Welcome back, everyone! So far in this series, we’ve covered bingo calls 1-7, 8-15, and 16-22. Today, we’re looking at the calls for numbers 23-30. Remember that these are UK and Continental European calls, so they’re a bit different than what you’re probably used to. Many of these harken back to European and especially British pop culture references, look at the appearance of the number or rely on word substitutions similar to and often inspired by the Cockney dialect of English, which involves word games, rhymes, and half-rhymes. For example, if you saw the George Clooney version of Ocean’s 11, you may remember the scene where the demolitions expert said they were in “Barney,” then had to explain that “Barney” meant “Barney Rubble,” which rhymes with and stands in for trouble. Many of the calls we’ll be looking at using one or more of these methods to arrive at the call as Aquamaids Bingo proudly presents bingo calls 23-30. If you missed the previous articles, be sure to click the links and numbers above for a detailed look at the exciting evolution of your favorite fame!
If there’s a sweeter thing to say than “Bingo!” at the hall, it’s probably the call for 23. “Thee and me” is a wonderful way to express one’s devotion to a friend or partner, albeit in a slightly old-fashioned way. It’s memorable and the rhyme scheme and structure works well with the number, so you’ll likely hear, “Thee and me, 23!” if you’re playing in the UK or broad swathes of English-speaking Europe. Of course, if I-23 rounds out your card, your “thee and me” can enjoy a fun night out, or possibly a lot more if you’re playing at Aquamaids Bingo!
“Two dozen” or “a case” is pretty obvious. Everyone knows what a dozen is, so two dozen is simple math. And of course, “a case” refers to 24 bottles of beer or soda. But these aren’t the only ways to say “24,” especially if you’re in London. There’s nothing like getting away with your friends for the weekend, and the alternate call for I-24 echoes this fun and excitement. “Lads on tour” might sound like a Duran Duran tribute band, but it’s another example of how Cockney inspired some of the calls used in UK bingo halls today!
The traditional call out for “25” is “Duck and dive.” You may recall from our previous articles that “22” is sometimes given as “Two little ducks,” referring to the shape of the numbers. This call takes that idea a step further by adding a rhyme at the end, making it a really easy one to remember. Of course, calls don’t always stay the same—and when you’re playing among the culturati, it’s quite possible you’ll hear “25” given as “Adele,” in homage to the legendary pop chanteuse whose third studio album stands at number 4 on the best-selling albums of the 21st century as of this writing. Whether you duck and dive or get Adele on your side, you’re sure to want to sing when I-25 lets you call out “Bingo!” and rake in the big jackpot!
26 is one number it’s tough to do a lot with, in terms of rhyme or clever substitutions. There are 26 letters in the English alphabet, but other than that 26 is one of those numbers that just seems to live in the badlands. Besides, there are only so many ways you can shout out ducks and it’s not easy to do anything with the shape of 6! Traditionalists use “Half a crown,” referring to the pre-decimal currency used in Great Britain where half a crown was two shillings and sixpence. More modern callers may opt for “pick and mix,” a reference to bulk foods such as candy where you can choose your own “house blends.” Although it seems like an odd road to get there, “pick and mix!” will leave you feeling pretty sweet and definitely sixpence the richer if I-26 gives you the winning card!
The link between “seven” and “Heaven is pretty obvious, which is probably how 27 got tagged as the “Gateway to Heaven.” For a more “mod” take on this idea, you might also hear “Hipster Heaven,” a reference to the hipster set that frequents the coffee houses and taverns of London’s East End. Either way, you’ll probably be feeling very cool and like you’re at the pearly gates if I-27 lets you snag the big prize!
For decades, the traditional call was “Over weight.” In the past ten years, though, poor 28 has mostly become an orphan, due to the obvious body-shaming inherent in this call. However, some clever callers came to 28’s rescue, substituting “In a state!” for the less politically correct term. To be “2 and 8” in Cockney means to be furiously angry, or to put it another way, “In a bad state.” So “In a state” was adopted by most modern callers—but the only state you’ll be in is one of joy when you get to daub I-28 and call out, “Bingo!” for all the loot!
Time to “Rise and Shine?” If you hit I-29 on your bingo card, it will be! This one’s pretty obvious, so we’re just going to leave it there.
There’s really only one word that rhymes with “30” and will get everyone’s attention in a crowded place, guaranteed—DIRTY! Of course, the callers took this one step further and went with “Dirty Gertie.” This is a tongue-in-cheek reference to a bronze statue of a nude, sword-wielding woman standing atop a globe on a granite plinth with her arms raised to Heaven, which was erected in Henly’s Corner, North London in 1927 and entitled “La Delivrance.” The cheeky nickname for the statue also inspired a song by the same name which was popular among Allied troops serving in the North African theater during the Second World War. Whether the statue or the song is what the caller has in mind, “Dirty Gertie” will give you a clean shot at the jackpot when you mark I-30 off on your card!
So there you have it, folks! Another lesson in international bingo calls is in the history books. Keep checking back regularly to see our series as we take you from N-31 all the way to 0-75! And of course, be sure to stop in at Aquamaids Bingo Hall at 1600 St. Martin Avenue in Santa Clara, CA for all the hot bingo action and wild excitement you want! Buy-in for your next session through our Android and iOS apps right from your smartphone or device, or visit our homepage to buy in on our secure website! Also, don’t forget to bring your appetite, because Jos Café is offering a new and improved menu to satisfy any palate or craving. We even accept credit and debit cards now, making it even easier than ever to enjoy great food and exciting bingo gameplay. And remember, every time you play bingo at Aquamaids Bingo, you’re also helping support the talented young athletes of Santa Clara Aquamaids, letting you have a great time to help a great cause!
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