Bingo is more than just a game of chance; it’s a social experience that has been enjoyed by people all over the world for generations. The calls used in bingo games have become an integral part of the social experience, bringing players together and adding to the fun and excitement of the game.

Even in the digital age, where online bingo has become increasingly popular, the calls remain an essential part of the game’s culture. In fact, online bingo has introduced new ways to connect players from different parts of the world, like the popular 888ladies online bingo community. In this article, we will explore the social aspect of bingo and how bingo calls bring people together.

What are British Bingo Calls?

British bingo nicknames are a unique set of nicknames given to each number in the game. The bingo caller uses the calls to announce the numbers as they are drawn, and they are an essential part of the game’s fun and social atmosphere. The calls typically have a humorous or rhyming quality, making them entertaining and memorable for players.

Bingo nicknames are different for each type of bingo game, including 75-ball, 80-ball, and 90-ball bingo. In 75 ball bingo, the caller uses a total of 75 unique calls, while 80 ball bingo has 80 calls, and 90 ball bingo has 90 calls.

Oops! There’s another UK variant that players love – Irish bingo. Irish bingo is a variation of the traditional game that is popular in Ireland and other parts of the world. It is similar to the British version of bingo, but there are a few key differences. In Irish bingo, players typically play for a full house rather than individual lines or patterns. 

Plus, these bingo cards are typically arranged in a 3×9 grid, with five numbers in each row and four blank spaces. This means that there is a total of 15 numbers on each card. Irish bingo is often played in pubs and clubs in Ireland, and it is known for its lively and social atmosphere.

History of British Bingo Nicknames

The origins of British bingo calls can be traced back to the early 20th century when the game was first introduced in the UK. At that time, bingo was primarily played in working-class communities, and local dialects and slang often inspired the calls. The earliest calls were simple rhymes or references to popular cultures, such as “One little duck” for the number two and “Knock at the door” for the number four.

Over time, the calls became more elaborate, and new ones were added to the list. Today, there are hundreds of different bingo nicknames used in the UK, each with its own unique history and story behind it.

How Bingo Calls Bring People Together

Bingo calls are an essential part of the social experience of playing bingo. They not only help players keep track of the numbers but also create a sense of community and camaraderie among players. When a particular call is announced, it can elicit cheers, laughter, or groans from the players, depending on their luck or personal preferences. This shared experience can unite players and create a fun and memorable gaming experience.

In addition to the social benefits of bingo nicknames, they can also psychologically impact players. Studies have shown that using bingo calls can enhance players’ cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, and decision-making.

Cultural Significance of British Bingo Nicknames

Bingo calls are an intractable part of British culture and have become ingrained in national identity. They are often referenced in popular cultures, such as in music, television, and films. Many famous musicians, including The Beatles and Chas and Dave, have written songs that feature bingo nicknames, and they are a regular feature of British pantomimes and variety shows.

In addition to their entertainment value, bingo nicknames also have historical significance. They provide a snapshot of working-class life in the UK during the early 20th century and serve as a reminder of that era’s cultural traditions and language.

Psychology of Bingo Calls

Bingo nicknames can have a powerful psychological impact on players, influencing their emotions and behaviours. The calls can create a sense of excitement and anticipation among players as they wait for their numbers to be called. However, they can also elicit disappointment or frustration when a player misses out on a winning number.

Studies have shown that using bingo nicknames can enhance players’ cognitive abilities, including memory, attention, and decision-making. The repetition of the calls can help players remember the numbers more easily, while the need to mark off the called numbers quickly can improve their decision-making abilities.

Famous British Bingo Calls

Here are some examples of famous British bingo nicknames and their origins:

  • Two little ducks: This call is used for the number 22 and is thought to have originated because the number two resembles the shape of a duck.
  • Legs eleven: This call is used for the number 11 and refers to the shape of the number resembling two legs.
  • Kelly’s eye: This call is used for the number one and is said to refer to Ned Kelly, an Australian outlaw who had only one eye.
  • Key of the door: This call is used for the number 21 and is thought to refer to the age when a person traditionally becomes an adult in the UK.
  • Two fat ladies: This call is used for the number 88 and is said to refer to the shape of the number resembling two curvy ladies.
  • Top of the shop: This call is used for the number 90 and is said to refer to the highest number in the game.

Many more bingo calls have unique origins, adding to the game’s charm and appeal. We’re going to provide you with the complete list of British bingo nicknames from 1 through 90. You already know six of them, but here’s all 90:

  1. Kelly’s Eye – Refers to Ned Kelly, an Australian outlaw with only one eye.
  2. One Little Duck – The number two resembles the shape of a duck.
  3. Cup of Tea – Rhymes with the number three.
  4. Knock at the Door – Rhymes with the number four.
  5. Man Alive – Rhymes with the number five.
  6. Tom Mix – A famous American cowboy movie star from the 1920s who appeared in many Western films, including “Tom Mix Rides Again” in 1935.
  7. Lucky Seven – Considered a lucky number in many cultures.
  8. Garden Gate – Rhymes with the number eight.
  9. Doctor’s Orders – Refers to a doctor’s prescription, which often comes in a package of nine tablets.
  10. Rishi Sunak’s Den – Refers to British Prime Minister Rishi Sunak, who lives at 10 Downing Street in London.
  11. Legs Eleven – Refers to the shape of the number 11, resembling two legs.
  12. One Dozen – Refers to a group of 12 items.
  13. Unlucky for Some – Considered an unlucky number in many cultures.
  14. Valentine’s Day – Refers to the date of Valentine’s Day, February 14.
  15. Young and Keen – Rhymes with the number 15.
  16. Sweet Sixteen – Refers to the age of 16, which is often considered a coming-of-age milestone.
  17. Dancing Queen – Refers to the ABBA song “Dancing Queen”, which was a hit in the UK in the 1970s.
  18. Coming of Age – Refers to the coming-of-age milestone of turning 18 in the UK.
  19. Goodbye Teens – Refers to the end of the teenage years.
  20. One Score – Refers to a group of 20 items.
  21. Key of the Door – Refers to age 21, often considered a coming-of-age milestone in the UK.
  22. Two Little Ducks – The number 22 resembles the shape of two ducks.
  23. The Lord is my Shepherd – Refers to the 23rd Psalm in the Bible.
  24. Two Dozen – Refers to a group of 24 items.
  25. Duck and Dive – Rhymes with the number 25.
  26. Pick and Mix – Refers to a popular British candy store chain.
  27. Gateway to Heaven – Refers to 27, often considered a lucky age in many cultures.
  28. Overweight – Refers to the weight of 28 stone, which is considered overweight.
  29. Rise and Shine – Rhymes with the number 29.
  30. Dirty Gertie – Refers to the 1937 British comedy film “Dirty Gertie from Harlem USA.”
  31. Get Up and Run – Rhymes with the number 31.
  32. Buckle My Shoe – Rhymes with the number 32.
  33. All the Threes – Refers to the number 33.
  34. Ask for More – Rhymes with the number 34.
  35. Jump and Jive – Rhymes with the number 35.
  36. Three Dozen – Refers to a group of 36 items.
  37. More than Eleven – Refers to the number 37 being more than 11.
  38. Christmas Cake – Rhymes with the number 38.
  39. Steps – Refers to the 39 steps in the novel and film “The 39 Steps.”
  40. Naughty Forty – Rhymes with the number 40.
  41. Time for Fun – Rhymes with the number 41.
  42. Winnie the Pooh – Refers to the number 42 being the number of the “House at Pooh Corner” in A.A. Milne’s “Winnie the Pooh” books.
  43. Down on your Knees – Rhymes with the number 43.
  44. Droopy Drawers – Rhymes with the number 44.
  45. Halfway There – Refers to being halfway to the maximum number of 90.
  46. Up to Tricks – Rhymes with the number 46.
  47. Four and Seven – Refers to the numbers 4 and 7.
  48. Four Dozen – Refers to a group of 48 items.
  49. PC – Refers to Police Constable Archibald Berkeley-Willoughby 
  50. Half a Century – Refers to reaching 50 years old or 50 runs in cricket.
  51. Tweak of the Thumb – Rhymes with the number 51.
  52. Danny La Rue – Refers to Danny La Rue, a British drag queen and entertainer from the 1960s and 1970s.
  53. Stuck in the Tree – Rhymes with the number 53.
  54. Clean the Floor – Rhymes with the number 54.
  55. Snakes Alive – Rhymes with the number 55.
  56. Shotts Bus – This bingo nickname is believed to have originated from a bus route in the Scottish town of Shotts. The bus used to travel from Shotts to Glasgow, and the journey time was around 56 minutes.
  57. Heinz Varieties – Refers to the variety of products the Heinz Company produces.
  58. Make them Wait – Rhymes with the number 58.
  59. Brighton Line – Refers to the railway line from London to Brighton.
  60. Five Dozen – 12 X 5 is 60. 
  61. Bakers Bun – Rhymes with the number 61.
  62. Turn the Screw – Rhymes with the number 62, or Tickety boo – rhymes with the number 62.
  63. Tickle Me – Rhymes with the number 63 and refers to the popular children’s toy “Tickle Me, Elmo”.
  64. Red Raw – Refers to sunburned or sore, or irritated skin, which can appear red.
  65. Old Age Pension – Refers to the age when people in the UK become eligible for the state pension, which is currently 65 years old.
  66. Clickety Click – Fancy that; it rhymes with the number 66.
  67. Made in Heaven – Rhymes with the number 67.
  68. Saving Grace – Rhymes with the number 68.
  69. Either Way Up – Refers to the number 69 looking the same upside down as it does right side up.
  70. Three Score and Ten – Refers to the Biblical reference in Psalm 90:10 that “the days of our years are threescore years and ten”, which means 70 years.
  71. Bang on the Drum – Rhymes with the number 71 and refers to drum playing. It is often accompanied by players mimicking playing the drum.
  72. Six Dozen – Refers to a group of 72 items, equivalent to six dozen.
  73. Queen Bee – Rhymes with the number 73 
  74. Candy Store – Rhymes with the number 74.
  75. Strive and Strive – Rhymes with the number 75.
  76. Trombones – Refers to the musical instrument, the trombone.
  77. Sunset Strip – Refers to the Sunset Strip in Los Angeles.
  78. Heaven’s Gate – Rhymes with the number 78.
  79. One More Time – Say it out loud; it’s just like 79.
  80. Gandhi’s Breakfast – Refers to the fact that Gandhi [his spectacles] reportedly only ate a small amount of food for breakfast each day.
  81. Stop and run – Rhymes with the number 81.
  82. Fat Lady with a Duck -This call combines two separate calls: Fat Lady for the number 8, which refers to the shape of the number resembling an overweight person, and Duck for the number 2.
  83. Time for Tea – Refers to taking a break for tea, a common British pastime and tradition.
  84. Seven Dozen – Refers to a group of 84 items, equivalent to seven dozen.
  85. Staying Alive – Refers to the Bee Gees’ song “Stayin’ Alive.”
  86. Between the Sticks – Refers to the goalkeeper position in football (soccer).
  87. Torquay in Devon – Rhymes with the number 87 and refers to the coastal town of Torquay in Devon, a popular holiday destination in the UK.
  88. Two Fat Ladies – Refers to the shape of 88, resembling two fat ladies.
  89. Nearly There – Refers to being close to reaching the maximum number of 90.
  90. Top of the Shop – Refers to reaching the maximum number of 90 and winning the top prize.

Bingo lingo, also known as nicknames, have been a part of British culture for many, many years, and they continue to be a popular feature of the game today, including in new themed versions of the game such as disco bingo, mobile bingo, emoji bingo, beach blanket bingo, and more. These calls may have variations in different bingo halls or regions, and additional calls may be used for these numbers. However, these calls are commonly recognized and used in British bingo culture.

Human Bingo Callers vs. Computer-Generated Bingo Callers

Traditionally, bingo calls were made by a human bingo caller who would entertain players with their humour, personality, and wit. The human element of bingo calling is integral to the game’s social experience, and players often look forward to interacting with the caller.

However, with the advent of online and electronic bingo machines, computer-generated bingo callers have become more common. These calls are pre-recorded or generated by the software and lack the personal touch of a human caller. While they can still provide entertainment, they offer a different level of interaction or engagement than a human bingo caller.

Land-Based vs Online Bingo Calls

Another difference between land-based and online bingo is the atmosphere in which the calls are made. In a traditional bingo hall, players can hear the caller’s voice and interact with other players in real time. This can create a sense of excitement and anticipation that is difficult to replicate online.

However, online bingo has its advantages. Players can enjoy the game from the comfort of their own homes [or on the go], and they have access to a broader range of bingo games and variations. Online bingo also allows for more flexibility, as players can play at any time of the day or night.

One of the great things about playing bingo online is that you can play bingo for free. Many online bingo sites offer players the chance to play for free in demo games or as part of promotional offers. This is a great way for players to try out new games or test different strategies without risking their own money. 

Bingo Lingo for the 888 Ladies!

British bingo nicknames are a unique and entertaining aspect of the bingo game, bringing people together and creating a sense of community. From their humorous origins to their impact on players’ emotions and behaviours, bingo calls have become integral to British culture and identity. While the advent of online bingo and computer-generated bingo calls has changed the game’s landscape, the social aspect of bingo and the joy of hearing a bingo caller’s voice remains a cherished tradition for many players.