Learn your bingo calls – The correct bingo lingo!

bingo callouts image

Bingo linguistics, or bingo lingo, is everything when learning how to play bingo and partaking in it. Entering a traditional bingo hall for the first time, may have you a little bewildered when you hear terms like ‘Kelly’s eye’ or ‘one little duck’, that’s why it’s essential that you learn at least the basics stat. This way you can fully benefit and utilize your time when playing at UK bingo sites.

Where did they originate from and why?

The middle of the 20th century people in the East of London used terminology and rhymes to incorporate and bring across hidden messages and meanings. Such spoken terms maneuverer their way into games, particularly being Bingo! All 90 known terms have been assimilated using that exact tone and patterns of speech. They continued to be elaborated and developed throughout different regions outside of London. For example, pop culture has submerged as references, including nicknames and humour. See below for the full wide range of 90 names!

  1.  Kelly’s Eye
  2. One Little Duck
  3. Cup of Tea
  4. Knock at the Door
  5. Man Alive
  6. Tom Mix
  7. Lucky Seven
  8. Garden Gate
  9. Doctor’s Orders
  10. Cameron’s Den
  11. Legs 11
  12. One Dozen
  13. Unlucky for Some
  14. Valentine’s Day
  15. Young and Keen
  16. Sweet 16
  17. Dancing Queen
  18. Coming of Age
  19. Goodbye Teens
  20. One Score
  21. Royal Salute
  22. Two Little Ducks
  23. Thee and Me
  24. Two Dozen
  25. Duck and Dive
  26. Pick and Mix
  27. Gateway to Heaven
  28. Over Weight
  29. Rise and Shine
  30. Dirty Gertie
  31. Get Up and Run
  32. Buckle My Shoe
  33. Dirty Knee
  34. Ask for More
  35. Jump and Jive
  36. Three Dozen
  37. More than 11
  38. Christmas Cake
  39. Steps
  40. Naughty 40
  41. Time for Fun
  42. Winnie the Pooh
  43. Down on Your Knees
  44. Droopy Drawers
  45. Halfway There
  46. Up to Tricks
  47. Four and Seven
  48. Four Dozen
  49. PC
  50. Half a Century
  51. Tweak of the Thumb
  52. Danny La Rue
  53. Stuck in the Tree
  54. Clean the Floor
  55. Snakes Alive
  56. Was She Worth It?
  57. Heinz Varieties
  58. Make Them Wait
  59. Brighton Line
  60. Five Dozen
  61. Bakers Bun
  62. Turn the Screw
  63. Tickle Me 63
  64. Red Raw
  65. Old Age Pension
  66. Clickety Click
  67. Made in Heaven
  68. Saving Grace
  69. Either Way Up
  70. Three Score and 10
  71. Bang on the Drum
  72. Six Dozen
  73. Queen B
  74. Candy Store
  75. Strive and Strive
  76. Trombones
  77. Sunset Strip
  78. Heaven’s Gate
  79. One More Time
  80. Eight and Blank
  81. Stop and Run
  82. Straight On Through
  83. Time for Tea
  84. Seven Dozen
  85. Staying Alive
  86. Between the Sticks
  87. Torquay in Devon
  88. Two Fat Ladies
  89. Nearly There
  90. Top of the Shop

Bingo Calls Based on Rhymes

A unsurprisingly large amount of the 90 bingo calls are based old rhymes or limericks. Some players find it easier to remember a nickname for the number by creating a rhyme. Depending on where you are, some regions will have different rhyming slags for different number combinations.

Below are a few of the interesting rhyming numbers which we find to be interesting, whether it’s visually or culturally, which then lead to a nickname. As we mentioned above, these might differ depending on where you are in the UK or rest of the world.

8. Garden Gate

This rhyming slang for the number 8 potentially dates back to when gangsters and smugglers would refer to a meeting place or drop-off point and is still very much still used up and down the country.

15. Young & Keen

There isn’t much of an origin for this one and instead it comes from the popular saying. Alternatively, you might hear some players use “rugby team” as it’s the number of players allowed on the field for each team, in rugby.

17. Dancing Queen

Unless you’ve been hiding under a rock, you’ll be more than familiar with Abbas’ dancehall classic ‘Dancing Queen’. The particular part of the song this correlates to is the chorus, where the lyrics go ‘You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only 17’.

26. Pick and Mix

The bingo lingo behind this one is just regular rhyming slang and ‘pick and mix’ is the most common bingo callout you’ll hear for the number 26. Another variant you might come across is ‘bed and breakfast’. Years ago a bed and breakfast would cost half a crown, which equates to two shillings and a sixpence; hence the term ‘bed and breakfast’.

51. Tweak of the Thumb

Also known as ‘I love my mum’ depending on where you’re playing. These phrases are frequent phrases of many bingo callers as they rhyme nicely.

52. Danny La Rue

This phrase is coined from the popular Irish popstar, who’s turned plenty of heads due to his cross-dressing act. This isn’t a universal callout and another alternative would be “weeks in a year”.

62. Turn the Screw

Some English players refer to this one as ‘tickety boo’, which is english rhyming slang for “good”.

Bingo Calls Based on the Number’s Shape

Every tried rhyming with the word ‘orange’? not everything rhymes and a lot of people use visual terms for their bingo callouts. An example of this would be for the number 2. This is frequently likened to an image of a duck, which is why it’s referred to as ‘one little duck’. The number 5 sort of looks like a snake, which is why the lingo for 55 is ‘snakes alive’ which gives us the best of both worlds.

One of the older expressions is any number which ends with 8 can be referred to as ‘fat lady’. The number 7 can be described as looking like a crutch. So, when it’s not being called out as ‘gateway to heaven’ it’s often called ‘duck with a crutch’.

You’ll find examples of a few different bingo callouts which use the appearance of the numbers.

11. Legs 11

This is an easy one and most people, even those who don’t play bingo will recognise legs 11. Before online bingo was created, players in the bingo hall would whistle when this number was announced. Nowadays, players can be removed from the bingo halls in a drastic turn of events, for wolf whistling at the callout.

22. Two Little Ducks

Remember we said, any number with a 2 in it was known as a little duck? Well you can imagine, 22 can be referred to as ‘quack quack’ describing two little ducks. Some halls will announce the number as ‘Bishop Desmond’ as homage to the social rights activist, Desmond Tutu.

25. Duck and DIVE

In bingo lingo, duck and dive relates to the number 25. This is because of the 2 being reminiscent of a duck and the 5 being a snake (which you’d want to dive out of the way from. It also rhymes, which has helped make this callout one of the more popular ones.

44. Droopy Drawers

This one normally draws out some laughs from the audience when it’s called out in bingo halls.

72. Six Dozen

This one is simple and it does have an alternative, which is ’72 a crutch and a duck’.

77. Double Hockey Sticks

Historically, the number 7 is considered to be quite lucky. In theory 77 should be double as lucky and some people refer to this bingo callout as ‘lucky sevens’ or ‘double sevens’. However, there are some bingo callers who refer to this as ‘double hockey sticks’ or ‘two little crutches’.

80. Eight and Blank

Another self explanatory one, the blank being the ‘zero’. Interestingly, 80 used to be known as ‘Ghandi’s breakfast’. The reason for this was because the advocate behind the Indian independence was often seen cross legged and the zero being the plate.

82. Straight on Through

This was commonly referred to as ‘fat lady with a duck’. For reasons we mentioned above.

88. Two Fat Ladies

Another of the more common bingo callouts there is, ‘two fat ladies’ depicts the two 8’s being fat ladies stood next to each other.

The terminology is unique and largely represented with a deeper meaning than most would first initially assume. For example, terms like ‘Key of the door’, refers to the UK’s political culture and residing prime minister, who resides within number 10 Downing Street London. The Bingo caller will use the names and alter depending current circumstances. So, in this case, the ‘Key of the door’ will be referred with the UK’s current leader. Other phrases will showcase a rude and more older age appropriate terms to humour and engage older generations with their innuendos e.g. ‘78 let’s procreate’.

These calls are very much still used throughout online bingo and whether you’re playing at one of the smaller sites or one of the biggest sites in the bingo industry, like Mecca bingo learning these bingo calls can help with your efficiency when playing.

Bingo would not be the same without the use of all these terms. That’s what makes it a very loved game and kept as a favourite for a gambling choice. They terms are fresh and can be updated depending on the location and bingo you go for as some land bingos will alter the sayings to become less rude, so they do not offend their guests. Definitely do not forget to check the online bingo variants on the sites we provide, to see what each bingo uses for their sayings.

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