Bingo Lingo: A Complete List of Bingo Calls

Bingo / Guides
Slingo’s Guide to Bingo Calls

What Are Bingo Calls and How Are They Used?

Bingo calls are a combination of slang, rhymes, puns and phrases that help players identify the numbers, while adding a fun new element to the game!

You’ve probably heard some of the most common bingo calls before – for example, ‘two fat ladies = 88’ or ‘legs eleven = number 11’ – but there are lots more to learn!

Each of the 90 balls in a traditional bingo game has a corresponding bingo call, which helps players to distinguish between the numbers being called out – for example, the words ‘fifteen’ and ‘fifty’ can sound very similar.

So if you want to know your two little ducks from your droopy drawers, read on for our handy guide to bingo calls!

The History of Bingo Calls

Much of the rhyming slang that makes up today’s bingo calls was originally used in London in the mid-20th century as a way to pass on secret messages without being detected!

Some bingo calls have their roots in military terms, since the game was played by servicemen during World War II – although back then it was called Housey Housey (since the aim of the game was to score a Full House).

After the war, the ex-soldiers continued to play the game back at home and its popularity steadily increased in the UK. It eventually took on the name ‘bingo’ and was played in bingo halls up and down the country, and today it remains one of the UK’s most popular games – both online and offline!

Bingo calls form a key part of the game, making it easier for players to hear which numbers are being called and adding a bit of fun at the same time!

The Complete List Of UK Bingo Call Numbers

Here’s a complete list of traditional bingo calls you might hear when you’re playing bingo in the UK, both online and in person. Take a look and see if there are any you recognise! And don’t worry if it’s all Greek to you – we’ll explain a few of our favourites in the next section.

  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. Overweight
  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

The Name Game: How Bingo Calls Got Their Names

bingo-game-balls.jpg

Bingo calls have a variety of different origins, from simple rhyming slang to references to pop songs and even the shape of the numbers themselves! In this section, we’ll take a look at the different types of bingo call and what they mean.

Based On Shape of Numbers

Some bingo calls are based on the shape of the numbers as they are written. To show you what we mean, here’s a run-down of some of our favourites:

11. Legs 11 – if you use your imagination a little, the number 11 looks like two legs!

22. Two Little Ducks – The shape of the numbers looks like two ducks swimming in the water.

25. Duck and Dive – It’s said that the 2 looks like a duck, while the 5 represents a snake that you want to dive away from!

44. Droopy Drawers – Some say that the two numbers look like a pair of sagging trousers!

69. Either Way Up – This number looks the same whichever way you look at it.

88. Two Fat Ladies – One of most well-known bingo calls. The shape of the eights resemble the head and body of a plumper lady! 

Based On Rhymes

Other bingo calls are based on simple rhyming slang, like the ones below:

8. Garden Gate – There may be more to this rhyme than meets the eye – rumour has it that ‘garden gate’ was code for a secret rendezvous point!

15. Young and Keen – Rhyming slang that also offers a twist on the lyrics of the song below!

17. Dancing Queen – A reference to the lyrics of ABBA’s hit single (‘dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen’)!

51. Tweak of the Thumb – As well as rhyming with fifty-one, this phrase has a similar meaning to ‘in the blink of an eye.’

52. Danny La Rue – Rhyming slang that references popular Irish cross-dressing entertainer Danny La Rue.

62. Turn the Screw – A cheerful rhyme or a useful DIY tip? We think it could be both!

Historical References

Since bingo has been around for a long time, many of the bingo calls have a historical meaning that may surprise you! Read on to decode those calls…

1. Kelly's Eye – There are a few different suggestions for this call. Some believe it was a military reference while others say it refers to Ned Kelly, the famous Australian outlaw who only had one eye.

9. Doctor's Orders – During WWII, doctors gave poorly soldiers a laxative called Number 9 to make them feel better!

21. Royal Salute – 21 guns are fired in a royal or a military salute.

30. Dirty Gertie – Dirty Gertie is the nickname for the statue La Délivrance, a bronze sculpture of a naked lady installed in North London in 1927. There was also a song called Dirty Gertie, which was popular with soldiers during WWII.

Bingo Calls in Online Bingo

Although it’s by no means necessary to learn the bingo calls to play online bingo (or offline bingo, for that matter), these fun phrases add an extra dimension to the game. You can use them to interact with other players in our fun bingo chat rooms, and you could even try coming up with your own unique bingo calls! Legs fifteen, anyone?! Maybe we still need some practice… 

Play Bingo Online at the Official Slingo Site

Now you can talk the talk, it’s time to walk the walk! Practice your new bingo lingo and play online bingo at Slingo.com, where you can find a great selection of bingo games and rooms to choose from. Ready to hit the floor (74)? Play online bingo now!