Learn all the bingo calls

We explore the list of bingo calls, you'll discover a colorful array of rhymes, cultural references, and clever wordplay that bring each number to life. From the familiar classics to the more obscure and regional variations, these calls have a way of capturing the imagination and sparking laughter in bingo halls and online games alike.

What are bingo nicknames?

Bingo nicknames, also known as bingo calls or bingo lingo, are fun and creative phrases used to refer to each number called during a game of bingo. These nicknames add an element of excitement and entertainment to the gameplay. Here is a list of commonly used bingo nicknames for each number.

How did bingo calls start?

Also known as bingo lingo, have a rich history that dates back many years. The origin of bingo calls can be traced back to the early days of bingo in the United Kingdom. When the game first gained popularity in the 20th century, traditional bingo halls used to call out the numbers in a plain and straightforward manner.

To make the game more engaging and entertaining, bingo callers began associating unique phrases or rhymes with each number to create a more lively atmosphere. These creative nicknames quickly caught on and became an integral part of the bingo experience.

The use of bingo calls served multiple purposes. They helped to add an element of fun and excitement to the game, making it more enjoyable for players. The rhymes and phrases also made it easier for players to remember and identify the numbers being called, especially in crowded and noisy bingo halls.

Over time, bingo calls became an established tradition, with different regions and bingo halls developing their own unique set of nicknames. The calls often incorporate rhymes, wordplay, cultural references, or visual associations that relate to the shape or sound of the number being called.

Today, bingo calls are still widely used in both traditional bingo halls and online bingo games, maintaining the tradition and adding an extra layer of entertainment to the game.

Bingo Lingo glossary

NumberNickname and explanation
Kelly's eye - The pun is military slang; possibly a reference to Ned Kelly, from Ned Kelly's helmet, the eye slot resembling the number 1.
One little duck - From the resemblance of the number 2 to a duck; see also '22'. Response is a single 'quack.'
Cup of tea - Rhymes with 'three'.
Knock at the door - From the Nursery rhyme One, Two, Buckle my shoe; Three, Four, Knock at the door.
Man alive - Rhymes with 'five'.
Half a dozen - A common phrase meaning six units.
Tom Mix - Cockney rhyming slang for number 6.
Lucky - 7 is considered a lucky number in some cultures.
Garden gate - Rhymes with 'eight'.
One Fat Lady - From the resemblance of the number 8 to an overweight woman.
Brighton line - A reference to the British railway line running from London Victoria and London Bridge to Brighton.
Doctor's orders - Number 9 was a laxative pill given out by army doctors in WWII.
Rishi's den. - The name refers to 10 Downing Street, the home of the UK Prime Minister.
Legs eleven - A reference to the shape of the number resembling a pair of legs, often chicken legs specifically. The players often wolf whistle in response.
One dozen - A reference to there being 12 units in one dozen.
Unlucky for some - A reference to 13 being an unlucky number.
Valentine's Day - A reference to 14 February being St. Valentine's Day.
Young and keen - Rhymes with 'fifteen'.
Groovy Scene - Also rhymes with 'fifteen'.
Never been kissed - After the song Sweet Sixteen and Never Been Kissed.
Sweet 16 - Refers to the US and Canadian celebrations of a sweet sixteen birthday.
Dancing Queen - ABBA's song Dancing Queen has the number mentioned in the lyrics.
Coming of age - Eighteen is the age of majority in the UK.
The Vampire's Dream - Almost rhymes with 'eighteen'.
Goodbye teens - Nineteen is the age after which people stop being teenagers.
One score - A reference to there being 20 units in one score.
Key of the door - The traditional age of majority.
Royal salute - Named after the traditional 21-gun salute.
Two little ducks - The numeral 22 resembles the profile of two ducks. Response is often 'quack, quack, quack'.
The Lord is My Shepherd - The first words of Psalm 23 of the Old Testament.
Lisa Scott-Lee - The chart position for her 2004 single Get It On, the subject of which has become an internet meme.
Thee and me - Rhymes with 'twenty three'.
Two dozen - 12 × 2 = 24. Refer to 12 above.
Duck and dive - Rhymes with 'twenty five'
Half a crown - Pre-decimalized currency in the UK. A half crown is equivalent to 2 shillings and sixpence, written 2/6 and pronounced 'two and six'.
Pick and mix - Rhymes with 'twenty six'.
Duck and a crutch - The number 2 looks like a duck and the number 7 looks like a crutch.
Gateway to Heaven - Rhymes with 'twenty seven'.
In a state - 'Two and eight' is rhyming slang for 'state'.
Overweight - Rhymes with 'twenty eight'.
Rise and shine - Rhymes with 'twenty nine'.
Dirty Gertie - Common rhyme derived from the given name Gertrude, used as a nickname for the statue La Delivrance installed in North London in 1927. The usage was reinforced by Dirty Gertie from Bizerte, a bawdy song sung by Allied soldiers in North Africa during the Second World War.
Get up and run - Rhymes with 'thirty one'.
Buckle my shoe - Rhymes with 'thirty two'.
Dirty knee - Rhymes with 'thirty three'.
Ask for more - Rhymes with 'thirty four'.
Jump and jive - A dance step.
Three dozen - 3 × 12 = 36. Refer to 12 above.
More than 11 - Rhymes with 'thirty seven'.
Christmas cake - Cockney rhyming slang.
Steps - From the 39 Steps.
Life begins - Refers to the proverb 'life begins at forty'.
Naughty 40 - Possibly in reference to the Naughty Forty.
Time for fun - Rhymes with 'forty one'.
Winnie the Pooh - Rhymes with 'forty two' and in reference to Winnie-the-Pooh, a beloved UK children's book character.
Down on your knees - This was a phrase that was made popular during wartime by soldiers.
Droopy drawers - Rhyme that refers to sagging underwear.
Halfway there - Being halfway towards 90.
Up to tricks - Rhymes with 'forty six'.
Four and seven - Refers to the two numbers that make up 47, that being 4 and 7.
Four dozen - 4 × 12 = 48
PC - Refers to the BBC Radio series 'The Adventures of PC 49'. Usual response is 'Evening all'.
It's a bullseye! - Referring to the darts score.
5 - 0, 5 - 0, it's off to work we go - Referring to Snow White.
Half a century - Referring to 50 being half of 100.
Tweak of the thumb - Rhymes with 'fifty one'.
Danny La Rue - A reference to drag entertainer Danny La Rue.
Chicken vindaloo - Introduced by Butlins in 2003.
Weeks in a year - Number of weeks in a Gregorian year.
Deck of cards - Number of cards in a deck.
Here comes Herbie! - 53 is the racing number of Herbie the VW Beetle. Players may reply 'beep beep!'
Stuck in the tree - Rhymes with 'fifty three'.
Man at the door - Rhymes with 'fifty four'.
Clean the floor - Rhymes with 'fifty four'.
All the fives - 55 is two fives.
Snakes alive - Rhymes with 'fifty five'.
Shotts bus - Refers to the former number of the bus from Glasgow to Shotts.
Was she worth it? - This refers to the pre-decimal price of a marriage license in Britain, 5/6d. The players shout back 'Every Penny!'
Heinz varieties - Refers to 'Heinz 57', the '57 Varieties' slogan of the H. J. Heinz Company.
Make them wait - Rhymes with 'fifty eight'. Here the announcer would pause, making the audience wait.
Brighton line - Quote from The Importance of Being Earnest referencing trains 59 in turn references the number 59 bus running between Brighton and Shoreham-by-Sea.
Grandma's getting frisky - Rhymes with 'sixty'.
Five dozen - 5 × 12 = 60.
Baker's bun - Rhymes with 'sixty one'.
Tickety-boo - Rhymes with 'sixty two'.
Turn the screw -
Tickle me - Rhymes with 'sixty three'.
Almost retired - A reference to the former British male age of mandatory retirement – specifically being one year away from it.
Red raw - Rhymes with 'sixty four'.
Retirement age - A reference to the former male British age of mandatory retirement.
Old age pension -
Clickety click - Rhymes with 'sixty six'.
Stairway to Heaven - Coined by Andrew 'CIP' Lavelle.
Made in Heaven - Rhymes with 'sixty seven'.
Pick a mate - Coined by Edward James Mackey II.
Saving grace - Rhymes with 'sixty eight'.
Anyway up - A reference to the number reading the same when viewed upside down.
Either way up -
Meal for two - A reference to the 69 sex position.
A favourite of mine -
Three score and 10 - A score is a way of counting in 20s in which one score is 20. 20 × 3 = 60 + 10 = 70. Three score and ten years is the span of life according to the Bible.
Bang on the drum - Rhymes with 'seventy one'.
J.Lo's bum -
Danny La Rue - Rhymes with 'seventy two'.
Six dozen - 6 × 12 = 72.
Queen bee - Rhymes with 'seventy three'.
Under the tree -
Lucky 3 - 7 is considered a lucky number in some cultures.
Hit the floor - Coined by Ann Fitzsimons.
Candy store - Rhymes with 'seventy four'.
Strive and strive - Rhymes with 'seventy five'.
Trombones - 'Seventy-Six Trombones' is a popular marching song, from the musical The Music Man.
Two little crutches - The number 77 resembles 2 little 'Crutches'.
Sunset Strip - From the 1960s television series '77 Sunset Strip'. Usually sung by the players.
39 more steps - 39 + 39 = 78. Refer to 39 being '39 steps' above.
Heaven's gate - Rhymes with 'seventy eight'.
One more time - Rhymes with 'seventy nine'.
Gandhi's breakfast - 'Ate nothing'.
Eight and blank - Refers to 80 being made up of 8 and 0.
Fat lady with a walking stick - The number 8 is supposed to visually resemble a lady with ample bosom and hips, while the number 1 is supposed to visually resemble a walking stick.
Stop and run - Rhymes with 'eighty one'.
Straight on through - Rhymes with 'eighty two'.
Time for tea - Rhymes and scans.
Give me more - Rhymes and scans.
Staying alive - Rhymes with 'eighty five'.
Between the sticks - Rhymes with 'eighty six'. Refers to the position of goalkeeper in football.
Torquay in Devon - Rhymes with 'eighty seven'. Torquay which is in the county of Devon, rather than one of several other Torquays which were elsewhere in the British Empire.
Two fat ladies - The number 88 visually resembles a lady next to another lady. Refer to 8 and 81 above. Players can reply with 'wobble, wobble!'
Nearly there - 89 is one away from 90 (the end of the bingo numbers).
Top of the shop - 90 is the highest (top) number in bingo. Shop refers to the entire game of bingo (and also rhymes with 'top').

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