As you’ve seen in our previous articles on the bingo calls 1-7 and 8-15, “traditional” bingo as it’s called on the Continent and especially in the UK often has a little more pizzazz and flair than the standard US method, which is simply repeating the numbers two or three times and then moving on. The UK version relies heavily on pop culture references, Cockney-style rhyming slang, and sometimes the appearance of the numbers to determine how the numbers will be called. While these calls often evolve and change over time, there are some classics that seem to have never gone out of fashion. Aquamaids Bingo proudly presents bingo lingo for calls 16-22. If you missed the previous articles, be sure to click the links above for more about the unique and fascinating history of your favorite game!
“Sweet Sixteen and never been kissed” is a nod to the idea of a budding woman’s “Sweet 16th” birthday, as well as a song popularized in 1932 by The Blue Mountaineers. With cross-Atlantic appeal, this catchy tune was an obvious choice for number 16! Besides, you’ll probably want to kiss the caller when I-16 gives you that bingo you’ve been holding out for. Sweet!
Are you the Dancing Queen? If 17 rounds out your card, you may just be! Sources vary on the call for 17. Some sources claim it’s just “17” or, if they’re playing American-style bingo, “I-17,” and the “Dancing Queen” call is rightly reserved for “15.” However, the lyrics of Abba’s best-known and most enduring disco hit make a strong case for “Dancing Queen” and 17 being a natural pairing. Besides, who doesn’t feel like dancing when they get that coveted “Bingo!”?
It’s not just the age you have to be to play at Aquamaids Bingo, it’s also known as “Coming of Age!” The US and most European countries hold 18 as the age of majority, when people can vote, legally own property on their own, get married, and generally become full citizens with all the associated rights and responsibilities. If you catch a bingo off 18, your card is certainly well-aged—and no matter what YOUR age, you’re certainly going to feel 18 again!
It’s hard to know what to do with 19. It’s one of the orphans of the counting system, at least in English-speaking countries, because not much really happens when you’re 19 that didn’t happen when you were 18 or won’t happen when you’re 20. But the UK bingo call “Goodbye Teens” sums it up nicely—and gives you a chance to say a fond goodbye to your card when you hit I-19 and call “Bingo!”
Unlike 19, 20 does have something going for it—a score. Americans likely best know this expression from the Gettysburg Address: “Fourscore and seven years ago…” is just a highbrow way of saying “87.” Thus European bingo callers adopted “One Score” as their call for 20—and if you’ve ever yelled “Bingo!” off I-20, it’s easy to see how 20 is a great number for a score, and your bankroll!
At 21, you’re basically considered a fully legal adult everywhere in the world. Because of this, European callers may refer to 21 as the “key to the door,” e.g. the door to full adulthood, a sentiment that most US players these days can certainly appreciate. You may also hear it called a “Royal Salute” or a “21-Gun Salute,” referring of course to the tradition of firing 21 shots into the air at certain affairs of state, such as military weddings and funerals, to keep evil spirits away from the festivities or the mourners as appropriate. No matter which one you hear, we’re pretty sure you’ll feel like giving a happy 21-gun salute of your own when I-21 rounds out your card and lets you grab the jackpot for yourself!
Enterprising bingo callers are always on the lookout for interesting ways of giving their calls, and 22 is no exception. One of the most popular is “Two Little Ducks,” which refers to the shape of the number 2. However, some modern callers use “Desmond,” a nod to famed South African civil rights leader Archbishop Desmond Tutu. For those less civically minded and more knowledgeable about pop culture, they may choose “Tay-Tay,” a fan nickname for Taylor Swift and reference to her song “22,” from her Red album. Whichever one you hear, you’re sure to feel like a very lucky duck, free as a bird and flush with cash when I-22 lets you lock down your bingo card and take home the pot!
So there you have it! One more lesson in international bingo calls down. Be sure to check back soon for our next set of calls, covering numbers 21-30. And come on down to Aquamaids Bingo Hall at 1600 St. Martin Avenue in Santa Clara for all the exciting bingo action you’ve been craving, with the biggest prizes and best payouts in the Bay Area! Buy in online or through our iOS and Android apps for your next session. While you’re here, check out Jos Café, with a brand-new and improved menu to tempt any palate and now also accepting credit and debit cards. And don’t forget, every time you play, you help support the dedicated young Artistic Swimming athletes of Santa Clara Aquamaids. A great cause, big payouts, excellent food, and the best bingo action around…what more could you ask for!
It all happens at Aquamaids Bingo, where the winners play!