1-90 bingo calls

Bingo calls are a popular way to call out each number in bingo. Read our guide to discover the call for each number.

  • March 31, 2022
  • 10 minutes
woman with megaphone

B-I-N-G-O is a traditional game played in halls across the world. Bingo has undergone numerous name changes in previous incarnations, being called "beano" and "housie".

However, Bingo halls are still famous, with more than 3.5 billion tickets sold in the UK alone each year.

The bingo game uses 90 numbered balls and is traditionally played on a card with nine columns and three rows, leading to the term "nine-oh" to refer to the last number 90.

Bingo sayings can vary depending on location. Many nicknames and numbers refer to other numbers. Bingo calls are the nicknames given to bingo numbers, and they're an integral part of the game. There's even a professional association for bingo callers.

Most bingo calling numbers have nicknames, some of them are pretty risqué, and some are called by their bingo number name and a rhyming phrase. So let us get going with the rundown of all 90 numbers.

1. Kelly's eye

The origin of this bingo number saying is not entirely clear; however, there are a couple of theories. The first is that it references Ned Kelly, one of Australia's greatest folk heroes. Another view is that 'Kelly's eye' was from the music hall song "Has Anybody Here Seen Kelly".

2. One Little Duck, Me and You, Baby's Done

The number two references one little swimming Duck, which resembles the written number in Cockney rhyming slang. Me and You and Baby's Done, meaning baby's done a poo, or another popular term, a number two. 

3. Cup of tea

Get the kettle on! As we know, the British are incredibly fond of their tea, and the number 3 and tea rhymes together perfectly. As a result, this is one of the most popular and easily remembered bingo number sayings.

4. Knock at the door

Knock, knock, who is there? This phrase and number 4 rhyme very well. With bingo calling, you will also notice that most numbers and words match their rhyming name. It helps the bingo callers to associate and remember the numbers.

5. Man Alive

Man alive is often used to describe disbelief or distrust. The theory is that this bingo call started as a nautical saying used by sailors who wanted to alert their crew when they found a shipwreck with an alive sailor still on board.

6. Half a dozen/Tom Mix

12 makes up a dozen; therefore, 6 is half a dozen; it is one of those bingo sayings we can all easily remember. In addition, Tom Mix was one of the USA's most prominent Western stars, appearing in 291 films. The legend of Tom Mix continues to live on today in bingo calling.

7. Lucky seven

The number 7 has always been regarded as a lucky number in various cultures. For example, a week consists of 7 days. A musical scale comprises seven notes, and similarly, there are seven colours in the rainbow.

8. Garden Gate

Garden Gate rhymes with the number 8. The myth surrounding the number 8 is that the garden gate was a secret meeting point or drop off location.

9. Doctor's orders

Number 9 was the name of the medication given to soldiers during World War II when they weren't feeling great. It was a potent laxative that quickly sorted out the soldier's ailments!

10. (Current Prime Minister's name) den

This bingo calling name refers to the current Prime Minister in No 10 Downing Street. The bingo caller will add the current title to their call.

11. Legs Eleven

This one is all about the shape that the number eleven makes. The two number 1s have the appearance of a pair of slim legs. This bingo name traditionally triggers y many wolf whistles, which is no longer allowed.

12. One dozen

Back to the dozen, six was half a dozen, and 12 makes a dozen! One of the most straightforward names to remember in bingo calls the UK. 

13. Unlucky for some

The number 13 has generally been seen as an unlucky number. However, this bingo saying could be lucky for you if you hit the full house on number 13!

14. Valentines Day/Lawnmower

The day of love and romance! The 14th of February has everyone swooning the world over. The other bingo name, lawnmower, originates back when lawnmowers were still operated with a 14-inch blade, the old-fashioned pull/push type.

15. Young and keen

Bingo calls don't come more straightforward than this one. Fifteen and keen rhyme together harmoniously.

16. Sweet 16 and never been kissed

One of the oldest bingo sayings, the Blue Mountaineers, originally released this pop song in 1932. It has been remixed by many famous artists over the years, such as Shirley Temple. 

17. Dancing Queen

Who doesn't love a bit of ABBA? Thanks to this great hit from 1976, dancing queen young and sweet and only seventeen, dancing queen created the number 17 bingo name from the lyrics. 

18. Coming of age

At 18, you are finally of age to legally drink and are officially recognised as an adult. Many bingo callers also shout out, "Now you can vote".

19. Goodbye teens

As we wave goodbye to our teenage years and enter our twenties, goodbye teens reference this significant milestone of the last teenage years.

20. One Score/Getting Plenty

One score was a term used by shepherds to count their livestock. The theory is they would count to 20 and mark a score on stock so that they didn't lose count. One score is 20 units. Getting plenty is a phrase that rhymes with the number 20.

21. Royal salute/Key of the door

Twenty-one is the age where traditionally, you would move out of the family home and have the keys to your own place. The Royal salute refers to the 21 guns fired during royal or military salutes.

22. Two little ducks

Another bingo call references the shapes that the bingo numbers make. For example, the number two resembles a duck. Traditionally players respond with quack quack when this number is called.

23. Three and Me/The Lord is my shepherd

Three and me rhyme with 23. The Lord is my shepherd call comes from Psalm 23 in the Old Testament of the Bible.

24. Two Dozen

12 makes up one dozen. Two dozen is 24. Another easy one to remember.

25. Duck and dive

Another rhyming call, with a pun, number 2 looks like a duck whilst upside-down number 5 is an upside-down duck. Duck and dive refer to someone who resourcefully and cleverly manages to get themselves out of sticky situations.

26. Half a crown/Pick n' Mix

In old money, before 1970, half a crown was 2 shillings and sixpence. Therefore, the numbers two and six are referenced. Pix and Mix used to be a favourite on the high street where you choose your self-service sweets and pay per weight at the till.

27. Gateway to heaven/ Duck and a crutch

Gateway to heaven is a short rhyme about the pearly gates in heaven. Duck and a crutch refer to the number 2 that looks like a duck and number 7 that resembles a crutch.

28. In a state/Overweight

Two and eight is cockney rhyming slang "He was in a right two and eight," meaning he was not in a great state! Overweight refers to the number 8, known in bingo as the fat lady. It is also a simple rhyme.

29. Rise and Shine

This cheery bingo call is another simple rhyme. Rise and shine also refer to the start of a new day and new beginnings.

30. Dirty Gertie

Dirty Gertie rhymes with 30. It comes from a humorous song sung by soldiers in Northern Africa during the 2nd World War. Dirty Gertie has been around for so long; if you've never heard of it, your grandparents definitely will! 

31. Get up and run

When you hear this simple rhyming call is time to get up and run!

32. Buckle my shoe

Buckle my shoe, another bingo calling number that rhymes with 32!

33. All the threes/Fish, chips & peas/Three feathers

We all love a Friday fish supper from our local chippy, and it rhymes well with 33. All the threes  Three feathers is a reference to the Prince of Wales.

34. Ask for more

Another great rhyme that also goes perfectly after no 33! Who fancies more fish and chips?

35. Jump and Jive

Get ready to dance with the number 35 taken from the Jive, a popular dance craze during the 1940s and 1950s.

36. Three dozen

Another straightforward calling, 36 is three dozen.

37. More than eleven

Although lots of numbers are more than 11, this one rhymes!

38. Christmas Cake

Christmas Cake is another call that derives from cockney rhyming slang. Although this one we found questionable.

39. 39 Steps/Jack Benny

Thirty-nine steps reference the film called 39 steps by Alfred Hitchcock. Jack Benny was a comedian in America. His ongoing joke was that he was always 39 years old.

40. Life Begins

We can confirm the truth in this bingo call for those who have already hit 40. The saying derives from a self-help book, "Life Begins at Forty", written by W.B Pitkin in the 1930s.

41. Time for fun

Number 41 is another reference to life begins at 40. Therefore, it's time for merrymaking.

42. Winnie the Pooh

This rhyme comes from everyone's favourite bear, Winnie the Pooh. The books were first published in 1926 by A.A. Milne. Walt Disney acquired the copyright to the characters and books in 1961.

43. Down on your knees

This phrase was made famous during the war by soldiers. 

44. Droopy drawers

Another simple rhyme. Droopy drawers refer to saggy underwear.

45. Halfway there

This bingo call is pretty straightforward. A traditional bingo game consists of 90 balls, and 45 is the halfway mark. 

46. Up to tricks

Another rhyming phrase. Up to tricks refers to someone that behaves foolishly or dishonestly. This will be similar to events they may have done in their past. 

47. Four and seven

Not a particularly exciting call the numbers 47, four and seven, with no references to anything.

48. Four dozen

4 x 12 = 48. Four dozen is another bingo call that references counting in dozens.

49. PC

Based on a radio show that aired between 1946 and 1953 called "The Adventures of PC 49". The response to this call from the players is "Evening all".

50. Half a century/Snow White's number

This number does what it says on the tin. A century is 100; therefore, half of 100 is 50. The reference to Snow white is from the song "It's Off to Work we go".

51. Tweak of the thumb

Another rhyming call with the meaning is similar to "in the blink of an eye".

52. Danny La Rue/Deck of Cards/Chicken vindaloo

Danny La Rue was an Irish singer and drag queen entertainer during the 1940s. A deck of cards is the number in a complete deck. Chicken vindaloo is a new bingo call that Butlins introduced in 2003.

53. Here comes Herbie/Stuck in the tree

Herbie is the famous VW Beetle car featured in many Walt Disney films during the 1960s. A popular response by players is "Beep, beep". Stuck in a tree rhymes with 53.

54. Clean the floor

We don't want to be thinking about cleaning our floors when playing bingo. This rhyme has been around for many years.

55. Snakes alive

The number five is one little snake; therefore, number 55 is another visual call as the two number fives have the appearance of snakes ready to pounce.

56. Shotts Bus/Was she worth it?

The Shotts bus ran from Glasgow to Shotts, and the original bus number was 56. Was she worth it refers to how much a marriage licence used to cost back in the 1950s, five shillings and sixpence! Players often shout back "Every penny" when the caller asks if she was worth it.

57. Heinz Varieties

Henry Heinz, the founder of Heinz, was known for having 57 different varieties of beans in cans. Although they sell many more products, it was Henry Heinz's lucky number, which has stuck ever since.

58. Make them wait/Choo Choo Thomas

Another simple rhyming bingo call. The bingo callers often make players wait when calling this number. In addition, players usually respond with "Choo Choo, Thomas" when 58 is called!

59. Brighton Line

There are conflicting ideas on where the Brighton line comes from. Some say it was the number of the train from Brighton to London; whilst others say that the time it took was 59 minutes?

60. Five dozen/Grandma's getting frisky

We are back to the dozens! Five dozen =60. Grandma's getting frisky also nearly rhymes with sixty.

61. Baker's bun

Sixty-one is another simple rhyme that sounds similar to Baker's bun.

62. Turn the screw/Tickety-boo

Both these bingo calling numbers rhyme with the number. Turn of the screw is also a book written by Henry James about children possessed by demons. Tickety Boo originated as a military phrase used by British personnel in India before they became independent. The meaning "Everything alright sir".

63. Tickle me

Another rhyming phrase with unclear origins. Who doesn't love a tickle, though!

64. Red Raw/Almost Retired

Another simple rhyme in red raw. Almost retired used to be the age where men only had a year to retire and claim their pensions.

65. Old age pension

This was the traditional age men could retire in the UK. However, bingo callers have also been known to use "stop work" or "time to retire".

66. Clickety click

Another engaging sounding rhyme. The origin of Clickety click is unclear.

67. Stairway to heaven

Another rhyming bingo call, the popular song Stairway to Heaven, was released in 1971 by Led Zeppelin and covered by many artists.

68. Pick a mate

Pick a mate rhymes with 68. Bingo goes better with friends, so get down to your local hall and keep an ear out for this call.

69. Any way up

The number 69 can be flipped around and will still look the same, hence the bingo calling name any way up.

70. Three scores and ten

Another mathematical call with three score ten. 3 x 2 = 60 + 10 = 70. 

71. Bang on the drum

Bang on the drum is another rhyming bingo call. However, in early 2000 there was a campaign to change this call to "J.Lo's bum"!

72. Six dozen/Par for the course

Back to the dozens. Six dozen = 72. Par for the course refers to the standard par of 72 on a golf course.

73. Queen bee/Under the tree

Both these bingo calls rhyme with the number 73.

74. Hit the floor/Candy Store

Another two bingo calls that rhyme!

75. Strive and strive

We all strive for that full house. So let us hope the number 75 brings us luck!

76. Trombones

This call originates from the 1962 musical movie "The Music Man". The lyrics include, "seventy-six trombones led the big parade".

77. Sunset strip/Two little crutches

77 Sunset Strip was a hit television series in the 1960s. Two little crutches are a visual name as the number 7 resembles a crutch.

78. 39 more steps/Heavens gate

39 plus 39 = 78, it refers to being 39 steps above. Heaven's Gate is a simple rhyme.

79. One more time

Another rhyming call.

 80. Gandhi's Breakfast

Another visual reference call. It is Gandhi sitting in front of an empty plate. He ate (8) nothing (0).

81. Stop and run/Fat Lady With a Walking Stick

Stop and run is another rhyming call. Fat lady with a walking stick. The number eight represents a woman with ample breasts and hips, and the number one is a walking stick. 

82. Straight on through

Another simple rhyme for number 82.

83. Time for tea

This rhyme references the UK's favourite drink, a cuppa tea! Who doesn't love a cup of tea?

84. Seven dozen

The last reference to dozens! 7 x12 = 84.

85. Staying alive

Surprisingly these bingo numbers sayings are not about the Bee Gees hit. Instead, it's another simple rhyme with the number 85.

86. Between the sticks

Between the sticks references goalkeepers, who spend a match between the goalposts or sticks!

87. Torquay in Devon

Another one of the simple rhyming bingo sayings.

88. Two fat ladies

The number 88 is a visual expression where the curves on the number eight look like two fat ladies sitting together. 

89. Nearly there

This one's pretty obvious, one away from the end of the bingo numbers 90!

90. Top of the shop/end of the line/as far as we go

Well, here we are at the end! So, we have made it to the end of the line, and it is as far as we go!


Bingo number names are notable names to create a sense of friendliness and fun for the game. Most of these terms were given to bingo numbers back in the 1950s.  If you've ever been to a UK bingo hall, you know there's this feeling of excitement and community in the air. It creates evening entertainment for us with friends and the chance to hit a full house, hopefully!

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