Modern and funny bingo calls

The game of bingo has adapted over the years – and so have the bingo calls.

Bingo calls have been around as long as the game itself, but over the generations modern bingo calls have emerged alongside the classics. If you’re wanting to brush up on your game, or it’s been a while since you’ve played, get to know these modern bingo calls and their meanings.

While many of the traditional bingo calls have survived the test of time and remain as popular today as they ever were, popular culture and modern slang move on, a fact that is reflected in the changing bingo calls that now make it into modern bingo lingo.

Some calls come and go in the twinkling of a bingo caller’s eye, along with the careers of those who inspired them. Others earn their stripes and cement their place in the hearts of bingo callers, the length and breadth of the country. Sometimes moves are made to give bingo, a game of chance that rose to popularity in the 1950s,  a modern face lift by introducing a new list of modern bingo calls. However, the ones that last are those that come from a place of genuine cultural significance or familiarity and enduring popularity that seers itself into our collective consciousness. 

Not only have bingo calls changed over the years, the game has also been adapted – and there are now several different types of bingo game – many of which you can play online at some of our favourite bingo sites.

  1. Little Jimmy, One Direction, YOLO

 Little Jimmy refers to Little Jimmy Osmond who had a string of chart hits and spent five weeks at number one in 1972 with ‘Long Haired Lover From Liverpool’. Harry Styles and his One Direction bandmates may have found their calling on X Factor, but who would have thought Simon Cowell’s protégés would have been immortalised in the bingo hall of fame? YOLO is the modern acronym for You Only Live Once. 

  1. Doctor Who

William Hartnell first graced the small screen as the time travelling doctor in 1963. The lasting popularity of the show and its successful revival, has secured this bingo call its place of modern calling.

  1. I’m Free, Debbie McGee

‘I’m free’ was the camp catchphrase of John Inman who starred as a shop floor assistant in the hit seventies comedy sitcom Are You Being Served. Debbie MCGee is best known as being the assistant and wife of TV magician Paul Daniels, and for her more recent appearance on Celebrity Big Brother and Strictly Come Dancing.

  1. Bobby Moore

Bobby Moore’ replaced ‘Knock at the Door’ after captaining the 1966 winning World Cup English football team.

  1. Little Mix

A rhyming call. Girl band, Little Mix, were put together on  X Factor in 2011. Since then they have had a string of chart hits, releasing their sixth album ‘Confetti’ in November 2020. 

  1. David Beckham, Popular With Strictly’s Len 

Former England captain, David Beckham, wore the number seven shirt for most of his careers with Manchester United and England. Given that his net worth is estimated at £300 million, ‘lucky for some’ seems appropriate. Len Goodman appeared as head judge on hit TV Show Strictly Come Dancing from 2004 to 2017  where his favourite score ‘ Seven’ became his very own catchphrase.

  1. Gareth Gates, Tinder Date

The rise and fall of Gareth Gates as a popular bingo call mirrors his brief career. Let’s hope that Tinder dates don’t prove a similarly brief encounter.

9, Selfie Time

Kim Kardashian’s favourite pastime.

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  1. Eyebrows on Fleek

Replacing ‘legs eleven’ this modern visual call is guaranteed to raise a few plucked eyebrows.

  1. Dancing Queen, Dabbing Machine, Yass Queen

All rhymes. Dancing Queen is the worldwide hit for the Swedish super troopers ABBA. Although released in 1976, the huge box office hit that was Mamma Mia, introduced it to a whole new younger audience. For this reason, we feel that Dancing Queen is a bingo call destined to last. Dabbing machine has a double meaning. A dauber is a special marker pen used to mark your bingo card. It’s also a dance craze that involves dipping your head and stretching out your arms. It was the craze of 2015. Yas Queen” made its way into modern slang after an Instagram of a super fan meeting Lady Gaga went viral. Blown away with excitement his cry “YAAAASSSSSS” instantly caught on. But the phrase actually has its roots in the queer New York ballroom scene of the 1980s. 

  1. Desmond, Tay Tay 

Desmond refers to the South African anti-apartheid activist Archbishop Desmond Tutu. Two-two, geddit? Tay Tay is a nickname fans use for Taylor Swift whose song, ’22’ was the fourth single from her fourth studio album, ‘Red’.  

  1. Lads on Tour

A simple rhyme referring to a wild weekend away with the boys.

  1. Adele

‘25’ Is the name of Adele’s third studio album which sold over 23 million copies worldwide, making it the fourth-best selling album of the 21st century.

  1. Hipster Heaven

A simple rhyme referring to the cool crew usually found hanging out in the bars and coffee shops of east London.

  1. Jimmy Choo

Carrie Bradshaw’s favourite shoe designer. And a simple rhyme.

  1. Tag a Mate

Like you would on social media. 

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  1. Amazon Prime

A simple rhyme with the world’s largest online retail empire whose founder, Jeff Bezos, is the world’s wealthiest person, with a net worth of $182 billion. We wonder if Jeff likes to play bingo?

52. Danny La Rue, Chicken Vindaloo

Famous drag queen, Danny La Rue, was a household favourite in the 1970s but this bingo call is now a little dated, so is often replaced with one better designed to curry favour with younger players. 

53. Here Comes Herbie 

Herbie was a much loved VW Beetle who had number 53 painted on his side and starred in a string of Disney films between 1968 and 2005. Players shout ‘beep beep’ in response to 53 being called,

64. The Beatles

A reference to The Fab Four’s famous hit ’When I’m Sixty-four’.

66. Historic US Route

Route 66 is the famous road which ran from Chicago in the east to California in the west covering 2448 miles.

  1. J-Lo’s Bum

Once reputedly insured for a whopping $17 million.

  1. Wills and Kate 

A right royal rhyme.

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