Bingo Lingo Alters With Rise in Younger Players reports Free Bingo No Deposit
Callers phase out traditional cliches to modernize game
To keep the attention of youth, callers are adopting new game terms, numbers are called faster and barrels are being replaced by electronic number selectors.
It’s all a far cry from early versions of the game, believed to have originated in the 16th century in Italy.
Bingo remains one of the least expensive forms of gambling, with cards in Australia selling for a mere 5 cents each.
Traditional rhyming slang used to call out numbers, which originated in the United Kingdom, is no longer appropriate, according to those at Sydney clubs. Phrases deemed particularly politically incorrect include "two fat ladies" and "two fat fingers" for No.88, "dinner for two,” "ooh la la" for No. 69, and “your bum is dirty” for No. 30.
"The terms 'two fat fingers' or 'two fat ladies', and arguably the most politically incorrect, '69 dinner for two', are no longer used," said bingo expert Peter Chapman, a caller for two decades.
On the other hand, Chapman said he continues to refer to No. 11 as “legs eleven,” which he noted triggers whistles from the crowd. "Some do have their time and place, though, such as 'legs eleven,’” he added.
"Most adult games are generally called straight, with the exception of the first number called which can be called using its associated phrase."
According to Chapman, bingo sessions held during school holidays for those age 17 and younger often draw more than 100 players. Regular sessions continue to be dominated by older players, however, he said.
Jenny Holt, bingo coordinator at Club Rivers Riverwood, said her establishment has dropped all lingo. "Our current day bingo players only want the next number to be called, not a whole lot of fuss with terms and sayings," she said.
In addition to dropping slang, the Hubertus Country Club in Luddenham has eliminated its pre-session bingo prayer, said spokeswoman Carol Zammit.
While Parramatta Leagues Club has retained its call for No. 10, which refers to the British prime minister’s Downing Street residence, Tamworth West scrapped “two fat ladies,” in order to avoid offending players, said its marketing coordinator.
Other bingo establishments modernizing calls include Club Engadine, Dapto Bowling Club, The Epping Club, and Lawson Bowling Club.
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