real domino players, yall know what that means, but the fact that it’s embedded into my psychoanalysis left me stunned.  Of course she’s suburban so she gave me a blank stare.  Then I began to try to hit her with what I felt were famous domino lines….by domino lines I mean creative ways that black people call out scores in a game of dominoes.  At most family functions, my folks will have to get some Spades and Dominoes going regardless of the setup of the event.  Now this means that if all the tables are covered with food, that when yall done eating, the food has to be moved to slam some bones..that’s just the way it is.  And I’m pretty sure all black people keep their dominoes on them at all times in a handy Crown Royal bag.  I used to have to play against my uncles who could tell you what you had in your hand before you even played…I mean even in a two player game where there are dominoes left over they’d be like “gone play six-deuce so I can break ya back” which would make me NOT play six-deuce and I’d still get beat down.

So since my female companion gave me the blank stare, I had to begin to try rationalize the things that black people say while playing dominoes, so I figured I’d share my translations, if not to help you none bone players keep up, but at least to keep the traditions going strong in the community.  While most can be easily translated, some have absolutely nothing to do with the appropriate score.  My companion did have a valid point…it’s highly possible for 2 other players to have played their domino before the end of some of these phrases, however real players respect the trash talk to at least let you finish your statement…especially if they have a scoring domino upcoming because they want to get theirs in as well.

So here are a few of my known ways to call a score in a black game of dominoes:


  • Fever Doctor, the Baby Sick
  • Fish & Bread, keep a po man fed
  • Feel on em (not required to say no homo)
  • Fever & the Funk
  • Five Freaks


  • Temptations, shocked the Nation singing My Girl
  • Tenderloins, beef steak and gravy
  • Tippy, she got a gun
  • Ten toe chicken don’t walk that stride (for my country folks)
  • Tenaha, Timpson, BoBo & Blair, where all the women got big feet and nappy hair (for my East Texas folks)


  • Trees fell upon that young man
  • Three ways
  • Ella, Bella, and Stella will do anything I tell her
  • Three piece
  • Threes please


  • Boatload of Sanchos
  • Bolts & Screws make a bicycle move
  • Twanky
  • Dubs on the Truck go ’round


  • Quarter in that order
  • She built like a Quarter horse


  • Dirty Thirty
  • Like the Asians say, “Same Change” (when playing a blank to match your previous score)
  • Domino muthaphukka! (made famous by Doughboy in Boyz in the Hood, which means the hand is over)
  • It won’t hold no mo (from the score keeper means the game is over)

These are just a few that I could think of at 8:40 in the morning, yall feel free to add your own when you comment because I know for a fact there are many more worldwide that are just waiting to be said in a domino game near you!

Thanks for tuning in……



20 thoughts on “David Ruffin & Dominoes

  1. My personal favorite is “white man 5” (starting off a hand with 2/3 – impossible for anyone to score on that domino alone). Here’s a few others popular back in the Funk:

    “three days in the county jail” (15),
    “shoestrangs in them TENnis shoes” (10),
    “Nick ’em, but don’t cut ’em” (5)

  2. I learned how to keep score in 6th grade. And then that was the end of my domino learning experience till a trip to East Texas led to a rumor that I went to a private school due to my lack of domino knowledge. 😦
    I’m taking this as a cheat sheet.
    And I didn’t go to private school.

  3. 15 – three of ’em walking down the street holding hands and sucking lollipops!
    10 – aTENtion, Tension, my neck and my back

    Random – study long, study wrong

    btw I hate playing with my moms, she knows what i got before i play it too.

  4. Three Sisters – 15 Three sissies twitchin’=15. A fifth of that brown = 5 Mama, That man knocking at the door = I’m about to blow y’all up outta the water…

    Though I know these things.. I rarely play dominoes… I always tell my family, I don’t play dominoes with black people… (the infernal trash talking REALLY makes my teeth itch…) I know that is a major part of the fun, but it ain’t fun for me… I watch in passing and play silently while sippin’ when compelled..

    Excellent anthropological lesson here Brownlee.

  5. I thought I was doing something with my occasional TENsion, Nickel and TENnis shoes. Good thing I only play with Ken and an interracially married couple. Keeps the trash talk down.

  6. 20 – Cupcakes and TWANKIES!

    When the game is about to end, “Train leavin’ in X minutes!” Where ‘X’ would be the amount of points you need.

  7. How could I forget pita roll!! That’s what my boy Brandon says when you don’t score in a game. How it relates I’m not sure but I’ve seen plenty dudes get mad at it’s utterance.

  8. My buddy Brandon always says something like, ‘tennis shoes, bc feet won’t hurt’ for 10 or chants ‘fee-deen, fee-deen, fee-deen’ for 15. I’m an East Texan, as well!

  9. My buddy Brandon always says something like, ‘tennis shoes, bc feet won’t hurt’ for 10 or chants ‘fee-deen, fee-deen, fee-deen’ for 15. I’m an East Texan, as well!

  10. Gettin’ passed….

    It’s the the bayou classics ! Meaning by you ! Lol

    Hey man you better salute your Sargent when he passes you !

    It’s a knock @ the door.

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