Bingo is one of the most popular online gambling games there is, and it’s quickly build up quite a community. Did you know that there are unique bingo calls for every one of the 90 bingo numbers you’ll see in a standard game, though?
This bingo lingo has developed over the years from millions of players who have been calling bingo numbers on a regular basis every time they play. But how do you call bingo numbers using this bingo lingo, and are they actually useful bingo calls that make a difference during a game?
What are the Bingo Sayings?
These bingo calls are a type of bingo lingo that you’ll see in both online bingo games and at bingo halls. They’re essentially alternate names for numbers that might be used in place of the original number, either because it’s shorter, catchier or just more entertaining to say.
Here are the bingo calls, in order:
- Kelly’s Eye: Apparently originated from army slang, since nobody knows exactly where it came from. Kelly’s Eye might refer to Ned Kelly.
- One Little Duck: referencing the fact that the number 2 looks like a small duck. The number 2 being referred to as a duck is quite a common association.
- Cup of Tea: a rhyme, the first of many.
- Knock at the Door: a rhyme, as well as apparently the average number of times people will knock on a door.
- Man Alive: a rhyme.
- Half a Dozen: literally half a dozen (a dozen is 12). Also sometimes replaced by Tom Mix: Tom Mix is a real film star, but his name is also a rhyme.
- Lucky Seven: the number seven is said to be lucky in a lot of cultures.
- Garden Gate: a rhyme, as well as a reference to an actual garden gate.
- Doctor’s Orders: comes from the Number 9 Pill, a military doctors’ treatment.
- Prime Minister’s Den: the UK Prime Minister lives at Number 10. Many people will swap out the name for the current PM’s name.
- Legs Eleven: the number that looks like a pair of legs: eleven.
- One Dozen: literally a dozen.
- Unlucky for Some: the number 13 is said to be unlucky.
- Valentine’s Day: February 14th is Valentine’s Day.
- Young and Keen: another rhyme.
- Sweet Sixteen: both a rhyme and a term relating to the “sweet sixteen” AKA the 16th birthday.
- Dancing Queen: another rhyme. Could also reference ABBA’s song Dancing Queen.
- Coming of Age: the age at which most people are considered to have become adults.
- Goodbye Teens: the last year of teenage life.
- One Score: literally one score (a score is 20).
- Royal Salute: a reference to a 21 Gun Salute, where 21 guns are fired off to celebrate or commemorate certain occasions.
- Two Little Ducks: references the fact that the numbers 22 look like two little ducks, in the same way that the number 2 looks like one little duck.
- The Lord is My Shepherd: preferences Psalms 23 from the Bible.
- Two Dozen: literally two dozen, or 24.
- Duck and Dive: a rhyme. Duck and Dive is also said to reference a duck (2) and a snake (5).
- Half a Crown: referencing half a crown, or 2 sixpence.
- Gateway to Heaven: a rhyme.
- In a State: a rhyme, as well as Cockney rhyming slang.
- Rise and Shine: a rhyme.
- Dirty Gertie: a rhyme. The name Dirty Gertie has been used in a range of other contexts.
- Get Up and Run: a rhyme.
- Buckle My Shoe: another rhyme.
- All The Threes: both numbers are threes.
- Ask for more: a rhyme.
- Jump and Jive: a rhyme.
- Three Dozen: exactly three dozen.
- More than Eleven: a rhyme that’s also technically true.
- Christmas Cake: comes from Cockney rhyming slang.
- 39 Steps: may be a reference to the film of the same name.
- Life Begins: references ‘Life Begins at 40’
- Time for Fun: a rhyme.
- Willie the Pooh: a rhyme.
- Down on your Knees: a rhyme.
- Droopy Drawers: a rhyme. Some people say that 44 looks like a person wearing droopy drawers, too.
- Halfway There: the exact midpoint of a 90 ball game.
- Up to Tricks: a rhyme.
- Four and Seven: literal.
- Fur Dozen: four dozen.
- PC: references ‘The Adventures of P.C. 49’.
- Half a Century: half of 100 years.
- Tweak of the Thumb: a rhyme.
- Danny La Rue: a rhyme. Danny La Rue was also a famous Irish singer.
- Here comes Herbie: references the famous Herbie car.
- Clean the Floor: a rhyme.
- Snakes Alive: 55 looks like two snakes.
- Shotts Bus: a reference to the Shotts Bus like, or the no. 56 bus.
- Heinz Varieties: references the 57 varieties of Heinz beans.
- Make Them Wait: a rhyme.
- Brighton Line: it takes 59 minutes to go from London to Brighton on said line.
- Five Dozen: literally five dozen.
- Baker’s Bun: a rhyme.
- Tickety-Boo: a rhyme.
- Tickle Me: a rhyme.
- Redraw: a rhyme.
- Old Age Pension: the pension age.
- Clickety Click: meant to be a rhyme.
- Stairway to Heaven: a rhyme.
- Pick a Mate: a rhyme.
- Any Way Up: 69 flipped upside-down looks the same.
- Three Score and Ten: literal.
- Bang on The Drum: a rhyme.
- Six Dozen: literal.
- Queen Bee: a rhyme.
- Hit The Floor: a rhyme.
- Strive and Strive: a rhyme.
- Trombones: references the 76 Trombones.
- Double Hockey Sticks: 77 looks like two hockey sticks.
- 39 More Steps: double call 39.
- One More Time: a rhyme.
- Ghandi’s Breakfast: the idea that Ghandi “8 nothing”.
- Stop and Run: a rhyme.
- Straight on Through: a rhyme.
- Time for Tea: a rhyme.
- Seven Dozen: literal.
- Staying Alive: a rhyme.
- Between the Sticks: a rhyme.
- Torquay in Devon: a rhyme.
- Two Fat Ladies: 88 looks like two fat ladies standing next to one another. Two fat ladies is commonly used outside of bingo, too.
- Nearly There: the player is one away from the 90th ball.
- Top of The Shop / End of The Line: the highest possible of all bingo calls in the game.
What Are These Bingo Calls For?
Bingo calls like this might not be as accessible as the numbers, but they’re more memorable and much more entertaining to say. You might find them being used at some of the latest bingo sites when playing online.
Many long-time bingo players pick up bingo calls like this as a way of entertaining themselves and adding an ‘insider’ feeling to the game. Some players even see it as a rite of bingo passage, since the bingo calls can be hard to learn.
Should I Use These Bingo Calls?
The bingo calls aren’t as easy to use as you might expect, but that’s part of the appeal: the calls make bingo a more difficult game that relies on players being able to remember certain terms based on their sounds or meanings.
In reality, there really isn’t any reason for these calls to exist: they just do, and bingo players have been using some of them for years without any idea of why the calls are still as popular as they are.
If you’re interested in bingo and want to feel like more of an insider, or just want to add something extra to bingo if you’re starting to get used to how it works, these bingo terms can be an interesting way to shake it up without changing the games themselves.