Regular bingo players will be aware of the bingo calls used in game. They are characterful and fun, adding a whole new dimension to an otherwise standard game – play now.
Whilst we are all aware of what these bingo calls are, do we know where they came from? Here is a brief history of the bingo calls we love.
The Start of bingo calls
It seems like a natural part of the game, however bingo calls didn’t actually become a regular feature in bingo until 200 hundred years after its creation.
The game of bingo was created in the 16th century in Italy but there was no live host or fun calls. That element came later when the British Navy were made to play bingo as a team building exercise in 1814.
The game was not really suited to entertain a large crowd so bingo calls were introduced to keep the players on their toes. This is why a lot of early bingo lingo contained words related to the army.
The numbers were actually referring to different divisions, number 14 referring to the 14th division and a playful nickname was drawn from there.
Things changed much more quickly though as bingo calls hit the general public.
Another turn of phrase used in England is rhyming slang. A playful way of speaking, people use rhyming words to refer to things they actually mean. Dog and bone is actually a phone and so on.
This type of banter fit easily into the game of bingo and quickly became a prominent way to refer to numbers. Instead of references to different army divisions, the numbers were translated into things that rhyme to appeal more to the general audience.
These numbers were quickly picked up but bingo calls did not stop there.
This way of rhyming numbers in a game of bingo became common place however, just like with the army, certain numbers become synonymous with everyday things. This makes them easy to recognise among players in the form of a bingo call.
Everyone knows specific dates like Valentine’s Day. That leads to this number getting its own bingo call. In some cultures, the number 13 is considered unlucky. This makes the number 13 a great number to be known as unlucky for some. Everyone knows what you mean.
We can clearly see the journey of some of our favourite bingo calls and it turns out that they have come full circle.
Beginning as a way to unite an army, bingo calls have now joined everyday lingo as we all have numbers that carry separate meanings. Some are simple rhymes, others are dates and some are so odd you would never have guessed its origin.
Either way, these calls are a great way to join players together in a sense of understanding. This is why bingo is such a popular game.