Starting in the 16th century, bingo has came a long way to become the game it is today. The first recorded instance of bingo was around 1530, when Italian people played a national lottery called Il Gioco del Lotto d’Italia.
Today bingo not only serves as a game of reflexes and a battle of vigilance, but also brings a wealth of tradition. When going to play bingo, you might want to wear your favourite polo neck and most importantly, brush up your memory of bingo calls. In this article we will look over some of the favourite bingo calls at barbadosbingo.com.
Bingo calls came about when the game gained popularity in the 1950s UK. Some say they were penned by military men, some claim that Londoners simply adapted them from their rhyming slang. One thing is for sure – we have bingo calls as means of clarification as to which number is being called. Most of these calls either rhyme with their number, resemble the shape of the number or acts as a reference to someone/something famous.
Favourite calls explained
- The number 10 – (Prime minister’s) den. This call equates today to “Boris’ Den”. It refers to the Prime Minister’s residence at 10 Downing Street, London.
- Number 17 is a jolly call “Dancing Queen”. It rhymes with the number 17 and is also a reference to the lyrics of ABBA’s hit song.
- Number 39 – not all bingo calls are mischievous in nature, for example this one which is called “39 Steps” is a reference to 1915 novel The Thirty Nine Steps by John Buchan.
- On the other hand the number 30 is called “Dirty Gertie”. This is a reference to a rather saucy song from the era of World War Two. Allied troops in North Africa used to sing it to boost the morale.
- 59 – Brighton Line refers to the bus route from London to Brighton.
- Number 2 – “One little duck!”. If you look at the shape of number 2 you will soon see how this call came to be!
- Number 8 – “Garden Gate”. This one is often said to be a purely rhyming matter, although some suggest that “Garden Gate” was a code for a secret meeting or a drop-off marker.
- Number 20 – this number can be called one of 2 ways: “One Score” which leaves no questions asked – a score is a 20. Although if you’re feeling cheeky you might call an alternative “20 – Getting Plenty!”
- Number 34 is called “Ask for more!”. This is a very well fitting one, seeing as it follows 33 – “Fish, chips and peas”.
A reason to play
Bingo calls make the game so much more lively, spirited and fun to play. Everyone loves a charismatic caller who will add extra spice into calling out the numbers. Here’s to hoping that we’ll see the social game of bingo thriving for many more years, as it should be – an essential part of Britain’s culture! Top of the Shop.