Bingo Calls: Complete List Of Bingo Nicknames

Bingo calls refer to the act of a bingo caller who draws out the numbers in a bingo game and calls these numbers. In bingo games, the numbers aren’t just simply called 1, 2 or 3 – there are specific names assigned to each number which the caller announces in a bingo hall. There are different types of bingo calls such as funny bingo calls, slang bingo calls, rude bingo calls, bingo rhymes, bingo shapes, classic calla bingo calls and historical bingo calls. These bingo numbers go back to the mid-20th century when they were initially used to pass secret messages in London. Eventually, these names were adapted by bingo callers to use in bingo games, providing clarification for the users playing. Since most numbers sound similar, players might mishear them; hence, these nicknames help differentiate between the numbers and make the game entertaining.

📋 List of Bingo Calls


The list of bingo calls contains 90 bingo calls, each with their specific attributes. While some are based on pop culture references, some represent historical events and shapes.

Here is a list of bingo numbers with their meaning:

1 – Kelly’s eye

This bingo saying is a reference to Ned Kelly, one of Australia’s greatest folk heroes. However, few believe it’s just military slang.

2 – One little duck

The number 2 looks like a duck.

3 – Cup of tea

The number 3 rhymes with tea and this beverage is frequently served among the British.

4 – Knock at the door

This phrase rhymes with the number 4.

5 – Man alive

An exclamatory rhyme.

6 – Tom Mix/Half a dozen

Tom Mix was America’s first Western Star who featured in  291 films. A dozen is 12 and half of 12 is 6, which is the alternative bingo saying the caller could choose.

7 – Lucky seven

The number 7 is considered lucky and common. 7 represents the days of the week, colours of the rainbow and notes on a musical scale.

8 – Garden gate

Not only does it rhyme with the number 8, but there’s a history behind it. The ‘garden gate’ was a code for a secret meeting or drop-off point back in the day.

9 – Doctor’s orders

In World War II, army doctors provided soldiers who were unwell with a pill called Number 9.

10 – [Prime Minister’s name]’s den

Bingo callers call out the name of the current Prime Minister when announcing this number. It references number 10 Downing Street.

11 – Legs eleven

The two 1s look like a pair of slender legs.

12 – One dozen

12 is equal to a dozen.

13 – Unlucky for some

13 is a famous unlucky number.

14 – Valentine’s Day

Refers to 14th February.

15 – Young and keen

15 rhymes with keen.

16 – Sweet 16 and never been kissed

A person’s 16th birthday is considered a special one.

17 – Dancing Queen

The numbers refer to ABBA’s song ‘Dancing Queen’ which has the line “You are the dancing queen, young and sweet, only seventeen!”

18 – Coming of age

At the age of 18, a person is considered an adult. Some callers also shout: “Now you can vote!”

19 – Goodbye teens

The last teenage year.

20 – One score / Getting Plenty

There are 20 units in a score. The phrase ‘getting plenty’  also rhymes with the number.

21 – Royal salute / Key of the door

Royal Salute refers to the 21 guns fired in a royal or military salute while the ‘key of the door’ represents the age of 21 in which a person moves out of their parent’s house and has their separate keys.

22 – Two little ducks

The number 2 looks like a duck.

23 – The Lord is my shepherd

A biblical reference, this is the first phrase of Psalm 23 in the Old Testament.

24 – Two dozen

12 is one dozen and 24 makes two dozen.

25 – Duck and dive

A rhyming bingo call. However, 2 is a reference to a duck and the word ‘dive’ means diving away from the number 5 which looks like a snake.

26 – Half a crown

This saying comes from pre-decimalisation (old money), where two shillings and sixpence made up half a crown.

27 – Gateway to heaven

A divine rhyme.

28 – In a state

Cockney rhyming slang. “He was in a right two and eight” means “He was in a poor state!”

29 – Rise and shine

A cheery rhyme.

30 – Dirty Gertie

Rhyming with 30, this phrase comes from the nickname for the statue La Délivrance, a bronze sculpture of a naked lady installed in North London in 1927. There was also a raucous song called Dirty Gertie from Bizerte.

31 – Get up and run

A motivational rhyme.

32 – Buckle my shoe

The phrase rhymes with the numbers.

33 – All the threes/Fish, chips and peas

33 represents all the 3s available in a 90-ball game. It also rhymes with the traditional English fish supper from the chippy.

34 – Ask for more

A great rhyme, especially following 33.

35 – Jump and jive

A groovy rhyme.

36 – Three dozen

12 x 3.

37 – More than eleven

37 is more than eleven and it also rhymes with the phrase.

38 – Christmas cake

Cockney rhyming slang.

39 – 39 steps

From the 1935 Alfred Hitchcock movie called 39 Steps.

40 – Life begins

A popular proverb ‘‘Life begins at 40”

41 – Time for fun

A fun rhyme.

42 – Winnie the Pooh

Winnie the Pooh books by A. A. Milne were first published in 1926.

43 – Down on your knees

This phrase was often used by soldiers during the war.

44 – Droopy drawers

A visual reference to sagging trousers.

45 – Halfway there

There are 90 balls in traditional British bingo and 45 is half of 90.

46 – Up to tricks

This phrase rhymes with the number 46.

47 – Four and seven

A self-explanatory phrase.

48 – Four dozen

4 x 12 = 48

49 – PC

This call is based on the old TV programme ‘The Adventures of P.C. 49,’ which aired from 1946–53.

50 – Half a century

A full century is 100 and 50 is half of that.

51 – Tweak of the thumb

A traditional bingo rhyme.

52 – Danny La Rue

A rhyme referring to the popular drag performer Danny La Rue.

53 – Here comes Herbie

53 represents the number of the VW Beetle Herbie, the famous Disney car.

54 – Clean the floor

A rhyme about housekeeping.

55 – Snakes alive

The two fives look like snakes ready to spring.

56 – Shotts Bus / Was she worth it?

The original number of the bus route from Glasgow to Shotts. Five shillings and sixpence was how much a marriage licence used to cost back in the day.

57 – Heinz varieties

The founder of the food company Heinz chose the number 57 in the logo to represent his wide range of pickles. Moreover, Five was his lucky number and 7 was his wife’s.

58 – Make them wait

A simple rhyme.

59 – Brighton Line

Many believe that it’s the number of the train from Brighton to London, engine 59 – and others say that all original telephone numbers in Brighton started with 59.

60 – Five dozen / Grandma’s getting frisky

5 x 12 = 60. 60 almost rhymes with frisky and is the traditional age that women could retire and get a state pension.

61 – Baker’s bun

This bingo call rhymes with the number.

62 – Turn the screw / Tickety-boo

Both these phrases rhyme with the number. Tickety-boo is slang for ‘good’ or ‘going well’.

63 – Tickle me

A cheeky rhyme.

64 – Redraw/ Almost retired

Close to the age where a person almost retires.

65 – Old age pension

The traditional age at which men could retire in the UK.

66 – Clickety click

A rhyme which sounds like a train steaming down a track.

67 – Stairway to Heaven

A holy rhyming bingo call.

68 – Pick a mate

Another rhyming call.

69 – Any way up

This call explains how the number 69 looks the same upside down.

70 – Three scores and ten

3 x 2 = 60, plus 10 = 70.

71 – Bang on the drum

A rhythmic rhyme.

72 – Six dozen

6 x 12 = 72.

73 – Queen bee

A rhyming bingo call.

74 – Hit the floor

A call that rhymes.

75 – Strive and strive

Striving for a full house. A hardworking rhyme.

76 – Trombones

This pop-culture bingo call references the lyrics in the popular marching song ‘76 Trombones’ from the musical, ‘The Music Man.’

77 – Sunset Strip

Refers to the popular 1950s/60s private investigator TV show, ‘77 Sunset Strip’.

78 – 39 more steps

This references the 39 Steps film again, as 39 + 39 = 78

79 – One more time

One more time rhymes with seventy-nine.

80 – Gandhi’s breakfast

Because he is said to have eaten nothing, which is a pun for ‘ate nothing’ where eight = ate and nothing = 0.

81 – Stop and run

A contradictory bingo rhyme. How can one stop and run and the same time?

82 – Straight on through

Eighty-Two rhymes with straight-on through.

83 – Time for tea

Another reference to the UK’s favourite beverage. Three rhymes with tea.

84 – Seven dozen

7 x 12 = 84.

85 – Staying alive

A catchy Bee Gees rhyme.

86 – Between the sticks

It is said to refer to the number 86 being the position of goalkeepers, who would spend the match ‘between the sticks’ or goalposts.

87 – Torquay in Devon

It rhymes and also provides a geography lesson!

88 – Two fat ladies

A visual representation of the number 88 as it looks like two fat ladies sitting next to each other.

89 – Nearly there

A reference to 89 being 1 away from 90 – the end of the bingo numbers.

90 – Top of the shop/end of the line / as far as we go

All the calls that go with the number 90 in Bingo reference it as the highest or last number.

⚙️ What are the types of Bingo Calls?


The types of bingo calls are funny bingo calls, slang bingo calls, rude bingo calls, bingo rhymes, bingo shapes, classic calla bingo calls and historical bingo calls.

Funny Bingo Calls

Funny bingo calls include humorous phrases or nicknames which are used to announce specific numbers drawn during a game. Instead of announcing numbers, the caller announces rhyming phrases, puns, or references to popular culture, making the Bingo experience more enjoyable for participants. This adds an entertaining element to the game.

A few examples of funny bingo calls include Lucky 7, Legs Eleven (11), Two Little Ducks (22), Sweet 16 (26),  Key of the Door (21), Doctor’s Orders (9), Kelly’s Eye (1), Cup of Tea (3),  Man Alive (5) and Tom Mix (6).

Slang Bingo Calls

Slang bingo calls are informal phrases which are used to call out numbers in a bingo game. These calls make bingo games playful and entertaining for the users. Slang bingo calls are based on regional preferences or references from the past.

A few examples of slang bingo calls include Top of the Shop (90). Dirty Gertie (30).Pick and Mix (76), Halfway There (45), Wobbly Legs (76), Heinz Varieties (57), Sherwood Forest (44), Choo-Choo (22), Dirty Knee (33), and Time for Tea (3).

Rude Bingo Calls

Rude bingo calls often include cheeky rhymes which are not suitable for all types of audiences as these may contain adult humour.

A few examples of rude bingo calls include Dirty Mate (38), Naughty 40 (40), Down on Your Knees (43), Flirty Thirty (30), Stuck in the Tree (33), Buckle My Shoe (32), Randy Andy (77), and Dirty Gertie (30).

Bingo Calls Rhymes

Bingo calls rhymes include phrases which rhyme with the actual number. Most of the numbers in bingo include rhyming phrases which makes it easier for the users to identify while also adding an entertaining touch to the game. These rhymes are often changed according to specific regions. Moreover, these rhymes also include visual and cultural references.

A few examples of bingo calls rhyme include Garden Gate (8). Young and Keen (15). Dancing Queen (17), Pick and Mix (26), Tweak of the Thumb (51), Danny La Rue (52), and Turn the Screw. (62)

Bingo Shapes

There are numbers which are based on the appearance of a shape, person, or animal. For instance, the number two looks similar to a duck, and the number five is in the shape of a snake. Bingo callers use these quirky references to hint the numbers to the audience.

A few examples of bingo shapes include Legs 11 (11), Two Little Ducks (22), Duck and DIVE (25), Droopy Drawers (44), Either Way Up (69), Six Dozen (72), Double Hockey Sticks (77), Eight and Blank (80), Straight on Through (82), and Two Fat Ladies (88).

Classic Calla Bingo Calls

Classic Cala Bingo Calls include counting the dozens. Since the number 12 is known as a dozen, phrases like ‘two dozen’ or ‘seven dozen’ are hints to guess the number based on multiples of 12. Users can easily remember these figures if they know the table of 12. Moreover, there are also phrases based on famous dates such as Valentine’s Day or the significance of a number such as 13 (unlucky number) or 7 (universally common number).

A few examples of classic Cala bingo calls include Lucky Seven (7), Unlucky for Some (13), Valentine’s Day (14), Sweet 16 (16), Coming of Age (18), Goodbye Teens (19), One Score (20), Two Dozen (24), Halfway There (45), Half a Century (50), Old Age Pension (65), Nearly There (89), and Top of the Shop (90).

Historical Bingo Calls

Historical bingo calls include phrases which are inspired by past events. This is because most phrases were created during those events and have been around for decades. However, some people have revised these versions based on the modern day so it is easier for the youth to remember.

Few examples of historical bingo calls include Kelly’s Eye (1), Doctor’s Orders (9), Cameron’s Den (10), Royal Salute (21), Dirty Gertie (30), Steps (39), Winnie The Pooh (42), Was She Worth It? (56), Heinz Varieties (57), Brighton Line (59), Trombones (76), and Torquay in Devon (87).

⌛ What is the history behind Bingo Calls?

Bingo calls originated in the UK back in the mid-20th century in the 1950s. Many believe there is a theory that the phrases have been taken from a 1930s army game known as Housey-Housey. At first, these rhymes were a way to pass on secret messages but were eventually picked by bingo players. Bingo players used these phrases to differentiate between numbers that sounded the same. For example, 13 and 30.

The phrases come from the army, pop culture and classic British stuff. There are phrases which were created and used in the military and were later adopted by bingo players, such as Kelly’s eyes and Doctor’s orders. Numbers 51 and 52 are also named after army divisions. Furthermore, phrases like ‘Danny La Rue’ and ‘Here comes Herbie’ are based on movies and music scenes, while some phrases refer to song lyrics.

A few bingo calls are also inspired by famous British things, such as a cup of tea, as it is Britain’s favourite beverage. The number 10 refers to whoever is the current prime minister of Britain.

Are Bingo calls the same in each region?

Most of the bingo calls have been created in the UK and followed by everyone around the world. However, the US has altered some of the bingo calls according to their games. Since the most played format in the US is 75-ball bingo, it differs from the UK’s 90-ball bingo. The alternation includes the following bingo calls in US bingo:

  • B-1 Baby of Bingo: Refers to the smallest number of 75-ball bingo.
  • B-4 And After: B-4 and after refers to Before and After.
  • B-6 Tom Mix: A movie star from silent movies.
  • B-8 Harry Tate: Early film star and music hall comedian.
  • B-12 The vitamin number: Vitamin B12 is required by the human body to form red blood cells.
  • N-39 Jack Benny: A US comedian whose signature joke was that he was always 39 years old.
  • N-42 The Street in Manhattan: Refers to a 1933 movie called 42nd Street.
  • N-45 Cowboy’s Friend: Named after a Colt 45 revolver.
  • G-50 Hawaii 5-0: A US police drama in the 1970s.
  • G-55 Double Nickel: “Double Nickel” is trucker slang for the number 55.
  • O-75 Big Daddy: This is the highest number in American Bingo, hence the name.

📲 How to call bingo?

A bingo caller is responsible for announcing the randomly selected numbers during a game of bingo. A bingo caller should call out the combinations in a clear and loud voice. They should also repeat the number or phrase several times while being confident.

Firstly, a bingo caller should introduce themselves at the beginning of the game and inform the audience about the specifics of the game. If the bingo caller isn’t using phrases, they should always call out the letter before the number. For example, ‘B6!’. They should repeat the letter and number several times. In case they are announcing a phrase, they should also repeat the phrase multiple times so that players get time to think, understand and decode the phrase. The caller needs to give at least a 30-second pause between each call. The caller should keep shouting the combinations until someone yells bingo. The key is to be confident; a bingo caller should read the audience’s impressions to check if they have understood the combination or not. Clarity is crucial; a bingo caller should observe the audience to ensure they are neither confused nor calm when announcing bingo combinations.

Can callers play bingo while calling?

The callers can not play bingo while calling as they are already playing the role of a bingo caller which separates them from the participants. However, if a group of people are playing bingo at home, they can revoke this rule.

What are the rules for the caller in bingo?

The rule for the caller in bingo is to inform the audience if there is a requirement to announce the last ball or not. The caller should always speak loudly and clearly and ensure that they have shouted each combination/phrase at least twice. Most importantly, they are allowed to remove and hold only one ball at a time from the blower. In case the caller is announcing combinations only, they should turn the portion of the ball towards the audience so that they can double-check the number. If the caller mistakenly announces a wrong combination, they should pause the game immediately. Then, they should acknowledge the error, and ask the audience to correct their cards. After that, they should announce the correct number and resume the game.

❓ Bingo Calls FAQs

What is the unlucky number in bingo?

The unlucky number in bingo is 13.

What number do two ducks represent?

Two ducks represent the number 22.

Are bingo calls used universally?

Yes, bingo calls are used universally. However, they may vary regionally.

Jennifer McFayden is a creative and innovative writer, a true expert in her field, specialising in online bingo reviews and content. With several years of experience in the online gambling industry, she offers a fresh perspective and insight. Her admirable work, a testament to her deep understanding of the industry, is often showcased on popular industry websites.

She offers professional opinions and tips on how to improve players' games, make the right decisions, and prevent overspending in bingo games. Her motivational, direct, and simple tone and writing style help readers understand even the most complex topics in bingo.

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