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Famous bingo calls

Bingo is one of the UK’s beloved games and its history can be traced back for more than 500 years. The true beauty of the game is its simplicity. The rules are easy to understand and everybody has an equal chance of winning at the start of the game (although you can boost your chances by buying more tickets!).

It is enjoyed by many different audiences; with some hoping to strike lucky and win big, while others just use it as an excuse to socialise, whether on or offline.

For example, bingo halls are seen by many as pillars of communities, and a great place to spend time with friends or meet new ones, but those who play online mobile bingo can also enjoy a social experience, with the opportunity to meet other players in the site’s chat rooms, whilst utilising the site’s comprehensive catalogue of bingo games.

But perhaps bingo’s true charm is in the rhymes and quips that accompany many of the calls. A seasoned bingo caller will know a vast majority of them off by heart, and will be used to rattling through the one-liners throughout a game.

Here are some of the best-loved bingo calls:

11: “Legs Eleven” – Many bingo calls are easy to remember as they relate to the actual shape of the number, and legs 11 is a perfect example of this. There’s no historical back story to this one, the number 11 just looks like a pair of legs. Sometimes it is simply a case of ‘say what you see’. Though I think that’s a different game.

Bingo calls

17: “Dancing Queen” – This call comes from the famous Abba song, Dancing Queen, which describes a “young and sweet” 17-year-old. The song is loved by so many – including the queen! – and fondly remembered by players up and down the country.

22: “Two little ducks” – This is another call that resembles the shape of the numbers. The number two on its own is sometimes accompanied by the call “one little duck”. A lesser-known call for 22 is “Desmond” in tribute to the religious cleric Desmond Tutu.

2 ducks

25: “Duck and dive” – A fun twist on “two little ducks”, this call combines shape and rhyme to create a memorable call. The number five can also represent a snake in bingo, which most people would be keen to “dive” out of the way of! On the other hand, others believe this is because the ‘5’ looks like a duck diving under the water.

26: “Pick and mix” – Some of the most memorable bingo calls rhyme with the number they accompany. However, in some regions, the call for 26 is bed and breakfast, as the number historically represents the typical cost of a booking – two shillings and sixpence.


57: “Heinz Varieties” – Several bingo calls are derived from their cultural significance and the number 57’s call is a perfect example. It represents the 57 varieties of pickles and sauces that the Heinz company traditionally produced.

88: “Two fat ladies” – Perhaps the most famous call of them all, two fat ladies is instantly recognisable as the number 88. This is another visual call, meant in good fun, that depicts two larger ladies next to one another.

So, there you have it, a variety of different bingo halls along with some interesting anecdotes as to where they came from. perhaps, next time you’re playing a game of bingo, you’ll be a little more clued-up when the numbers are being called.

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