What is a ‘Caller’?
A “caller” is the term used to describe the person who conducts a bingo game. The bingo caller has arguably the most important role in a bingo hall or location where a game of bingo is taking place. The caller’s job involves spinning the bingo drawing machine, choosing the bingo balls and calling the bingo ball numbers out loud for the players to hear. Along with calling the bingo numbers, a bingo caller will also have other responsibilities, including dealing with any questions or queries bingo players may have and solving disputes between players.
A bingo caller is often referred to as the “MC” of the bingo game. Bingo callers will often use humour and conversation to build a relationship with bingo players and frequently have “larger-than-life” personalities in order to make the game as exciting for those who are taking part as possible.
Bingo callers are known for the style in which they announce the bingo ball numbers that have been drawn. These are referred to as “bingo ball codes”, “nicknames” or overall as “bingo lingo” An example of two commonly used bingo ball nicknames are “two fat ladies” for the number 88 and “one little duck”, which stands for the number two bingo ball, due to its resemblance in shape to a duck. If a bingo caller has built up a relationship with his bingo players, the players will often chant the bingo ball number or “bingo lingo” back as the caller calls it.
Many of the old “bingo lingo” ball nicknames are considered to be old-fashioned. The famous holiday company Butlins introduced what they called “modern bingo lingo” in 2003, in an attempt to make the game of bingo more appealing to a younger generation, with these modern calls being created by a professor in popular culture. Bingo remains most popular among older people but online bingo is becoming increasingly played by a younger generation.