Great British Bingo Calls

    Bingo Balls

    Bingo has been a British tradition since the 1700s. The popularity of the game was reflected in the number of bingo halls that were set up across the UK. Before online bingo the bingo community congregated in these halls. In order to add a little humour into calling out the numbers, a variety of nick-names were given to the individual numbers.

    Many of the bingo calls are merely based around the fact that they rhyme, but others have a surprising story behind them. Take a look at the bingo calls below and find out the origin and the traditional bingo hall responses!

    1: Kelly’s Eye – This is thought to be a military reference to Ned Kelly

    2: One Little Duck – Simply put, the number 2 looks like a duck

    6: Tom Mix – This rhyme takes its inspiration from the silent film star Tom Mix

    7: Lucky – This name refers to that face that 7 is seen to be a lucky number across the world

    9: Doctor’s Orders – The Number 9 was actually a laxative pill that was given to soldiers in WWII

    10: David’s Den – This refers to whoever is prime minister at Number 10 Downing Street

    11: Legs – Like 2, 11 takes its name from the number resembling a pair of legs, the players often respond with a wolf whistle

    13: Unlucky for Some – This name is due to the fact that 13 is thought to be an unlucky number

    14: The Lawnmower – This name comes from the fact that lawnmowers used to have 14 inch blades

    19: Goodbye Teens – This is because 19 is the last year you will be a teenager

    21: Key of the Door – You are thought to become an adult at the age of 21

    22: Two Little Ducks – This name is an extension of the number 2 call, the players respond by quacking three times

    23: The Lord is My Shepherd – This call takes its name from the start of Psalm 23 in the Old Testament

    26: Two and Six, Half a Crown – This takes its name from the value of the old half crown currency

    27: Duck and a Crutch – This call is a combination of the 2 looking like a duck and the 7 looking like a crutch

    30: Burlington Bertie – This call gets its name from a music hall song in 1900, and its parody in 1915

    39: Those Famous Steps – This takes its name from the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock film and the John Buchan book titled 39 Steps

    52: Danny La Rue – This rhyme refers to the drag celebrity Danny La Rue

    53: Here Comes Herbie – This call is a reference to the film The Love Bug (53 is Herbies racing number), players respond with “beep beep”

    56: Shotts Bus – This call takes its name from the bus that ran from Glasgow to Shotts

    57: Heinz Beanz – This call refers to 57 Varieties of Heinz

    59: The Brighton Line – This call takes its name from the to London, Brighton & South Coast Railway

    65: Stop Work – This was the previous mandatory age of retirement

    76: Trombones – This name takes inspiration from the song of the same name in The Music Man

    77: Sunset Strip – This call is inspired by the 1960s TV series and is usually sung by players

    80: Gandhi’s Breakfast (or ate nothing) – This call takes its name as the number resembles Gandhi sitting cross-legged with a plate in front of him

    83: Stop Farting – This funny call is named after the fact that the 8 looks like a bottom and the 3 looks like a fart, the players response is “Who me?”

    Let us know your favourite traditional bingo call on Twitter at @gr8britishbingo and why!


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