Bingo Calling Numbers – Funny, Rude & Modern Versions

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Published

06 Nov, 2021

The game of bingo is quite entertaining and easy to play. Many people who have had a chance to experience the calling of bingo tickets agree that nicknames assigned to each number help spice up things. 

There’s a combination of funny, dirty, and rhyming phrases that keep players highly engaged in the game. A majority of the bingo calls date back many decades.

If you are getting started with bingo, it’s best to take time to master the names for a positive gaming experience. Even experienced bingo players need to keep up with the new changes. Yes, bingo calls are now going “woke”. Some of the traditional bingo calls are getting replaced after sticking around for decades.

We have created this post, covering the history and evolution of bingo calls.

What Is The Origin Of Bingo Calls?

As historians have it, the first bingo phrases originated in the mid-twentieth century. 

The nicknames are believed to have been influenced by the military, as bingo was a top favourite game that soldiers were playing regularly during this period.

Number 1, for example, is paired with the classical phrase Kelly’s Eye. It is used as military slang related to Ned Kelly, an Australian symbolised as one of the greatest heroes.

 The nickname is also linked to the popular British Valiant comic strip featuring Kelly, a magic amulet character.

During World War II, it was common for the British army doctors to prescribe the number nine pill to troops. The “No.9” pill became a slang term for a laxative pill. So number 9, which is assigned Doctor’s Order, refers to this slang.

Number 30, Dirty Gertie, is derived from the humorous song “Dirty Gertie by Bizerte. The British troops sang it during World War II.

The phrase “Down on Your Knees” used along with bingo number 43 was also common with soldiers during wartime.

Cockney rhyming slang

Many believe Cockney rhyming slang also played a significant role in how bingo clubs, halls, etc., called out the numbers. The rhymes originated in the East End of London. Gangsters of the mid-20th century would use rhyming slang to discuss their criminal dealings.

While there are only two Cockney rhyming slangs (6 -Tom Mix and 25 – Christmas cake) on the UK bingo call list, more than half of the bingo numbers rhyme with their corresponding calls.

 People have been tweaking the rhymes to make them more appealing to their regions. Only verses with amusing visual or cultural references have stuck around.

For instance, number 8 – Garden Gate is a rhymer, but it refers to a meeting place for gang members. Number 17 – Dancing Queen is associated with the 1976 hit song “Dancing Queen” by Abba. Number 62 uses the term Tickety-boo, which is rhyming slang for good or in order.

Movie glamour

Some of the traditional bingo calls are based on popular films, TV shows, and Disney characters. Bingo number 39, Steps, stems from the famous 1935 British thriller film – The 39 Steps.

The following bingo call with a movie reference is number 49, PC. One can trace that name back to the 1949 British film The Adventures of PC 49, closely related to a much-loved wartime radio series about Police Constable Archibald Berkeley.

“Here Comes Herbie” is a nickname for number 53. 

Bingo callers use it to refer to the well-known Walt Disney character featured in auto racing competitions. Herbie had number 53 on the doors, engine lid, and front luggage compartment lid.

The kid’s favourite fictional teddy bear, Winnie the Pooh of Bingo 42, is a Disney character created by A.A. Milne. Reputable drag entertainer Danny La Rue got the number 52.

English ghostwriter Henry James claimed number 62 following his famous “Turn of the Screw” story. Other UK bingo callers prefer calling Turn the Screw instead of Tickety-boo.

Shape of bingo numbers

A bunch of UK calls get their nicknames from the shape of bingo numbers. The traditional shape-related bingo calls include:

  • 2 – One little duck (number 2 resembles a duck, with enough willpower)
  • 11 – Legs eleven (resembles a pair of legs)
  • 22 – Two little ducks
  • 25 – Duck and dive (number 5 looks like an upside-down duck, or so)
  • 27 – Duck and a crutch (number 7 resembles a crutch)
  • 44 – Droopy drawers (number 4 is likened to baggy underwear)
  • 77 – Two little crutches
  • 81 – Fat lady with a walking stick
  • 88 – Two fat ladies

Classic calls

Bingo callers incorporated nicknames that were popular to make remembering some of the numbers a lot easier. For instance, seven is considered a lucky number, thus the Luck Seven bingo call. Number 13, on the other hand, represents an unlucky pick.

The other phrases that are quite self-explanatory are Valentine’s Day (14), Sweet 16, Coming of Age (18), Goodbye Teens (19), Halfway There (45), Half a Century (50), and Old Age Pension (65).

Bingo players can also comfortably identify numbers using dozens. A caller can use half a dozen in place of Tom Mix to refer to number six, but the latter is more common in many settings. One dozen means number 12, and the list follows that sequence up to number 84.

Woke Bingo Calls

Bingo calls, slang, sayings have been subject to change throughout the history of bingo. The most recent and significant changes are called “woke bingo”.

You would probably wonder why the term woke. In this context, the term refers to players who have perceived that some of the traditional bingo calls they used in the past were rude, odd, or not inclusive. As such, they are embracing new bingo calls.

The change did not come overnight, though. Over the years, there have been claims that some nicknames like Two Fat Ladies are offensive in the modern era.

Other Reasons Behind Newer Bingo Calls

Woke bingo is not entirely about offensive calls. In fact, most of the changes involve replacing some of the outdated phrases because tastes have changed. The motive behind switching up things is to make the game more appealing to young players.

Before the shift, some bingo clubs and halls across the UK would ask the young customers to suggest nicknames on a chartroom. They would then go ahead to vote for their favourite new bingo calls based on the suggestions.

It is a money-making industry, so the operators have to follow the money.

List of Modern Bingo Calls For 2022

  • 7 – Flexitarian

Previously, it was Lucky Seven. It has been replaced with flexitarian to encourage people to embrace a healthy lifestyle without necessarily doing away with meat sources.

  • 9 – Get An Uber From Mine

You may no longer hear the Doctor’s Orders when the bingo caller reveals the numbers. So, start getting accustomed to the modern phrase Get An Uber From Mine.

  • 14 – Netflix and Chill

Netflix & Chill is the new wave in the 21st century. It has made having romantic and meaningful night dates right in homes possible. No wonder the operators have opted to blacklist Valentine’s Day calls.

  • 25 – Quarter Life Crisis

The Quarter-Life Crisis bingo call takes over from Duck & Dive. 25 tend to be a stressful and challenging period in many people’s lives.

  • 35 – It’s a Vibe

“It’s a vibe” is rhymer, which is also an excellent way of telling someone you can relate to. Sounds better than Jump & Jive dance step, right?

  • 38 – Avocado On a Plate

A healthy diet also means cutting down on sugars, and cake is one of the main culprits. Encouraging people to switch Christmas Cake with a cult super-food like avocado is undoubtedly a great move.

  • 48 – Not Another Brexit Debate

Brexit was once a hot topic, but everyone indeed had enough of hearing about it. The phrase rhymes well with 48. No more four dozens.

  • 49 – Amazon Prime

Today, more and more people shop virtually everything online. Ask any person around, and they will likely recommend Amazon for online shopping. Amazon Prime replaces PC because it is popular and rhymes with 49.

  • 54 – Lads On Tour

Bingo callers are adjusting to using Lads on Tour instead of the traditional bingo call “Clean the Floor”. Lads is a common 21st-century phrase that means a group of young men or a sports team.

  • 68 – Late For My Tinder Date

Online dating is the thing right now, and Tinder is the people’s favourite connecting platform. Late For My Tinder Date is a good candidate because it rhymes nicely with 68. Say goodbye to Saving Grace and Pick a Mate calls.

  • 74 – Recycle More

The new bingo call raises awareness in the younger generation to contribute towards making our planet a better place. It also discourages them from making the Candy Store their favourite spot.

  • 78 – Haters Gon’ Hate

It voices encouragement not to lose sleep over some people who are always jealous or criticise what you do.

  • 86 – Instagram Pics

Instagram Pics calls, without a doubt, resonate well with young players than Between the Sticks.

  • 88 – Wills and Kate

Today’s standards deem Two Fat Ladies offensive. Wills and Kate replace the phrase because they are names of the Royal family members.

Final Word

The bingo game is constantly evolving with time, so some nicknames are bound to change. Please note the above nicknames may not be used by every bingo caller.

Despite the changes, we hope some of the traditional bingo calls stay the same even in the future, as bingo is part of Britain’s tradition.

Looking to play online? Why not snatch up some top bonus offers to play bingo with some extra funds.

List of all bingo calls

We have compiled a list of all bingo calls, including funny, modern, rude and classic ones.

  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. Over Weight
  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
  • 7 – Flexitarian
  • 9 – Get An Uber From Mine
  • 14 – Netflix and Chill
  • 25 – Quarter Life Crisis
  • 35 – It’s a Vibe
  • 38 – Avocado On a Plate
  • 48 – Not Another Brexit Debate
  • 49 – Amazon Prime
  • 54 – Lads On Tour
  • 68 – Late For My Tinder Date
  • 74 – Recycle More
  • 78 – Haters Gon’ Hate
  • 86 – Instagram Pics
  • 88 – Wills and Kate
  • 2 – Open the window
  • 8 – Sexy Kate
  • 9 – Selfie time
  • 10 – Keep’em keen
  • 20 – Getting plenty
  • 21 – Dirty fun
  • 24 – Did you score?
  • 30 – Dirty Flirty
  • 31 – Man bun
  • 33 – Dirty knees
  • 37 – One night in heaven
  • 40 – Hello naughty
  • 42 – I’ve done your mom
  • 44 –  On all fours
  • 54 – Granny’s drawers
  • 59 – Tequilla and lime
  • 66 – Kinky tricks
  • 69 – At your place or mine
  • 71 – What a bum
  • 78 – Let’s procreate
  • 84 – Sneak out the backdoor
  • 87 – Grandma’s gone to heaven
  • 88 – Two Fat Ladies

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Author bio

I am Max and have a special interest in everything related to online gambling, but especially online poker. I have been working in the field for over ten years and love writing about my experiences.