Is it Time for New and Updated Bingo Call Names? Mecca Bingo Thinks So

Tom Mix for six, Dancing Queen for seventeen and Garden Gate for eight. We’ve heard them so many times by now those old bingo calls start to lose their meaning. In fact, if we’re really being honest with ourselves, do we even know what all those nicknames are even referring to? If you have no idea, don’t feel alone. A good chunk of the bingo call signs we use to this day date back to the 1950s or earlier.

The simple fact of the matter is those old call names are getting a little stale – at least that’s Mecca Bingo’s take on the issue. After all, bingo isn’t just for pensioners killing time in big bingo halls these days; online bingo has brought the game to a wide-ranging audience that includes people of all ages.

Anyways, Mecca Bingo took to social media at the end of the year to get their followers to vote on new nicknames for bingo calls. They published the results just a few days ago and the most-upvoted nicknames were just what you would expect for a poll conducted exclusively on social media. That is, it was “out with the old and in with the new.”

Mecca Bingo will now begin testing the new nicknames at select locations in the new year. It remains to be seen how the current crop of bingo players take to the new nicknames, but that’s just why Mecca Bingo will be testing them at certain locations. If the new names don’t cause too much uproar, some of them just might stick.

And speaking of uproar, some of the new bingo nicknames are just a bit scandalous. The new nickname for 69, for example, is “Netflix and Chill.” That is most certainly not a reference that would have been acceptable back in the years from which many of today’s longstanding bingo nicknames originate. Actually, now that I think about it, it’s not like the old bingo nicknames for 69 were all strictly family-friendly anyways.

If you don’t get the reference, you might want to ask an adult with whom you would feel comfortable discussing subjects of a strictly adult nature.

Most other bingo call names were much more innocent in nature. “Selfie Queen” was voted to replace “Dancing Queen” for the number 17. While the original “Dancing Queen” refers to the 1976 ABBA song, the new “Selfie Queen” refers to taking pictures of oneself to publish on social media accounts.

Likewise, “Tag a Mate” was voted to replace “Four Dozen” as the nickname for the number 48. The old nickname was at least still recognizable to even the youngest of bingo players, but “Tag a Mate” in reference to identifying your friends and family in Facebook photos won the vote for calls involving 48.

In what was probably the change most indicative of the times, the nickname for the number one was voted to be changed from “Kelly’s Eye” to “YOLO.” Kelly’s Eye may have been a reference to Ned Kelly, but even that much is unsure today. The new nickname YOLO is short for “you only live once,” which is/was an admittedly corny phrase employed by teens looking to justify foolish behavior but now used mostly in an ironic fashion.

Here’s the full list of the new nicknames chosen by Mecca Bingo social media followers and the old names they replace:

NumberOld NicknameNew Nickname
1Kelly's EyeYOLO
2One Little DuckOne Little Twitter Bird
6Tom MixLittle Mix
8Garden GateTinder Date
9Doctor's OrdersFaceTime / Time for Wine
12One DozenJingle Bells
15Young and KeenDabbing Machine
17Dancing QueenSelfie Queen
24Two Dozen / Knock at the DoorLads on Tour
25Duck and DiveAdele
27Duck and CrutchHipster Heaven
48Four DozenTag a Mate
53Here Comes HerbieOMG
69A Meal for Two / Anyway UpNetflix and Chill

So, do you think the new bingo call signs are an improvement on outdated expressions or are they a slap in the face of age-old tradition? Some of the most upvoted nicknames feel a little hackneyed and too keyed in on short-term trends (seriously, how long will people be saying “Netflix and Chill?”), but others may have some staying power.

All in all, the most-liked nicknames could have turned out a lot worse for an online poll conducted via social media. In any case, time will tell if any of these new bingo call signs have lasting power and start showing up at your favourite bingo sites.