TV Show

Friends – the United States, sitcom. (Season 3 Episode 22)

Rachel: Oh, Phoebe, are you still on hold? I was supposed to call my Dad back like two hours ago.

Phoebe: Oh, yeah, he clipped on, he said call him as soon as you get a chance, he’s at Flimby’s.

According to the subtitle I am watching the episode with it is "clicked on"

Either ways, what does it mean? I didn't find any meanings that relates in the web for either! Is it a slang word? (Though even that has a dictionary nowadays)


Likely this refers to the fact that Phoebe is on a line with call waiting. When she gets a tone indicating that someone is trying to call, she can click the switch-hook and take the call. Clicking the switch-hook again returns her to the original call. I've never heard it called "clicking on," but from the context she remained on hold but was able to talk to someone else (namely Rachel's father).

  • 1
    Wouldn't be the first word definition Phoebe invented. – candied_orange Dec 15 '15 at 9:07
  • I thought so, but it is different since she said "he clicked on". It is so unclear! – ARGMAN Dec 15 '15 at 9:37
  • As I recall, the person answering the call waiting tone hears an audible click to indicate the call transfer (which the other party, the one waiting for someone to answer doesn't hear). Upon hearing the click, Phoebe may have mistakenly thought that Rachel's dad on call waiting initiated the transfer by somehow "clicking on" even though she herself would have had to hit her phone's switch hook. But this may also be over-thinking a brain-dead American sitcom. – deadrat Dec 15 '15 at 9:44
  • Interesting deadrat, I didn't know that the sound of the waiting call is called a click. So should I consider this word wholly invented and never used in usual American-English usage? – ARGMAN Dec 15 '15 at 9:55
  • I'm not being clear. The call waiting announcement is a tone. On some systems or equipment, the transfer to the call is accompanied by a click in called party's receiver. The word click isn't invented. It's used all the time to describe the operation of a computer mouse, but Phoebe's use is unusual. – deadrat Dec 15 '15 at 13:38

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