Guest Post – Bingo calls and bingo lingo

Bingo calls have always been a big part of a traditional bingo hall game, with different nicknames for every number called. Now that the game has gone online, not all of the sites have kept up the tradition of adding the nickname after the number, but some do, and it’s all part of the fun.

Of course, although some bingo calls have been around for decades – like 22, two little ducks, and number one, Kelly’s eye – there are other bingo calls that come in and out of fashion depending on what’s happening around the world and what celebrities are up to. For example, a current one is number 71, J-Lo’s bum!

Many bingo calls are based on rhyming slang but others can be a little difficult to decipher. For instance number 76 is often followed by the caller asking ‘was she worth it?’ This may seem perplexing to the uninitiated, until you learn that 7d/6 (or 7shillings and sixpence) was the old money cost of a marriage licence in the UK. Bingo halls used to echo with the retort ‘Every penny’ from the mainly female crowd playing the game!

Today, though, with thousands of people playing online bingo every day, it’s a different kind of bingo lingo that has become more important. And that’s the list of abbreviations used by players having a chat in the bingo chat rooms, where no-one can be bothered typing out full sentences! Instead, there is a series of different three letter (or more) acronyms and if you’re a first timer in the chat rooms, you might find some of these confusing to begin with.

A few classics include GLEV1 (Good Luck Everyone – a friendly way to start off a game), 1/2/3/TG (1/2/3 To Go before I have bingo!), BBS (be back soon – if you have to leave the keyboard for a moment) and DBL (Don’t be long – the usual response to BBS). Of course, only a few minutes in the chat room and you’ll be able to translate and understand what everyone is saying, and you’ll soon be bingo-lingo-ing with the best of them!

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