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I'm a Customer Service Agent for a governmental assistance agency. We often have situations where clients numbers have changed, and someone else has been assigned the old number.

When I want to make a note to my supervisor that the person I've reached is not the client and that the 'person I've reached' has requested in very virile, flammable language that they would like us to remove their number from our calling list/dB, it vexes me that all I can come up with is "the answerer," which sounds dumb, and "the number's new owner..."

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  • If they are receiving a solicitation you might refer to them as a 'victim'.
    – Octopus
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 21:32
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    You already said it. "The person I reached." Commented May 14, 2014 at 0:51
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    "party", "other party", "called party", "counterparty".
    – Ben
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 8:53
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    Not every concept in English can be completely, unambiguously and succinctly described in a single word.
    – AdamV
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 12:30

6 Answers 6

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callee (if you want to go with a single word)

one who receives a telephone call

[Merriam-Webster]

Though this term is usually used in computing.


There is also called party which is more related to your context.

The called party (in some contexts called the "B-Number") is a person who (or device that) answers a telephone call. The person who (or device that) initiates a telephone call is the calling party.

[Wikipedia]

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    An actual word, with the right meaning … but god is it clumsy and awkward! I was thinking of answerer, but that’s only ever so marginally less awkward. Commented May 13, 2014 at 18:51
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    I gave you an upvote because it works with app language - caller/callee but I don't think I would ever use it in a sentence. Commented May 13, 2014 at 19:45
  • Wow. I managed to think of callee without even opening this page. Didn't realize it is a real word.
    – Justin
    Commented May 13, 2014 at 23:20
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    "Have I reached the party to whom I am speaking?" -- Lily Tomlin, as Ernestine
    – keshlam
    Commented May 14, 2014 at 5:01
  • For some reason that word makes me think of young Timmy falling down a well. Commented May 14, 2014 at 7:12
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Receiver can be used but sounds odd. I prefer recipient.

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  • Recipient has the disadvantage that it doesn't say anything about a call or a communication attempt, but certainly in the right context it would work.
    – Stuart F
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 13:16
  • call recipient, right.
    – Lambie
    Commented Nov 17, 2023 at 14:51
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Consider:

The number's new user has requested to be removed from our calling list.

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The person now assigned this phone number has requested they be removed from our calling list.

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The new suscriber to this number (or the number's new subscriber) has requested to be removed from our calling list.

As long as what matters to your supervisor is not who answered the phone (can be a housekeeper) but who the actual current owner of the phone line is, then subscriber and Gary's Student's answer sound like what come the closest to the term you're looking for.

Alternately, consider saying more simply:

The person on this number has requested to be removed from our calling list.

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  • If you are assigned to or subscribed to a number that does not infer you are being called, that means you own the number. Commented May 13, 2014 at 16:35
  • Also @Gary's Student used assigned to in an answer already. And is that the correct spelling of your other answer? Commented May 13, 2014 at 16:38
  • @RyeBread Do individuals legally "own" their phone number? Do you "own" the URL http://english.stackexchange.com/users/51137/ryeredandnotryebread? Does english.stackexchange.com "own" 198.252.206.140? I advise characterizing networks more empirically about "when I poked these values into this point in a system, this other stuff came back"...and not using the word "owner". :-/ So it's "The person I reached", but "person"..eh Commented May 14, 2014 at 13:02
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I just had this same problem and found this chat to help with an answer. If the person who answers is reception staff I would call them "gatekeeper", however when it is a wrong number and I want to note that I have been told that, I cannot say "respondent" because we use that word elsewhere in our work (I work in law). I think "callee" is risky for me, I might mistype "caller" and create messy notes.

However I have decided on "responder". It's not perfect, but I think it gets the job done! I didn't want to say "receiver" because that's the actual part of the telephone itself.

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