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Bingo School

Calling Terms

Explanations for all the bingo calling terms you might come across.

1. Kelly’s Eye / At the Beginning / Nelson’s Column / Buttered Scone / Little Jimmy
Kelly’s Eye is so-called after the one-eyed Australian gangster Ned Kelly. Mythologized as a Robin Hood style figure, Ned Kelly became a folk hero to many Australians for his defiance of the colonial authorities. The focal point of Trafalgar Square, Nelson’s Column could be said to look like a number one and Nelson also had just one eye.

2. One Little Duck / Me and You / Doctor Who / Baby’s Done It
One Little Duck describes the swan shape of the number two. Me and You and Doctor Who both rhyme with the number. Baby’s Done it refers to the alternative humorous meaning of the phrase “number two”!

3. One Little Flea / You and Me / Cup of Tea / I’m Free
One Little Flea is supposed to describe the flea-like shape of the number three, as well as rhyming. You and Me, Cup of Tea and I’m Free all rhyme.

4. Knock on the Door / On the Floor / The One Next Door / Bobby Moore
The simplest explanation for all of number four’s bingo calling terms is that they rhyme, there are no other accepted explanations around.

5. Man Alive / One Little Snake / Jack’s Alive
Man Alive and Jack’s Alive simply rhyme; One Little Snake refers to the in-and-out shape of the number five.

6. Tom’s Tricks / Chopsticks
Once again, the only accepted explanation is that these terms rhyme with the number six.

7. One Little Crutch / Lucky Seven / God’s in Heaven
One Little Crutch refers to the shape of the number seven. God’s in Heaven probably refers to the term “seventh heaven” and Lucky Seven stems from the superstitious belief that seven is a lucky number.

8. One Fat Lady / Garden Gate / Golden Gate / She’s Always Late
The shape of the number is a bit like One Fat Lady. The other terms rhyme and She’s Always Late would have been thought a humorous term in traditional UK bingo halls.

9. Doctor’s Orders
A pill called the “Number Nine” was prescribed for numerous ailments by British doctors during the Second World War.

10. Downing Street / Gordon’s Den / Cock and Hen / Uncle Ben
Number 10 Downing Street is where the British Prime Minister resides and also explains Gordon’s Den, which refers to the current PM living at number ten Downing Street and is modified with each new Prime Minister. Cock and Hen and Uncle Ben rhyme.

11. Legs Eleven
A well-known bingo term, it refers to the appearance of the two number ones: like two legs.

12. One Dozen / Monkey’s Cousin.
The first term is self-explanatory and the second term rhymes.

13. Baker’s Dozen / Unlucky for Some / Devil’s Number
Baker’s Dozen is a phrase originating from the practice by medieval English bakers of giving an extra loaf to customers buying twelve loaves. Unlucky for Some refers to the superstitious belief that thirteen is an unlucky number and Devil’s Number follows along the same lines.

14. Valentines Day
Valentines Day is on the 14th of February.

15. Rugby Team / Young and Keen
There are fifteen players in a Rugby Union team. Young and Keen refers to a fifteen year old person.

16. Sweet Sixteen / Never Been Kissed / She’s Lovely
Unusually, none of these terms rhyme, instead they all refer to a romanticised view of sixteen year old girls.

17. Dancing Queen / Often Been Kissed
Dancing Queen is taken from the Abba song of the same name, with the lyrics: “dancing queen, young and sweet only seventeen” and Often Been Kissed follows on from 16’s nickname: Never Been Kissed.

18. Key to the Door / Coming of Age
Eighteen is now often seen as the Coming of Age into adulthood (it used to be 21); when a person can vote, drink alcohol, marry freely, and in the case of Bingo fans; play online bingo! The most traditional gift to mark the eighteenth birthday is the Key to the Door, an ornamental key which symbolises the freedom and responsibility associated with adulthood.

19. Goodbye Teens
This bingo calling term also refers to age; nineteen is the last age of a person’s teen years.

20. One Score / Blind 20
In the 1900’s One Score meant twenty, derived from the ancient practice of counting sheep in lots of twenty and keeping tally by scoring notches into a stick with every 20 sheep counted. Blind Twenty simply means 20 on its own, so when it is called you know not to expect another digit after the “twenty”.

21. Royal Salute / Key to the Door
A Royal Salute is a 21 gun salute for a royal birthday or similar grand occasion. As well as 18, 21 is still considered the age of entrance into adulthood by many and therefore the age at which you would be presented with a Key to the Door. You do however only need to be 18 to play online bingo in the UK.

22. Two Little Ducks / Ducks on a Pond / All the Twos
The first two bingo calling terms refer to the shape of the twos as swan or duck-like.

23. The Lord’s My Shepherd / Thee and Me / A Duck and a Flea
The Lord is My Shepherd is Psalm number 23 in the bible. The two is a duck shape and the “flea” part makes a rhyme. Thee and Me also rhymes.

24. Two Dozen
Two dozens equal 24.

25. Duck and Dive
The two is a duck shape and, as well as making a rhyme, the dive part of this bingo calling term creates the already existing well known phrase; to duck and dive.

26. Bed and Breakfast / Half a Crown / Pick and Mix
The cost of a night’s stay and breakfast in the UK used to be two shillings and sixpence, more commonly referred to as “two and six”. Half a Crown was an equivalent monetary amount at the time.

27. Little Duck with a Crutch / Gateway to Heaven
The two is a duck or swan-like shape and the seven a crutch shape. Seventh Heaven is a well-known phrase and helps explain the term Gateway to Heaven, which also rhymes.

28. In a State / Duck and Its Mate / Overweight
Duck and Its Mate can be explained by the duck shaped two alongside a “fat lady” shape and Overweight refers to the eight as being associated with a fat lady.

29. In Your Prime / You’re Doing Fine / Rise and Shine
In Your Prime refers to 29 as an age, as does You’re Doing Fine.

30. Burlington Bertie / Dirty Gertie / Blind 30 / Flirty Thirty / Your Face is Dirty / Speed Limit
Burlington Bertie is horse-racing slang and describes odds of 100-30 in a race. Flirty Thirty is referring to 30 as a person’s age. The Speed Limit in built up areas of the UK is 30 mph.

31. Get Up and Run
No explanation for this bingo calling term, other than that it rhymes.

32. Buckle My Shoe
Again, just a popular rhyme.

33. All the Threes / Two Little Fleas / Dirty Knees / Sherwood Forest
All the Threes is self explanatory. The three is referred to as like a little flea throughout traditional bingo calling, hence Two Little Fleas as a calling term for 33.

34. Ask For More
A rhyming bingo call term.

35. Jump and Jive
This bingo nickname rhymes.

36. Three Dozen
Three dozens equal 36.

37. A Flea in Heaven / More than Eleven
The three is represented by a flea in traditional bingo and the seven is associated with heaven (i.e. seventh heaven), hence the nickname A Flea in Heaven.

38. Christmas Cake
Another rhyming bingo calling name.

39. Those Famous Steps / All the Steps
These bingo nicknames refer to the classic spy book and film: “The 39 Steps”.

40. Two Score / Life Begins at / Naughty Forty / Blind 40
A score equals twenty and so two scores equal 40, hence the nickname Two Score for 40. Life Begins at and Naughty Forty both refer to 40 as a person’s age. As with Blind 30, Blind 40 tells bingo players that the number is on its own and there is no further digit to follow.

41. Time for Fun / Life’s Begun
Life’s Begun follows on from Life Begins At for 40 and also explains the sentiment behind Time for Fun!

42. Famous Street in Manhattan / Winnie the Pooh
42nd Street is a Famous Street in Manhattan known especially for its theatres.

43. Down on your Knees
A rhyming bingo nickname.

44. Droopy Drawers / Open Twp Doors / All the Fours
The first two bingo calling terms rhyme and All the Fours simply explains the digits used to make up 44.

45. Halfway House / Halfway There / Cowboy’s Friend
45 is halfway to 90, the last number in bingo, which explains the calling terms Halfway House and Halfway There. The Colt 45 was a gun commonly used by cowboys, which is why the number 45 also has the nickname Cowboy’s Friend.

46. Up to Tricks
A rhyming calling term for bingo.

47. Four and Seven
A self explanatory bingo calling term.

48. Four Dozen
Four dozens equal 48.

49. P.C. / Copper / Nick Nick
All the police references to this number stem from the popular radio show “PC 49″ broadcast in 40s and 50s Britain.

50. Half a Century / Bulls Eye / Blind 50
Fifty years are Half a Century and Blind 50 follows the same rule as Blind 20, Blind 30 and Blind 40. Hitting the Bull’s Eye in darts is worth 50 points.

51. Tweak of the Thumb / I Love my Mum
Both of these bingo calling terms do not appear to have any meaning behind them, other than that they rhyme.

52. Weeks in a Year / Danny La Rue / Pack o’ Cards
There are 52 weeks in a year and 52 cards in a deck of playing cards. Danny La Rue is a famous British drag entertainer, although why he would be associated with the number 52 is unclear.

53. Stuck in the Tree / The Joker
Stuck in the Tree rhymes. There are 52 playing cards in a deck and so the 53rd card would be one of the Jokers.

54. Clean the Floor
A rhyming bingo nickname.

55. Snakes Alive / All the Fives
All the Fives describes the digits used to make up this number and Snakes Alive rhymes as well as describing the bendy shape of the fives.

56. Was she worth it?
This term could refer to 56 year old man who has been married for a long time.

57. Heinz Varieties / All the Beans
The slogan on many Heinz Ketchup bottles and Heinz baked bean tins read “57 Varieties” (although there are in fact many more Heinz products in reality).

58. Make them Wait / Choo choo Thomas
The first calling term rhymes but there seems to be no explanation behind Choo choo Thomas.

59. Brighton Line
Engine 59 was the London to Brighton railway service, known as the Brighton Line.

60. Five Dozen / Three Score / Blind 60
Five dozens equal 60. A score is 20 and so three scores equal 60. Blind 60 follows the logic behind Blind 20, 30, 40 and so on.

61. Bakers Bun
A rhyming bingo call term with no apparent meaning behind it.

62. Tickety Boo / Turn on the Screw
Some more bingo nicknames that rhyme but seem to have no other meaning behind them.

63. Tickle Me
A rhyming nickname in traditional bingo.

64. Red Raw / The Beatles
Number The Beatles Number refers to the popular Beatles song “When I’m 64″.

65. Old Age Pension
65 was traditionally the age of retirement for men in the UK.

66. Clickety Click / All the Sixes
All the Sixes describes the digits used to make up the number 66.

67. Made in Heaven / Argumentative
Number Seven has a close association with heaven and this is reflected throughout bingo in the UK, hence the call term Made in Heaven.

68. Saving Grace
Saving Grace is the name of a film based on a novel, but any relevance to bingo is not clear.

69. The Same Both Ways / Either Way Up / Any Way Up / Any Way Round
These bingo calling terms all refer to the fact that the six becomes a nine if turned upside down, and vice versa.

70. Three Score and Ten / Blind 70
A score is 20 and so three scores (60) and ten equals 70. Blind 70 means 70 on its own.

71. Bang on the Drum
A rhyming bingo call term.

72. Six Dozen / Par for the Course / A Crutch and a Duck
Par for the Course is based on golfing terminology; the par (expected number of shots) for a typical golf course is 72.

73. Crutch with a Flea / Queen B / Under the Tree
The seven is a crutch shape and the three a flea shape.

74. Candy Store / Grandma of Bingo
The second call term uses 74 to describe a person’s age. Like a candy store, there are plenty of treats on offer at bingo-deals!

75. Strive and Strive / Grandpa of Bingo
As with Grandma of Bingo for 74, Grandpa of Bingo uses the number as a person’s age. You’re never too old to play online bingo!

76. Trombones / Was She Worth It / Seven and Six
The brass section music piece “76 trombones” is performed frequently at parades, hence the bingo nickname Trombones. Was She Worth It refers to the cost of an old marriage license: 7 shillings and six pence.

77. All the Sevens / Two Little Crutches / Sunset Strip
The two sevens look like Two Little Crutches and 77 Sunset Strip was an American TV series screened in the fifties and sixties.

78. Heaven’s Gate
This bingo calling term carries on the number seven’s association with heaven and it also rhymes. Online bingo lovers will be in heaven with so much choice here at Bingo deals.

79. One More Time
A rhyming bingo nickname again.

80. Blind 80 / Gandhi’s Breakfast / Eight and Blank
Blind 80 simply means 80 on its own. Gandhi’s Breakfast is so called because if you imagine looking down at Gandhi sitting cross-legged in front of a big empty plate, the outline would be similar to the shape of the number 80, also ate (8) nothing (0) could explain this bingo calling term.

81. Stop and Run
A rhyming bingo nickname with no other obvious meaning.

82. Fat Lady with a Duck / Straight on Through
The eight is a fat lady shape (two halves of a body) and the two a duck shape.

83. Ethel’s Ear / Fat Lady with a Flea / Time for Tea
The eight can be seen as a fat lady shape (or a fat lady called Ethel) and the three can be seen as an ear shape or a flea shape (which also rhymes).

84. Seven Dozen
Seven dozens equal 84.

85. Staying Alive
A rhyming bingo call term

86. Between the Sticks
Another rhyming bingo nickname with no apparent meaning behind it.

87. Fat Lady with a Crutch / Torquay in Devon
The Eight is a fat lady shape and the seven is a crutch shape, the second bingo call term rhymes.

88. All the Eights / Two Fat Ladies / Wobbly Wobbly
The two eights look like Two Fat Ladies which also explains the term Wobbly Wobbly.

89. All But One / Nearly There
89 is one number away from 90, which is the highest number that can be called in bingo.

90. Top of the Shop / Top of the House / As Far As We Go / End of the Line / Blind 90
All of these bingo calling terms refer to the fact that 90 is the highest number in a game of bingo, except Blind 90 which simply means 90 on its own. It needn’t be the end of the line until you want it to be, when you play online bingo!

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