Bingo Calls

Whether it’s at your local Bingo club or at your favourite online Bingo site, Bingo calls are a crucial, and fun, part of the game.
In this page you will be able to learn more about the origins of Bingo calling, including the interesting backgrounds of calling terms.

Bingo Rhyme History

Bingo rhyme history is seeped in tradition and British culture from the early days of Bingo when it first arrived in the UK.
Calls were devised obviously to inform players which numbers they needed to mark off, but they also began to be glammed up a bit to make the atmosphere more exciting.
Callers soon realized that shouting just a number on its own didn’t have the same effect as shouting it with a rhyme or reference that went with the number, and so the tradition was born.

Bingo Calling Slang

Bingo calling slang today is still the same as it has been throughout history. Many of the old rhymes do not have much reference or meaning anymore, but they have still kept their appeal and so they are still used in halls and online games today.
Here are some of the most interesting and well-known slang calling terms and their meanings:

  • 1. Kelly’s Eye: This refers to the infamous Australian one-eyed gangster Ned Kelly.
  • 10. Downing Street: Number 10 Downing Street is where the British Prime Minister lives.
  • 11. Legs Eleven: This refers to the appearance of the two number ones which look like two legs.
  • 16. Never Been Kissed: This one refers to the old saying ‘sweet sixteen and never been kissed’.
  • 27. Little Duck with a Crutch: The number 2 is often refered to as ‘little duck’, and the 7 resembles its crutch.
  • 32. Buckle My Shoe: This is a pure rhyming call, with no real meaning behind it.
  • 45. Cowboy’s Friend: Cowboys used to carry Colts 45 as guns.
  • 59. Brighton Line: Engine 59 was the London to Brighton train, known as the Brighton Line.
  • 90. End of the Line: This one refers to the fact that 90 is the highest number in a game of Bingo.

Find tips and resources on playing Bingo in the How to Play Bingo section.