True Stories Behind Hilarious British Bingo Names


As an avid bingo player, both online bingo and old school, sometimes I find myself spending long hours analyzing the reasons behind the quirky bingo calling system I have come to know and love. Why spend time on it? Well, why not! The honest truth is that I love this aspect of bingo; it was one of the aspects that made me fall in love with the game. Still today, when I hear things like 63, tickle me, or 35, jump and jive, a little smile is bound to appear on my face.

However, the stories behind some of these callings might surprise you. I took the liberty (because I am an obsessive nut), to research some of them and I have include the ones I think are the most remarkable.

7: One Little Crutch, God’s in Heaven, Lucky Seven

Besides the actual physical resemblance to a little crutch, it is said that the name spurred long ago, on the aftermath of World War I when there were many soldiers using these walking aids to get from place to place. God’s in his heaven is an obvious rhyme for seven but it also refers to a famous poem by Robert Browning called “The Year’s at the Spring” which was a staple in classes everywhere.

Finally, the number seven has always been considered lucky in many cultures and is present in our everyday life. There are seven days, seven continents, seven seas, etc. In Catholicism, the universe was created in seven days; Chinese mythology refers to the Seven Gods of Luck; Buddhist faith says that Buddha walked seven steps when born, etc. The appearances of the number seven throughout history are endless.

18: Key of the Door, Now you can Vote.

In the beginning of 1970, the majority of age in England was reduced from 21 to 18. So, that meant that many teenagers were free not only to vote, but also to leave their parents’ home without worrying about an imposed curfew. Ahh, the smell of liberty! According to British sensibility, 18 year olds were old enough to manage their own time, have a key to the door, and let themselves in. It could also be interpreted as teens being able to become independent and leaving their parents’ home and getting their own key to their new place or something along those lines.

22: Dinkie Doo

This term especially is remarkably British. Although the term has nothing to do with a mathematical significance of the number 22, the rhyme Dinkie Doo has always caught my attention because of the randomness of it. What exactly is a Dinkie Doo? Is it a lost long cousin of Scooby? So I had to get to the bottom of it! Turns out that back in the day, the culmination of the British seaside holiday was always some type of pier concert. Dinkie Doo was the name given to such soirees. The name became part of the bingo lingo after it appeared in a very popular movie in the 1940s “Let George Do It”, starring George Formby.

37: A Flea in Heaven

All dogs go to heaven and apparently some fleas coast along incognito on their furry backs to get there! In bingo, the number 3 has always been related to those tiny jumping insects due to the fact that their bodies have a shape that resembles the number 3. And the heaven part, besides rhyming, refers to the saying of “seventh heaven”. Ok, ok I get it, maybe some bingo callings for numbers might not have a huge backstory but I think they are cute just the same.

So there you have it, now you have a conversational topic to impress your bingo friends at the next meeting or to chat with your many online bingo friends here at 123Bingo! No need to thank me, my OCD fairy (who might also be a flea) already did that for you!