Bingo Calls List: Traditional, Modern, and Funny Bingo Nicknames

The callers at Bingo and the infamous nicknames for the numbers are both integral parts of Bingo’s entertainment value. It’s a bonus to wait for your number to be called in a funny and sometimes cheeky way, along with the thrill of marking off your numbers and winning prizes.

It is now possible to play a classic game of Bingo on an online bingo site, where the numbers are selected by a random number generator (RNG), thanks to modern technology. However, if you visit your local Bingo Hall, you’ll hear the catchy and witty Bingo calls you’re familiar with.

If you organize a Bingo game among friends, you could even come up with your nicknames for the numbers called. If you attend an extravagant themed Bingo event, the Bingo caller may adjust these phrases to fit the occasion.

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What Are Bingo Calls?


The bingo calls are used as a way to clarify all 90 bingo numbers that are displayed on the board. For example, 42 and 52 may sound similar from a distance, so these nicknames were used to differentiate them. In addition, some bingo callers added pop culture references to bingo nicknames as they spread outside London. Here is a complete list of bingo numbers and their bingo calls, followed by an analysis of how the names differ depending on the bingo caller and region.

Traditional Bingo Calls


1 – Kelly’s Eye


The origins of this bingo call are uncertain, as with many slang expressions. Kelly’s Eye may refer to Australian outlaw Ned Kelly, who was believed to have only one eye.


2 – One Little Duck


This is the first of many visual clues that appear in bingo calls. It might have caught your attention that the written number 2 looks like a baby duck swimming.


3 – Goodness Me


The term “Goodness Me” is a shortening of the phrase “Goodness gracious me,” which is taken from the phrase “God grace me.”.


4 – Knock at the Door


Just a simple rhyme.


5 – One Little Snake


In the same way that the number 2 is a duck, One Little Snake is also a visual representation of the number.


6 – Tom Mix


Tom Mix was the first cowboy hero of silent western movies, known for his daredevil stunts, handsome good looks, and impressive 10-gallon hat.


7 – Lucky Number Seven


Around the world, the Lucky Number Seven is believed to bring good fortune, a religious symbol, and belief.


8 – Garden Gate


This bingo call rhymes with the number 8, but a legend says it was a code for a secret meeting or drop-off point.


9 – Doctor’s Orders


The Doctor’s Order is an example from military history. According to reports, the army medics closed up shop at 9 pm.


10 – Blind 10


As a visual reference to zero resembling a single eye, ‘blind’ is also used for numbers 10, 20, 30 – 90.


11 – Legs Eleven


Visual jokes used to be greeted with wolf whistles from players but are no longer considered appropriate.


12 – A Monkey’s Cousin


A monkey’s cousin is a rhyming slang term for a dozen.


13 – Unlucky for Some


The number 13 is regarded as a number loaded with bad fortune and therefore Unlucky for Some, just as the number seven is the world’s luckiest.


14 – Valentine’s Day


February 14th is Valentine’s Day.


15 – Young and Keen


The number 15 rhymes with keen.


16 – Sweet Sixteen


Sweet Sixteen is one of the oldest bingo calls still in use today, possibly due to the song it pays tribute to.


17 – Dancing Queen


This bingo call is a rhyme for the number and a reference to the lyrics after the Abba song of the same name: “You are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen.”


18 – Coming of Age


It was in 1970 that the right to vote was first granted to 18-year-olds.


19 – Goodbye-Teens


Goodbye, teens, and hello to the roaring twenties.


20 – Blind 20, One Score


One score is equal to 20. It is believed that shepherds used the word score to count their livestock, counting to 20 and then marking a score on their stick to keep track.


21 – Key to the Door


It is a well-known ditty that goes, “I’ve got the key to the door/Never been 21 before.” It was believed that young adults could be trusted with their front door keys when they reached the age of twenty-one.


22 – Two Little Ducks


It is again a visual call, with number 2 resembling a duck.


23 – Thee and Me / The Lord Is My Shepherd


Thee and Me bingo call is yet another rhyme. It is also a biblical reference, as Psalm 23 is the first phase of the Old Testament.


24 – Two Dozen


Two Dozen is equal to 12 + 12= 24


25 – Duck and Dive


Here’s a rhyme with a pun with a visual reference.


26 – Shillings Sixpence


This proverb is derived from predecimalization (old money) when two shillings and sixpence equaled half a crown.


27 – Gateway to Heaven


Another straight rhyme references the pearly gates as the Gateway to Heaven.


28 – Overweight


Because number 8 is affectionately known as the fat lady, overweight is a simple rhyme and a visual gag.


29 – Rise and Shine


29 rhymes with Rise and Shine.


30 – Dirty Gertie


The most popular World War II song, which allied soldiers sang in North Africa during the war.


31 – Get up and Run


It is a simple rhyme.


32 – Buckle my Shoe


It is a simple rhyme.


33 – Blind Thirty, Three Feathers, Gertie Lee, Dirty Knee


As the name suggests, Three Feathers references the Prince of Wales. Rhyming slang for 33 is Gertie Lee.


34 – Ask for More


A simple rhyme.


35 – Jump and Jive


In the 1940s and 50s, a dance craze known as the Jive, a version of the American jitterbug.


36 – Three Dozen


3 x 12 = 36.


37 – More than Eleven


A simple rhyme.


38 – Christmas Cake


A slightly tenuous rhyme.


39 – Steps


39 steps bingo call refers to the John Buchan novel and Alfred Hitchcock movie called ’39 Steps.’


40 – Blind Forty, Naughty Forty, Life Begins


The saying “Life Begins at Forty” gained popularity in the 1930s after a bestselling self-help book of the same name was published by university professor W. B. Pitkin.

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41 – Time for Fun, Life’s Begun


Here’s another reference to the adage “Life Begins at 40”.


42 – Winnie the Pooh


It is well known that everyone’s favorite bear, Winnie the Pooh, has been immortalized by A A Milne in the classic books.


43 – Down on your Knee


A simple rhyme.


44 – All the Fours, Droopy Drawers


A simple rhyme.


45 – Halfway There


‘Halfway There’ means 90, the number of squares on the bingo card.


46 – Up to Tricks


A simple rhyme.


47 – Four and Seven


This doesn’t require much explanation.


48 – Four Dozen


4 x 12 = 48


49 – Rise and Shine


Rise and Shine is a simple rhyme.


50 – Blind 50, It’s a Bullseye , Half a Century


As 50 is half a century, and 50 points is the score for hitting the middle dart board, it’s a Bullseye.


51 – Tweak of the Thumb


A simple rhyme called “Tweak of the Thumb” has a similar meaning to the phrase “in the blink of an eye.”


52 – Weeks of the Year


As we all know, there are 52 weeks in a year. Another interpretation of this bingo call is a rhyme about the Irish singer and entertainer who rose to prominence in the mid-1940s, Danny La Rue.


53 – Stuck in the Tree


Another straight rhyme is Stuck in the Tree.


54 – Clean the Floor


A simple rhyme.


55 – Snakes Alive


With the number five representing One Little Snake, it makes sense that number 55 would represent Snakes Alive, making this a double whammy of a visual gag and a rhyme.


56 – Shotts Bus


As the name implies, this bingo call was the number 56 bus that ran from Glasgow to Shotts in Lanarkshire, a town situated halfway between Glasgow and Edinburgh.


57 – Heinz Varieties


In addition to being a slang expression for a mongrel dog, Heinz 57 refers to the number 57 on the brand’s ketchup bottles, representing their variety of products.


58 – Make Them Wait


Make Them Wait is a simple rhyme.


59 – Brighton Line


When day trippers headed for Brighton and the South Coast, they took Route 59 nine out of London


60 – Blind 60, Five Dozen


12 x 5 = 60.


61 – Bakers Bun


A simple rhyme.


62 – Turn of the Screw


Henry James wrote Turn of the Screw about possessed children. This phrase is similar to ‘tightening the noose’ (which also rhymes with the number 62).


63 – Tickle Me


A simple rhyme.


64 – Red Raw


This bingo call may not rhyme with the number 64, but it appears to have remained until this day.


65 – Old Age Pension


When you could retire at 65, those were the good old days.


66 – Clickety Click


Rhyme that sounds like a train steaming down a track.


67 – Made in Heaven


A simple rhyme.


68 – Pick a Mate, Saving Grace


A simple rhyme.


69 – Either Way Up, Meal for Two


The innuendo of a bawdy sex position.


70 – Blind 70, Three Score & Ten


3 x 6 + 10 = 70


71 – Bang on the Drum


It is a simple rhyme.


72 – Six Dozen, Par for the Course


6 x 12 = 72. A championship golf course also has a par of 72.


73 – Queen Bee


A buzzing rhyme.


74 – Candy Store


A simple rhyme.


75 – Strive & Strive


A simple rhyme.


76 – Trombones


‘Seventy-six trombones led the parade,’ as said in the famous Broadway musical of the 1950s, ‘The Music Man.’ That was one of the first traditional bingo calls.


77 – All the Sevens, Two Little Crutches


Here is another visual reference.


78 – Heavens Gate


It is a simple rhyme.


79 – One More Time


It’s nothing but a rhyme.


80 – Blind 80, Ate Nothing, Gandhi’s Breakfast


Gandhi’s Breakfast is a visual representation. According to the symbol, Gandhi is seated crossed-leg in front of an empty plate, alluding that when he fasted, he ate nothing (80).


81 – Stop & Run


‘Stop and Run’ implies escaping from the police, while number 82 suggests crashing the lights.


82 – Straight On Through


A simple rhyme.


83 – Time for Tea, Ethel’s Ear


The rhyme Time for Tea refers to the drink of tea, while Ethel’s Ear refers to the fat lady, called Ethel, and the number 3 represents her ear.


84 – Seven Dozen


7 x 12. = 84


85 – Staying Alive


A simple rhyme.


86 – Between the Sticks


In football, the goalie stands between the goalposts in this position.


87 – Torquay in Devon


Simple, but an accurate rhyme.


88 – Two Fat Ladies


The number 88 visually resembles a lady next to another one. There is a visual gag that players are supposed to respond to: “Wobble, wobble.”


89 – Nearly There


One more to go.


90 – Top of the Shop


That’s the last number on the card.

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Modern and Funny Bingo Calls


1 – One Direction


When you hear the word ‘One,’ you might think ‘Direction!’ Harry Styles and his crew took the boyband trend of the 90s to a new level. It was impossible to choose another direction when it came to number 1.


2 – Cup of Herbal Tea


It’s the 21st century; no one has English Breakfast with milk anymore! Instead, every hipster cafe offers at least 50 blends, each with its benefits.


3 – Selfie Time


Let’s get our selfie sticks out! Alternatively, you can use your bingo blotter to balance your iPhone if you don’t have one. Also, make sure any selfies you take have the hashtag #bingo #selfie.


4 – Dinner With Bae


Having a nice dinner with your bae is always a nice way to spend quality time together. Even though most of the time, when people talk about having dinner with their bae, it’s more than likely going to be a microwave dinner shared with their cat.


5 – Tay-Tay


It is almost impossible to think about the number 22 these days without thinking about Taylor Swift. We all know ‘everything will be alright as long as we keep dancing like we’re 22′ thanks to her catchy hit ’22’, which has been playing on the radio since 2012!


6 – Kylie’s Lips


One of the craziest online trends of 2016 was the Kylie Jenner Lip Challenge. Besides making you look like a confused fish, it was also dangerous for your health!


7 – Man Bun


You’re 31 years old and still have a man bun? Now it’s time to get the scissors out.


8 – Let’s Be Havin’ You!


Speaking at Norwich FC’s Carrow Road stadium, Delia Smith made the phrase famous. Probably the best moment of the century so far.


9 – Chill with Netflix


You can find us chilling and binge-watching a box set instead. Watching TV and movies has been revolutionized by Netflix.


10 – Queen Bey


Queen Bee? Make way for Queen Bey! From Destiny’s Child leading lady to flawless solo singer and feminist icon, Beyonce has become one of the defining figures of this century.


How Did the Rhymes Originate?


There are many rhymes associated with bingo numbers. Originally, they were used in London in the mid-20th century to communicate secret or hidden messages. Bingo players quickly picked up these rhymes and used them in bingo halls to clarify all 90 letters easily when called out. For example, 15 and 50 could sound similar in a big hall, so they adopted these rhymes/nicknames to differentiate them. With the spread of these nicknames, some new bingo sayings emerged and changed from place to place.

The following list contains bingo slang meanings for the numbers and other strange words you might encounter when you play bingo online or in person.


Is Using Calls a Bad Idea?


Bingo callers often give bingo balls nicknames or codenames, but they wonder if these names are outdated. Do you think it’s better to be direct and clear or fun and joking? Ultimately, it comes down to personal preference. The audience needs to be able to focus on your voice, according to UK’s first female bingo caller, Mandy Gorgan. Mandy does not use “legs 11” or any other bingo lingo. As Mandy put it, “you can’t mess around with silly lingo when there is so much money at stake.”


Moving Bingo Callers Online


In addition to the popularity of bingo in pubs and coffee shops throughout the UK, the internet era also contributes to the modernization of bingo nicknames. Players can chat with people across the UK and other countries by logging on to play free bingo. As people share their regional bingo sayings and compare notes over who has the funniest and most original nicknames, this connection keeps the nicknames alive. As a result, bingo calls are spreading across Great Britain more than ever, thanks to the internet.

With bingo nicknames, the game is more fun to play and contributes to a sense of community. As well as competing against each other, people have fun joking around with certain numbers and throwing out different calls. Playing bingo online, in a bar, or at a bingo hall puts you in contact with people who laugh at the same jokes and want the same thing. Bingo is one of the most popular gambling games in the UK, if not the entire world, because of this friendship.

“People still have this stereotype of using 88, but that was out of fashion long ago. It’s very cheesy,” says Mark Wilson, assistant manager of the Beacon Bingo Club. What do you think of the bingo nicknames mentioned in the text above? Share your bingo number calling ideas with us, and together we can help to modernize bingo calls!