British Bingo Numbers Nicknames and Slang

Author: Larry N.
British calls for bingo are an integral part of the bingo traditions. Although the catchy rhymes and quirky names were originally created to help players hear the numbers being called in noisy bingo halls, they have long remained popular. Bingo calls add to the fun and engagement when playing the popular game. Behind many of the bingospice names hide some interesting little things. In this article, we will explore these fascinating meanings and see how bingo jargon evolved from the 1950s to the era of online bingo.
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Traditional Bingo Calls and Their Origins

When it comes to classic bingon nicknames, you will find that most of them on the number rhymes they describe. But there are also some who refrain from rhyming to describe the number. Some of the most famous bingo calls, such as two little ducks (quack, quack), legs eleven and two fat ladies, reflect what the numbers actually look like. Among the British bingo nicknames you will find many cultural and historical references that mix with the nicknames.

Here you can see one full list of traditional bingo calls:

  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 7
  8. Garden Gate
  9. Doctors Orders
  10. Theresa’s Den
  11. Legs Eleven
  12. One Dozen
  13. Unlucky for Some
  14. Valentines Day
  15. Young and Keen
  16. Sweet Sixteen
  17. Dancing Queen
  18. Coming of Age
  19. Goodbye-Teens
  20. One Score
  21. Key to the Door
  22. Two Little Ducks
  23. The Lord is my Shepherd
  24. Two Dozen
  25. Duck and Dive
  26. Pick and Mix
  27. Duck and a Crutch
  28. Over Weight
  29. Rise and Shine
  30. Dirty Gertie
  31. Get up and Run
  32. Buckle My Shoe
  33. All the Threes
  34. Ask for More
  35. Jump and Jive
  36. Three Dozen
  37. More than Eleven
  38. Christmas Cake
  39. Steps
  40. Naughty Forty
  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 the street
  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. Tickety-boo
  63. Tickle Me
  64. Red Raw
  65. Old Age Pension
  66. Clickety Click
  67. Made in Heaven
  68. Saving Grace
  69. Either Way Up
  70. Three Score & Ten
  71. Bang on the Drum
  72. Six Dozen
  73. Crutch & a Flea
  74. Candy Store
  75. Strive & Strive
  76. Trombones
  77. Sunset Strip
  78. Heavens Gate
  79. One More Time
  80. Eight & Blank
  81. Stop & 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 meanings behind the British bingo nicknames

The meaning behind many of the nicknames of the bingon numbers is clear. Take, for example, the 17, which is clearly connected to the text of Abbas Dancing Queen. As for the sweet sixteen, the age of majority and key to the door, all known milestones, the connected to the respective numbers. We already have the number 2, which looks like ducks, and the paying attention to how chubby ladies look. However, there are still a few other numbers related to their appearance.

In classic bingo calls, the 3 can be described as ears or fleas, while the 7 can be seen as a crutch. As such you can a number of quirky combinations Find, like a duck and a crutch (27) and a crutch and a flea (73).

Number 10 is often referred to as the current Prime Minister's cave, so that call is now Theresa's Cave. Although you never know whether this could change again soon, even if Ms. May is trying her best at this moment to push through a controversial negotiating agreement on Brexit!

To all the obvious explanations for nicknames of numbers, there are a few obscure, which are added to the mix. Have you ever wondered, how did these numbers get their nicknames?

  • 9 Doctor’s Orders - Pill number 9 was a powerful laxative that doctors administered during World War II. It has been suggested that the pill got its name because the last time you saw the doctor was at 9 p.m.
  • 30 Dirty Gertie - Dirty Gertie from Bizerte is the name of a slippery song that sang soldiers during the Second World War.
  • 39 Steps - The 39 Steps is the name of a Hitchcock film, which is based on John Buchan's adventure novel The 39 Steps from 1915.
  • 52 Danny the street - Danny La Rue was an entertainer who was famous for his singing and cross-dressing performances in the 1960s and 1970s.
  • 56 Was She Worth It? - This nickname refers to the old cost of a marriage license which was 5 shillings and six pence (five and six). When this number is called, the players answer "every penny".

The revision of old classics

Calls for bingo began as early as the 1950s. While many of these have proven themselves, there are some that have become out of date and unpopular. Bingo callers have added new voice tags to put their own stamp on the game, as have themselves regional variations of calls developed. Bingo also became more popular with a younger generation of players, ushering in further changes to the bingo nicknames.

In 2003, Butlins began revising UK bingo exclamations for the new generation of players. The new list was created by Charlie Blake, a professor of popular culture.

"My job was to find reference points from 2003 society and culture - from technology and food to celebrities and television - that would be much more relevant to the public today." Charlie Blake

Blake's revised list kept old favorites, including two little ducks and legs eleven. There were, however many new names added, reflecting social and cultural references to the time. Tony’s Den (10) made way for Brad and Jen. Garden Gate (8) has been replaced by pop idol star Gareth Gates. Danny La Rue (52) became Chicken Vindaloo. At 72 as So Solid Crew, 71 as J-Lo’s Penner and 30 as Ali G, the list hit the nail on the head and retains the spirit of 2003.

In 2016, Mecca Bingo has urged their social media followers to redesign their bingo calls. In search of new nicknames that were fresh and current, they put together an updated list of calls to try out in their UK bingo clubs the following year. Number 6 was Little Mix, 8 was Tinder Date, and the old classic two fat ladies for 88 made way for Moobs. Adele became the new call for 25 after the success of her hit album. With references to Strictly Come Dancing, Taylor Swift, Selfies and Netflix, the new calls reflected the time.

Online bingo - a new kind of bingo language

While calls for bingo have evolved since it was first introduced in the 1950s, online bingo has had one in recent years completely new genre of bingo jargon brought with it (not to be confused with the Bingo-Lingo Party Madness!) Playing bingo online is a social experience where you can meet new friends and chat with other players in bingo chat rooms. The best bingo sites have vibrant communities where you chat while you play. When you watch the chat in a bingo room, you will find that there are tons of abbreviations that are used. While some of these, such as LOL, BTW, BRB are likely to be known, there are many acronyms specifically related to bingo. They are popular with bingo players because they help get what they want to say across faster.

Commonly used bingo terms includes 1TG, 2TG and 3TG, with players calling up how many numbers they need to win (1/2/3 to call). If there is a win, the players are quickly ready to congratulate the winner with WD (well done) and WTG (way to go) or give a comforting BLNT (better luck next time). In addition to these common abbreviations, some bingo websites and networks have their own specific terms. It may take some practice to find your way around the numerous abbreviations, but the CH / CM (chat host / monitor) is always there and ready to help.

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