William and Kate Get Their Own Bingo Call

In the UK bingo players certainly have an odd way with words. Bingo players in the UK have honed ‘bingo lingo’ into a fine art. Many new players at bingo halls have trouble understanding some of the calls but most adapt and become fluent in ‘bingo lingo.’ The UK is the only country where this unusual and colorful phenomenon takes place. Generally the slang takes the form of creative nicknames and descriptive phrases to describe individual numbers. What makes bingo lingo truly amazing is that each number has its own descriptive phrase or word. What makes things confusing for new players is the fact that individual numbers may have many descriptive or rhyming phrases attached to them. Here are several examples of bingo lingo used in British bingo halls.

1=Kelly’s eye
2=one little duck or me and you
3=cup of tea or you and me
4=knock at the door
5=man alive
6=Tom Mix (A star of the silent screen, known for cowboy roles)
7=lucky for some (7 is a lucky number in several cultures)
8=Garden gate
9=doctor’s orders (Number 9 was a laxative pill given out by army doctors in WWII)
10=David’s den (reference to Prime Minister David Cameron)

As can be seen by these examples in most cases the phrases and words rhyme with the numbers of contain unmistakable British references to objects, political figures and other cultural references. The above examples are not complete by any means. There can be many phrases and words used in local bingo halls and the ‘bingo lingo’ used can vary by region and location. For example the number 1 can be referred to as;
“At the Beginning”
“B1”
“Baby of Bingo”
“Buttered Scone”
“First on the Board”
“Kelly’s Eye”
“Little Jimmy”
“Nelson’s Column”
“Number Ace”

There are no set standard nicknames for any particular number and new ones are constantly added.  The recent royal wedding between Prince William and Kate Middleton inspired Mecca Bingo to sponsor a contest to create a new bingo call. To celebrate their 50th anniversary Mecca asked players to come up with a new bingo call based on the royal couple and other famous personalities. Players came up with the following phrases; William and Kate, 8, Harper Beckham, 7 and Angelina v Jen, number 10. Claire Osborne from Mecca stated “The suggestions we’ve had from our customers were really diverse, from the sublime to the ridiculous. But what we found interesting was how they reflected modern times.”

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