In the UK bingo numbers have nicknames, also known as bingo calls or bingo lingo. They ring out in bingo halls across the nation, called by charismatic bingo callers to add a more vibrant, enjoyable and energetic feel to the numbers game.
Bingo calls originated in the UK, but have quickly spread worldwide and in some cases, they have also been adapted to better suit the audience. Anyone who has played at a UK bingo hall may have found himself or herself confused by the vast number of specific bingo calls. To unlock and understand some rhyme is the key, but others need a little bit of context to explain.
Luckily for you, we’ve debunked the original UK traditional bingo calls below and collected and sourced out the common ones used worldwide to make an interactive chart for you to test your bingo call memory skills and a bingo lingo quiz. Many bingo numbers have very witty and creative bingo calls associated with them and knowing some will help you settle into any bingo hall and start having fun!
(UK Players Accepted)
UK Bingo Calls Explained
As bingo calls began in the UK, that’s where we’ll start. Many bingo calls are based on bingo lingo or cockney rhyme and slang, as such, they are self-explanatory, if you get stuck, just say them out loud and everything will click into place.
• One: Kelly’s Eye: believed to be either a tribute to Ned Kelly an Australian folk hero or originating from military slang, this is a universal bingo call.
• Two: One Little Duck: The number 2 looks like a lone little duck- this bingo call is easy to remember, just think of the shape!
• Three: Cup of Tea: You may be confused if the bingo caller offers you a cup of tea; he simply means the number 3.
• Four: Knock at the Door: This bingo call is adapted from the famous nursery, but some of you may recognize it from the Freddy Kruger movies; ‘one, two buckle my shoe, three, four knock at the door”, you’ll see this bingo call continue later.
• Five: Man Alive: this was a pioneering 1965 BBC documentary that secured mass audiences and became a favored bingo call throughout the UK.
• Six: Tom Mix: an original cowboy hero of silent cinema, famous for performing his own stunts. Tom Mix’s career lasted between 1909-35, making over 336-feature films.
• Seven: Lucky Seven: lucky and known in casino and bingo halls worldwide. This is another universal bingo call.
• Eight: Garden Gate: this bingo call is classic Cockney rhyme and slang.
(US Players Accepted)
• Nine: Doctor’s Orders: originating from World War Two, a number 9 pill was a powerful laxative to purge the body of ills when a specific diagnosis was not possible.
• Ten: Cameron’s Den: this reflects number 10 Downing Street and has changed with the PM. Based on rhyme: Number 10, Cameron’s Den. It has also been Maggie’s, Tony’s and should now be Theresa’s Den.
• Eleven: Legs 11: another Visual bingo call as the number 11 looks like a pair of legs, this bingo call sticks in your mind easily. In live bingo halls, you may hear the occasional player respond to this call with a whistle.
• Twelve: One Dozen
• Thirteen: Unlucky for Some: considered unlucky in most western counties but a sign of luck in Italy. This bingo calls all depends on where you stand as to whether your luck is in or out.
• Fourteen: Valentine’s Day.
• Fifteen: Young and keen: or if you’re not, try out “Rugby Team”.
• Sixteen: Sweet 16: A milestone birthday around the world.
• Seventeen: Dancing Queen: Don’t know Abba? Get on YouTube and play this ageless hit on right now in order to understand this bingo call, which pays homage to the golden age of Abba hits.
• Eighteen: Coming of Age: referencing the point where teens become adults, this is also interchangeable with “now you can vote”.
• Nineteen: Goodbye Teens: your last childhood milestone birthday before turning 20 and assuming all your adult responsibilities.
• Twenty: One Score: a score is older vocab for 20. In particular, this bingo call references Abe Lincoln’s Gettysburg Address- “four score and seven years ago”.
• Twenty-One: Royal Salute: a 21-gun salute given in military and royal parades.
• Twenty-Two: Two Little Ducks: a visual bingo call, think of the shapes, your first little duck now has a companion!
• Twenty-Three: Thee and Me
• Twenty-Four: Two Dozen
• Twenty-Five: Duck and Dive:if the number 2 is a duck, and 5 later appears as a snake, then this is easy to get. A duck would dive away from a snake.
• Twenty-Six: Pick and Mix
• Twenty-Seven: Gateway to Heaven
• Twenty-Eight: Over Weight
• Twenty-Nine: Rise and Shine
• Thirty: Dirty Gertie: Dirty Gertie from Bizerte was a famous World War II song that has weathered the decades to be heard in bingo halls everywhere.
• Thirty-One: Get Up and Run
• Thirty-Two: Buckle My Shoe/ Jimmy Choo: this bingo call is a continuation of the kid’s rhyme in number 4 and a famous shoe designer.
• Thirty-Three: Dirty Knee
• Thirty-Four: Ask for More: Oliver Twist anyone?
• Thirty-Five: Jump and Jive
• Thirty-Six: Three Dozen
• Thirty-Seven: More than 11
• Thirty-Eight: Christmas Cake
• Thirty-Nine: 39 Steps: The 39 Steps is a Hitchcock, 1935, film that is still played today.
• Forty: Naughty 40: another bingo call that celebrates a milestone birthday when things get naughty and life begins!
(US Players Accepted)
• Forty-One: Time for Fun, Life’s Begun.
• Forty-Two: Winnie the Pooh: a bingo call that gives respect to A. A. Milne, the author of Winnie the Pooh, honey bear legend and staple of British childhoods.
• Forty-Three: Down on Your Knees
• Forty-Four: Droopy Drawers
• Forty-Five: Halfway There
• Forty-Six: Up to Tricks
• Forty-Seven: Four and Seven
• Forty-Eight: Four Dozen
• Forty-Nine: PC: this bingo call is in reference to 1946-53 show based on the adventures of an unconventional copper who coined the phrase “rise and shine”. The Adventures of P.C 49 have stayed, echoing as bingo calls long beyond its airtime.
• Fifty: Half a Century
• Fifty-One: Tweak of the Thumb or I love my Mum
• Fifty-Two: Danny La Rue: a bingo call that pays homage to Irish singer known for his love of cross-dressing, Danny La Rue.
• Fifty-Three: Stuck in the Tree
• Fifty-Four: Clean the Floor
• Fifty-Five: Snakes Alive: linked to the number shape (and mentioned in 25, duck and dive).
• Fifty-Six: Was She Worth It?
• Fifty-Seven: Heinz Varieties: Heinz baked beans sell 57 varieties of canned beans, despite having many more recipes Mr. Heinz decided to stop producing varieties at his favorite number- 57.
• Fifty-Eight: Make Them Wait
• Fifty-Nine: Brighton Line
• Sixty: Five Dozen
• Sixty-One: Bakers Bun
• Sixty-two: Turn the Screw: army slang for everything being well, this bingo call is also known as tickety-boo.
• Sixty-Three: Tickle Me 63
• Sixty-Four: Red Raw
• Sixty-Five: Old Age Pension: this bingo call represents the traditional British age for people to stop working.
• Sixty-Six: Clickety Click
• Sixty-Seven: Made in Heaven
• Sixty-Eight: Saving Grace
• Sixty-Nine: Either Way Up: the numbers represent the opposite if looking the other way up. This is also known as “Meal for Two”, with 69 being the order number on a takeaway or restaurant menu.
• Seventy: Three Score and 10
• Seventy-One: Bang on the Drum
• Seventy-Two: Six Dozen: it’s all a matter of math.
• Seventy-Three: Queen B
• Seventy-Four: Candy Store
• Seventy-Five: Strive and Strive
• Seventy-Six: Trombones
• Seventy-Seven: Sunset Strip: this bingo call comes from American detective show made by Warner Brothersbetween 1958 and 1964, it was the UK’s Saturday night prime time TV.
• Seventy-Eight: Heaven’s Gate
• Seventy-Nine: One More Time
• Eighty: Eight and Blank: this one is easy to get, but you may also come across it known as “Gandhi’s Breakfast” with the number 8 representing a seated, cross-legged Gandhi.
• Eighty-One: Stop and Run
• Eighty-Two: Straight On Through: referenced to travelling, but also known as a “fat lady with a duck”, which relates to the images the numbers can and have earlier represented.
• Eighty-Three: Time for Tea
• Eighty-Four: Seven Dozen
• Eighty-Five: Staying Alive: this bingo call is about the worldwide, 1977 Bee Gees hit, featured on the big screen in Saturday Night Fever.
• Eighty-Six: Between the Sticks: football terminology for goalkeepers
• Eighty-Seven: Torquay in Devon
• Eighty-Eight: Two Fat Ladies: back to visuals and the number 88 looks like the curves of two voluptuous ladies.
• Eighty-Nine: Nearly There
• Ninety: Top of the Shop or End of the Line
Although bingo calls and bingo nicknames originated in the UK version of the game, it has been adopted and is now very much a part of the US game. Some calls differ between the UK and US versions of bingo, but most are the same or even some the US ones (like “Big Daddy” for the bingo call of 75) have been embraced by bingo callers in the UK and Australia.
Learn Your Bingo Calls
Be ready for any game by testing your bingo calls knowledge. Scroll Down Click on the Bingo balls, and the Bingo calls announced for that number will be revealed, along with alternatives across the world… so starting clicking, have fun and start learning your bingo calls like a pro today!
Play Bingo Lingo: the bingo calls quiz!
Or jump right in and get started with a game of bingo you can use our best bingo site and bingo variants, from speed 30 ball bingo to the jovial beat of 90 ball bingo. Apart from knowing the A-Z of bingo calls, one of the best ways to win more real money when playing bingo is to ensure you know the rules and winning patterns of the bingo game you’re playing. Go loaded with knowledge on every aspect of bingo from Bingo.org.
How to use the Bingo Call Chart
Using the Chart to help you learn the bingo number calls and understand their origins is easy, all you have to do is click on the Numbered Ball you want to know the names and origins of the calls for and the answer will be revealed within an “Answer Box”. You can either then return to the main chart by clicking anywhere outside the “Answer Box” or you can select next or previous within the answer box to move through the number call explanations one by one.
(UK Players Accepted)