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Bingo Calls, Number Nicknames and Rhyming Slang – 1 to 10

Author: Nick Wright

Whether you enjoy playing jackpot bingo online or take in the more social aspect by visiting your local house of bingo, the chances are that you will have come across the practice of bingo calling, whereby the numbers are given nicknames or jovial phrases by physical callers or the digital equivalent on free play bingo sites. This is a long tradition and over time the meaning or explanation of some of the calls which you may come across when playing jackpot bingo online or visiting a house of bingo have become a bit of a mystery to lots of players. This article will run through some of the more interesting calls you may come across when playing bingo and discuss the possible explanations for the nicknames called out at a house of bingo.

Now, in jackpot bingo games and other variations of the game which you may find at both a house of bingo and on online bingo sites there are a variety of calls based on both the shape of the numbers themselves and on the tradition of rhyming slang. For instance the number two can be referred to by a bingo caller as ‘one little duck’ due to the shape of the number two, or as ‘me and you’ for rhyming purposes. These calls whilst generally quite entertaining, do not have particularly interesting explanations, so the rest of this article will focus on the other more unusual bingo calls.

What better place to begin with a run down of interesting bingo calls and nicknames than at the very start in the shape of the number one, which in a lot of bingo games if referred to as Kelly’s Eye. The explanation for this call is not always agreed upon, but many believe that it makes reference to famous American gangster Ned Kelly who only had one eye. Another common call is that of ‘lucky for some’ for the number seven, and this is a reference to the fact that a number of cultures especially in Asia regard the number seven to be a lucky number, a fact that is often picked up on by gamblers, who are often a superstitious breed.

As you move down the numbers, the next to have an interesting call and back story is number nine which can often be called as ‘doctor’s orders’. This seemingly cryptic call dates back to World War Two where a laxative pill prescribed by army doctors was simply known as a number nine. A constantly changing and ever topical bingo call is that attached to the number ten, which is based on the current Prime Minister living at ten Downing Street, and as such would currently be called as ‘David’s Den’.

That concludes this first foray into the fascinating world of jackpot bingo calling but keep checking back as the rundown of number nicknames will continue in future articles but in the meantime why not visit your favourite free money online bingo sites and have a quick game or two?