Some Of The Most Iconic British Bingo Calls Of All Time

Lynn Martelli
Lynn Martelli

While Bingo may seem like a fairly straightforward game of marking numbers off a card, the game itself has a rich history and is ever-popular in Britain, partly thanks to the memorable Bingo calls that make the game unique.

These quirky phrases used to announce each number have become ingrained in British popular culture, instantly recognisable to anyone who has set foot in a Bingo hall, or played the game at an online casino.

The amusing nicknames assigned to specific numbers are far from being randomly chosen. Many of the most famous Bingo calls pay homage to British history, culture or humour.

Let’s take a look at some of the most iconic British bingo calls that have endured for generations:

1. Number 1 – “Kelly’s eye” or “Buck or doe”

Number one is often referred to as “Kelly’s eye” in reference to the Australian outlaw and folk hero Ned Kelly who was renowned for having one hanging eye after a shootout with police. The more straightforward “buck or doe” call also makes an appearance.

2. Number 7 – “Lucky for some”

Deemed a lucky number by many, number seven gets the upbeat nickname as Bingo players aim to have it marked off their cards.

3. Number 10 – “(Current Prime Minister)’s Den”

This call makes reference to the house number on Downing Street in which the current Prime Minister takes residence. The Bingo caller will insert the name of the British Prime Minister in the call.

4. Number 11 – “Legs 11”

A reference to the number looking somewhat like a pair of long legs.

5. Number 13 – “Unlucky for some”

While some might believe the number seven is ‘lucky’, superstitious Bingo players often believe the number 13 brings bad luck – giving rise to its ominous “unlucky for some” handle.

6. Number 17 – “Dancing queen”

This call is a reference to the popular song by ABBA, with lyrics saying “dancing queen, young and sweet only 17”.

7. Number 22 – “Two little ducks”

This cute call paints a picture of two ducks paddling around, possibly more visible to those who squint their eyes.

8. Number 33 – “Dirty knee” or “All the threes”

A simple rhyme, this call is often announced in a combination of the above, such as “All the threes, dirty knee!”

9. Number 59 – “Brighton line”

This classic call is a reference to the bus running between Brighton and Shoreham-by-Sea.

10 . Number 88 – “Two fat ladies”

Possibly the most iconic bingo call, “two fat ladies” is paired with the number 88, which is said to resemble two curvy ladies standing next to each other

There are plenty more unique British Bingo calls for you to explore, whether they be eccentric, amusing or a cultural reference. From “staying alive” for 75, “clickety click” for 66 or “time for tea” for 83, each quirky call celebrates something uniquely British.

Bingo games are available to play at land-based halls and online, with different themed variations and perhaps some new, updated calls for you to discover .

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