Today we are more used to computer generated bingo calls, but back in the days of real bingo callers and busy bingo halls, bingo numbers were put into words to allow players to have time to find their numbers and for better clarity in hearing them. Bingo numbers and the calls used to represent them are still hugely popular and at many online bingo sites they are making a comeback.
Bingo numbers and the calls used to represent them change from bingo site to bingo site, but here we are going to take a look at some of the more well-known and weirder calls and see exactly where they came from.
- Kelly’s Eye – Number 1 – Probably the most famous bingo call of all, Kelly’s eye. Said to derive from Ned Kelly, although he wasn’t one eyed, so maybe it comes from the slit in his metal hat.
- Legs Eleven – Number 11 – A fairly obvious connection between the shape of the digits, and of course, legs!
- Dancing Queen – Number 17 – A rhyming connection, probably borne from the Abba hit, Dancing Queen.
- Two Little Ducks – Number 22 – Another obvious connection between the shape of the digits and the bingo call.
- Bed and Breakfast – Number 26 – From the days of old money, a night in a bed & breakfast would have set you back 2 and 6, or 2 shillings, six pence, inspiring this bingo call.
- Dirty Gerty – Number 30 – Another very well known call for bingo numbers, presumably taken from rhyming slang.
- Halfway House – Number 45 – Half way to 90, which is of course the traditional amount of bingo numbers in a UK bingo game.
- Bulls Eye – Number 50 – Taken from the dartboard, the circle in the middle being the Bullseye and being worth 50 points.
- Heinz Variety – Number 57 – Taken from the famous Heinz slogan.
- Old Age Pension – Number 65 – From the traditional pension age in the UK, bingo number 65 is of course, the old age pension.
- Any way up – Number 69 – There are much ruder bingo calls around for this number, the one we chose represents the bingo numbers looking the same ‘any way up’
- Was she worth it – Number 76 – If anyone was wondering who was ever worth number 76, 7 and 6 or 7 shillings and six pence used to be the cost of a marriage license in the UK, inspiring this bingo numbers call.
- Two Fat Ladies – Number 88 – One of the more obvious, and not politically correct traditional bingo calls that have remained today.
- Top of the Shop – Number 90 – Of course the last number in the selection, and therefore top of the shop.
Of course, many bingo halls, both land based and online bingo sites have their own calls for the numbers, and they also differ from the US to the UK, each incorporating traditions and customs. Many online bingo sites are dispensing with them completely, which seems a shame, as their origins are so rich in history and culture.
Other Pages Referencing Bingo Numbers
You may also find the following page useful with reference to bingo numbers: