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Know your Bingo Calls

Bingo is part of the modern age, that’s for sure. With new bingo sites like Chitchat Bingo starting up all the time, there’s no shortage of different places to play online bingo.

A big part of the traditional version of bingo was the different calls for each of the numbers. Regulars knew these by heart, and for new players it was always a bit of a mystery until they’d played enough games to begin to know certain number calls off the top of their heads.
Here we profile some of the most memorable:

1. Legs Eleven. Quite a straightforward one to remember as the number eleven could look like a pair of legs quite easily. Always followed by wolf whistles in bingo halls, just as where the expression first came from – it has always been used as a ribald comment in theatre and music hall entertainment.

2. Number seventy-six was always preceded by ‘Was she worth it?’ This actually refers to the cost of an old marriage licence – 7/6d or seven shillings and sixpence pre-decimalisation. The female crowd in the bingo hall always used to call back ‘Every penny’!

3. Danny La Rue – the call for number 52. This is just plain old rhyming slang, of course, and 52 rhymes with the name of one of Britain’s most famous drag queens. Number 52 is sometimes also called out as ‘chicken vindaloo’ – again because it rhymes.

4. Dancing Queen, number seventeen. This call is linked to one of the most famous pop groups in history – Abba. If you don’t remember the lyrics to Dancing Queen…’young and sweet, only seventeen’, you obviously need to sift through your old record collection again!

5. Gandhi’s breakfast is the call for number eighty. Now this call requires a bit of thought and mental imagery. Imagine the bird’s eye view of the skinny Indian leader sitting down cross-legged with his breakfast plate in front of him, and you’ll see the number eighty!

Even though you don’t need them for today’s online bingo, as the software marks the numbers off for you, and not all sites use the traditional calls, it’s still fun to know what they are!

Last Updated 13 August 2017
Know your Bingo Calls

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