Bingo Calls

One of the most iconic things about bingo, particularly in the UK, is the bingo calls you hear when playing. Whilst this is more often associated with bingo in halls, as that’s where it originated, people on bingo sites still often refer to bingo calls in chat and even sometimes in games.

What are bingo calls?

Bingo calls are basically the way that numbers are called out in bingo. This may seem fairly straightforward and simple, but it’s not just as easy as a caller shouting ’77, 22, 13,’ and so on. In fact there’s a unique bingo lingo that accompanies calls.

For example, number 1 isn’t just referred to as 1 when called out, it’s known as Kelly’s Eye. Similarly, most numbers in bingo have their own unique call, from Two Fat Ladies (88) to Cup of Tea for number 3. Quite often these calls will rhyme, but with bingo lingo it can often be down to simply what the numbers look like, as 88 can be describes as two fat ladies standing there!

How bingo calls have developed

Over the years bingo calls have developed with popular culture, reflecting popular terms or people. For example the traditional term for number 8, One Fat Lady, has been slowly replaced in some areas, particularly in the UK, with celebrities like Gareth Gates. The same can be said for number 7 which is now often referred to as David Beckham, not because it rhymes, but because this was his team number at Manchester United, the football team that made him famous. Another popular one is Dancing Queen, used to describe the number 17, which references the popular Abba hit from the 70s.

UK vs US bingo calls

Whilst a lot of the bingo calls can translate across the pond, there are some differences between bingo lingo UK and bingo lingo in the US. For example some of the pop culture terms used in bingo halls and chatrooms in the UK, with regards to the likes of David Beckham (7) are quite often lost or not relevant to US players. Another instance would be using Downing Street to describe number 10. Of course in the UK we know that’s where our government is and 10 is the address of the Prime Minister, but that doesn’t make sense to US players. In that respect, bingo slang can change not only over time, but from place to place. In the USA on the other hand, they may use bingo slang terms more relative to their dialect, like Candy Store for 74, where in the UK they have sweet shops instead of stores.

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Most popular bingo terms

Here are a few of the most popular bingo calls and what they stand for:

Blind – used to describe a number with 0 at the end. For example a caller would say ‘Blind 80’ or ‘Blind 50’ and so on.

All the … – This is used when describing a double number, for example all the 7’s – number 77. Quite often these numbers may also have alternate calls.

Kelly’s Eye – Number 1

One Little Duck – Number 2

Cup of Tea – Number 3

Knock on the Door – Number 4

One little Snake – Number 5

Chopsticks – Number 6

Lucky Number – Number 7

One Fat Lady – Number 8

Doctor’s Orders – Number 9

Downing Street – Number 10

Legs – Number 11

One dozen – Number 12

Valentine’s Day – number 14

Key of the Door – Number 18

Two Little Ducks – Number 22

Duck and Dive – Number 25

Two Little Fleas – Number 33

Any Way Up – Number 69

Two Fat Ladies – Number 88

Top of the Shop – Number 90

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