Popular Culture's Influence on Bingo Calls

Pop Culture’s Influence on Bingo Calls

Bingo’s been around for yonks and, with it, all those classic bingo calls that date back to your nan’s days. The way the numbers are called is an essential part of the game – not only does it help clarify which ball is being called (19 can sound a lot like 90 in the midst of a buzzing crowd), they also make the game a lot more fun!

However, times are a-changin’, and with bingo getting a renewed lease of life, thanks to advancements in technology that now allow us to play bingo online, bingo calls are changing too. The younger generations that are now filling virtual bingo halls may not know their two fat ladies from their two little ducks, which is why they’ve come up with more relevant slang terms for their bingo calls.

Of course, traditional favourites have withstood the test of time, but now there are some new kids on the bingo block, and they’ve brought with them modern bingo lingo to reflect pop culture’s slang and keep things relevant and fresh.

Old vs new

Let’s take a look at a few of the calls that have entered today’s bingo players’ lexicon, and see what they replaced. What a difference a turn of a century makes! How many have you already heard?


“One Direction”/“YOLO” – “Kelly’s eye” is out, and award-winning boy band One Direction are in. This call’s a pretty self-explanatory reference, as is the alternative, YOLO: “You only live once.”


“Doctor Who” – Replacing “One little duck”, which was chosen because the number 2 is vaguely the shape of a duck (if you really use your imagination, and it’s facing the right way), is the rhyming call “Doctor Who”, referencing the uber-popular TV sci-fi franchise. If there are any “Whovian’s” playing bingo, they may even go so far as to call “Patrick Troughton” – the second actor to have played the legendary doc.


“Debbie McGee” – We all love a good “cup of tea”, there’s no doubt about that, but Strictly Come Dancing and Celebrity Big Brother’s Debbie McGee has effortlessly danced her way into bingo calls, and we’re not going to argue about it. Fans of the beautiful numbers game who are longer in the tooth may, of course, fondly remember her in The Paul Daniels Magic Show!


“Little Mix” – A perfectly kittylicious rhyming call for everyone’s favourite X Factor girl band. Sorry, Tom (Mix) – maybe it’s time to hang up your Stetson!


“David Beckham” – Finding a rhyme for 7 was an impossible feat, leaving us with the lacklustre “Lucky 7” call before our David came and saved the day with his abs… we mean skills.


“Tinder date” – Because a tinder date is way more exciting than a garden gate. At least before it happens!


“Get an Uber from mine” – “Doctor’s orders” was a vague army reference as doctors in the military used to close shop at 9pm. But we’re not here for history lessons, we’re here for bingo games, and Ubers really are the most convenient way to travel these days (although other taxi-hailing apps are available, obvs).


“Yas queen!” – It’s the only truly appropriate Gen-Z response to something fabulous, so that alone earns it a place in the modern number calls. Move over ABBA, Lady Gaga is here – 2000s version of “Dancing Queen”.


“Lads on tour” – Because, again, a wild weekend away with the boys is way more exciting than “Two dozen”.


“Adele” – World-famous singer Adele sold more than 22 million copies of her album, 25, making it the fourth-best selling album of the century, and earning her a well-deserved place in bingo halls.


“Hipster heaven” – A simple rhyme honouring the cool kids of east London, who you’ll find drinking craft beer, oiling their beards, and listening to bands no one’s ever heard of at the most trendy bars, coffee shops, and art galleries.


“Jimmy Choo” – Buckled shoes are finally out while the far more swish Jimmy Choo is in.


“Avocado on a plate” – “Christmas cake” – you either love it or you hate it, which makes it a touch-and-go call. Avocado, however… well, with smashed avo being on almost every trendy café’s menu these days (especially the ones with the accent), it’s an obvious choice.


“Love Island time” – The old call was “Steps”, in reference to The Thirty Nine Steps, a novel by John Buchan. That novel was released in 1915, though (and even the classic Hitchcock film based on it came out all the way back in 1935), and Love Island is one of the most popular reality dating shows of the 21st century, which means it’s definitely now Love Island time.


“Tag a mate” – Like you would on social media.


“Amazon Prime” – Deliveries, Kindle, video and music, and now bingo, Amazon Prime has earned its spot in our hearts, even if it’s burned a hole in our pockets at the same time. We wonder if the founder and richest man in the world, Jeff Bezos, plays bingo?


“Brunch for Two” – The most fashionable meal of the day, really. This call replaces that of the famous drag queen, Danny La Rue, and the rather obvious “weeks of the year”.


“Late for my Tinder date” – A cheeky little rhyme for the popular dating app (although again, other dating apps are available).


“Recycle more” – Just a friendly reminder. We applaud this one, because it’s just the right thing to do.


“Haters gonna hate” – That’s right, Taylor Swift.


“Gluten-free” – The bloat-free toast we need for those avocados (don’t forget the crushed chillies).


“Instagram pics” – That’s right, the world’s most popular social media app with 1.386 billion users (and counting) has snapped its way into your bingo games!


“Wills & Kate” – A royal rhyme for the royal couple.

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We hope you’ve enjoyed our lowdown of the latest bingo lingo in town – and if you want to come up with some improvements of your own on the traditional number calls, why not visit our bingo site? At Kitty Bingo, we offer the best bingo action – plus we’re also home to slots galore as well as the popular bingo-slot game hybrid, Slingo bingo! Join the Kitty Bingo community for all the best in online entertainment.

/ 21 December 2021