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In this blog, we’ve included all the information you need for your next visit to the bingo hall. No one wants to be left behind, so you know what each modern-day bingo call means. Furthermore, we’ve also provided some tips on how to play bingo at a modern hall and some predictions on how bingo lingo might develop in the future. So, keep reading to learn some new bingo slang.

History of 21st Century Bingo Calls

Bingo calls are believed to have originated in the 1950s. Exactly who used these fun rhyming phrases to announce bingo numbers first is not 100% clear. However, allegedly, soldiers who enjoyed bingo as a favourite past-time started coming up with terms, such as Kelly’s Eye (relating to Ned Kelly, an Australian outlaw and hero), Dirty Gertie (derived from the humorous song “Dirty Gertie by Bizerte”, which the British troops sang during World War II), and more.

Many of these fun expressions stuck, and bingo callers started using them instead of announcing the numbers. Soon, cockney rhyming slang, movie-inspired terms and bingo calls inspired by the shape of the number were also utilised. So, before players knew it, every number in the game could be announced with a fun phrase. Below, we’ve included some popular classic bingo calls so that you can get an idea of what we’re talking about in case you’ve never played before.

  • 🦆 Number 2 – One Little Duck (Inspired by the shape of the number)
  • 📍 Number 8 – Garden Gate (Rhymes, yet it also used to symbolise a meeting place for gang members in the East end of London)
  • 💊 Number 9 – Doctor’s Order (Used because it was common for British army doctors to prescribe the number 9 pill to soldiers)
  • 💝 Number 14 – Valentine’s Day (Simply connected to the date)
  • 🤿 Number 25 – Duck and Dive (Rhymes and the number 5 resembles a diving duck)

However, there are many more traditional bingo calls, so if you want to find out where they originated, our full list of bingo number nicknames might be useful. However, in this article, we will focus on the new 21st-century bingo calls. Inspired by various pop-culture trends, they reflect the times we live in and include expressions like Tinder Date, Netflix and Chill, It’s a Vibe and more.

How to Play Modern Bingo

Before we throw bingo slang at you, let’s briefly go over the basic rules you need to know when playing in a bingo hall or at one of the best online bingo sites. Firstly, there are different types of bingo, such as 90 ball and 75 balls. Your goal is to cross off numbers when they are called and be the first one to get five in a row. For complete beginners, we’ve also provided some key steps below:

  1. Listen carefully for what letter-number combination the caller announces (Here is where knowing what the modern bingo calls stand for is fundamental).
  2. If you have it, mark the same number on your scorecard (This can be done with a chip, marker or if playing online just by clicking on it).
  3. Play until you or someone else gets five numbers in a row (this can be a horizontal, vertical, or diagonal line).
  4. If you get five squares in a row, call ‘Bingo’ (If playing online, that can be done via clicking the corresponding button).
  5. Once the round is over, clear your scoreboard (Always start a new game with a clear scoreboard).

Bingo is not a complicated game, so even as a new player, you can get the hang of how to win at bingo pretty quickly. Just remember that when playing online, things may look a bit different than what you are used to when playing in a physical bingo hall. However, as long as you familiarise yourself with the online layout of the specific bingo game, you should be all set.

List of Modern Bingo Calls

New bingo calls are added frequently, and most of them are inspired by pop culture. Whether it’s TV, music or social media, the modern-day bingo calls are often represented by slang that teenagers use. This is why some of the most popular ones might seem a bit out there. In the table below, we’ve included the most famous ones that are here to stay. Of course, there are more, but let’s first see if they stick around for long enough to be included in our list of modern bingo calls:

📢 Modern Bingo Calls 🔢 Number & Meaning
Selfie Heaven 87 – Refers to the craze of taking selfies
Netflix and Chill 69 – Refers to a popular phrase for staying in and watching TV shows or movies
Twerking 29 – Refers to a dance move popularised in the 2010s
Brexit Blues 52 – Refers to the UK’s decision to leave the European Union
Gluten-Free 83 – Refers to the dietary trend of avoiding gluten
TikTok Tricks 66 – Refers to the social media app TikTok and its viral challenges
Vaping Craze 38 – Refers to the trend of vaping or e-cigarettes
Online Dating 48 – Refers to the trend of using dating apps and websites
Late for my Tinder Date 68 – Refers to the popular dating app Tinder
Zoom Meeting 16 – Refers to the virtual meeting software

Many of these 21st century bingo calls have been added simply because they are fun and popular among players currently active on social media. This way, bingo halls can avoid outdated terms younger people wouldn’t understand and keep the game engaging and appealing to newer generations. However, that is not the sole reason why so many new bingo calls have appeared in the last 10 to 20 years.

Many classic calls were also replaced on purpose because as society develops, some of the older calls have become less entertaining, odd, or not inclusive. For example, the traditional bingo call Two Fat Ladies that was used for 88 is considered offensive in modern times. Nevertheless, many others have just been inspired by current media, so we explore the 3 main categories modern bingo calls are derived from below.

Modern Bingo Calls Inspired by Social Media

Probably one of the biggest inspirations behind modern bingo calls is social media. From Instagram and Twitter to Facebook and Snapchat, online social platforms have a huge impact on today’s youth and even the older generations. As a result, bingo calls like Instagram Pics instead of Between the Sticks for 86 have emerged and appeal to more than just the young players.

In addition, it is through social media that many trends begin and how important news spreads. Therefore, we can also put new bingo calls like Not Another Brexit Debate for 48 and Haters Gon’ Hate for number 78 in this category. Finally, when playing online, social media abbreviations like LOL (laughing out loud), GG (good game) and BLNT (better luck next time) are also used to quickly text other players, so understanding these are just as significant.

Modern Day Bingo Calls Inspired by Movies & Shows

In addition to social media, movies, shows and streaming platforms also have a significant influence. Films have always been an inspiration behind bingo calls, but nowadays, a visit to the cinema is unnecessary. Everyone has the latest shows and movies at the tip of their finger with platforms like Netflix, so modern-day bingo calls related to them spread much more quickly.

A Remote Control with Netflix Open in the Background

An example of this type of modern bingo call is Netflix and Chill, which in some bingo halls is used for 14, as that relates to the date on which couples celebrate Valentine’s Day, while in others, it signifies 69. Therefore, you should be a bit careful with which number you mark when this 21st-century bingo call gets announced. Newer phrases need some time to settle in, so keep that in mind.

Modern Bingo Calls Inspired by Music

Finally, the last main source of inspiration for 21st-century bingo calls is music. Just like TV and movies, music has always inspired bingo callers. Therefore, it’s no surprise that even in today’s world, music stars and their songs serve as the base for bingo calls. From Adele, which is the call for 25 because she has an album with the same name, to Little Mix for 6, which is dedicated to the winners of X Factor 2011.

Adele's Album Entitled 25 on Vinyl

However, when it comes to music, classic rock stars have not been forgotten. Unlike a lot of TV shows and movie references that have become outdated, bingo calls like Dancing Queen for 15 (a reference to ABBA) and The Beatles for 64 (a reference to their famous hit ‘When I’m 64’) remain relevant to this day.

The Future of Bingo Calls

We briefly examined the past with some traditional calls and the present with the most popular 21st-century bingo calls, but what about the future? New bingo calls are created frequently, and the times keep changing, so it’s difficult to predict what the next funny phrase will be. However, looking at how trends and social media are developing, it wouldn’t be surprising if the next big thing in bingo lingo is derived from memes.

Nevertheless, there is also the possibility of the art of bingo calling disappearing as more players migrate to online bingo. In any case, it is evident that fans of the game are doing everything they can to preserve bingo history while also staying relevant by incorporating current cultural references with modern bingo calls.

Frequently Asked Questions

We’ve reached the end of this informative blog on modern bingo calls, and we hope you got all the information you were looking for. However, if there is still something you want to know about new bingo calls, we have prepared some frequently asked questions. Take a look, and you might find more useful information.

1️⃣ What are bingo calls?

As we explained in the beginning of this article, bingo calls are fun phrases that have been used to replace numbers and keep players entertained since the mid-twentieth century. These phrases develop with the times, and as a result, new bingo calls are constantly emerging.

2️⃣ Who calls out the bingo numbers?

At a bingo hall, the person that announces the next number is known as the bingo caller. Throughout the history of bingo calls, this has been done in many different ways, but it was in the 1950s when using fun phrases instead of numbers became widely popular.

3️⃣ What are some popular modern bingo calls?

New bingo calls pop up frequently, and most of them are inspired by pop culture. Whether it’s TV, music or social media, the most popular modern bingo calls are often related to slang that teenagers use. However, not all of them have stuck yet, so many phrases might be forgotten tomorrow.

4️⃣ How can I play modern bingo?

Bingo hasn’t changed much, as it is a simple game with consistent rules. However, if you’re entirely new to the game, we’ve provided a step-by-step guide on how to play bingo, which might be useful. Just keep in mind that playing at a bingo hall might be a bit different than playing online.

5️⃣ How are new bingo calls created?

Both in the past and nowadays, bingo calls are strongly influenced by trends and pop culture. When trying to figure out how new fun phrases emerge and what the future of modern bingo calls holds, people often explore current developments in the most popular media platforms and go from there.

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