Phone Idioms (With Meaning and Examples)

Phones are everywhere, and so are expressions about them! From funny sayings to serious advice, phone idioms help us describe situations in creative ways. Kids, ever wondered what adults mean when they say someone “hung up” on them? Let’s find out together what these idioms mean and see how they’re used in sentences!

Phone Idioms

Here are 20 phone idioms in English with meaning and example sentence for each.

1. Hang up your boots

Meaning: Retire from activity
Example: Grandpa finally hung up his boots from soccer.

2. Off the hook

Meaning: Free from responsibility
Example: I’m off the hook for doing chores today!

3. Ring a bell

Meaning: Sound familiar
Example: Does that song ring a bell?

4. Hold the phone

Meaning: Wait a minute
Example: Hold the phone, did you see that?

5. Call it a day

Meaning: Stop working for the day
Example: Let’s call it a day after this game.

6. Put you on hold

Meaning: Make you wait
Example: I was put on hold during the call.

7. Phone it in

Meaning: Do something with little effort
Example: He really phoned in his homework.

8. Wrong number

Meaning: A mistaken idea
Example: You’ve got the wrong number on that theory.

9. Dial it down

Meaning: Decrease intensity
Example: Dial it down, you’re too loud!

10. Connected at the hip

Meaning: Very close to someone
Example: They’re connected at the hip, always together.

11. Call the shots

Meaning: Make the decisions
Example: He calls the shots in their games.

12. Give someone a ring

Meaning: Call someone on the phone
Example: Give her a ring to invite her.

13. On call

Meaning: Available to work
Example: The doctor is on call tonight.

14. Call out

Meaning: Criticize publicly
Example: She called him out for cheating.

15. Line busy

Meaning: Engaged or occupied
Example: Sorry, the line’s busy right now.

16. Clear the line

Meaning: Stop communicating
Example: Clear the line; I need to think.

17. Pick up the phone

Meaning: Start a phone conversation
Example: She won’t pick up the phone.

18. Speak off the record

Meaning: Speak unofficially
Example: Let’s talk off the record.

19. The call of duty

Meaning: A moral obligation
Example: He answered the call of duty.

20. Call it quits

Meaning: Stop working or end
Example: They called it quits on the project.

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