Bingo has long since been a frontrunner for the attention of gaming lovers – both online and otherwise. Originating as a form of the Italian Lottery back in 1530, Bingo continued to evolve as it found it’s place in 19th century Europe, before making its debut in the United States of America come the early 1900s. In 1929, Edwin S. Lowe discovered the game being played at a carnival, however it was then referred to as “Beano”. Lowe took the game home with him, all the way to New York, and introduced it to all of his friends. It was during one particularly heated game that someone called out “Bingo” by mistake – and the name just seemed to stick.
The art of Bingo calling – that is, announcing which number has been pulled along with a fun nickname or rhyming slang for that digit – is thought to have been invented through the re-importation of the game to the UK, in the 1950s. It’s also worth noting that a lot of these terms came from “Housey Housey”, a version of Bingo that was played by soldiers during the second world war, where they’d come up with these nicknames to make each other laugh. In fact, some of these rhymes are still used today! Now, if all this background information has given you a hankering for the game itself, then why not click here to play Bingo online – or better yet, read on to find out more about the Bingo calls that we know and love today!
First, let’s take a look at some of the military slang that remains in the game, thanks to the aforementioned soldiers!
“Doctor’s Orders – number 9”
This was supposedly put together as the number 9 was a slang term for a laxative pill that was frequently given to the troops, in order to cure a whole host of illnesses. At this time, many doctors believed that to cure something, the body simply needed to be empty – much like when their top treatment used to be leeches!
“Kelly’s Eye – number 1”
This reference is a little more obscure. It’s thought that “Kelly’s eye” comes from a comic strip that was popular amongst the soldiers, in which the main character owns a magic amulet that’s in the shape of a singular eye.
“76 Trombones – number 76”
A lot of the references can be traced back to popular music and television shows of that time. 76 Trombones was a hit song from the musical “The Music Man”.
“77 Sunset Strip – number 77”
Similarly, this Bingo call is thought to be alluding to popular detective show of the same name, that was shown in that era.
Other notable Bingo calls are as follows:
“Boris’ Den – number 10”
This call is adapted depending on who is the current resident of Number Ten, with the intention of both rhyming with the number and referring to Number Ten Downing Street, the London address of the UK Prime Minister.
“Dancing Queen – number 17”
As well as being a fun little rhyme, this Bingo call draws on the famous Abba song Dancing Queen, which contains the lyrics “you are the Dancing Queen, young and sweet, only seventeen” – an all-time classic!
Now, if that doesn’t make you want to get a piece of the Bingo action yourself, we don’t know what will!