Where in the English speaking world do they say, "put someone on/over [to]" for "put someone through/connect someone [to]" as in:

If you'd like to speak direct to one of our technicians about anything, feel free to call me at 0088000900 and I'll put you over to them.

(Telec) put me on to Mr. Brown passez-moi M. Brown; (Telec) would you put on Mrs. Smith? je voudrais parler à Mme Smith; passez-moi Mme Smith. (Source: Collins-Robert English-French Dictionary)


To make someone (or something) available for talking to, listening to, or watching via some communication medium or broadcast: Will you put your mother on the phone? (emphasis is mine.)

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs

To pass the telephone to someone so they can speak to the person you have been talking to Wait a minute, Mum, I’ll put Joe on.

McMillan Dictionary

Is this usage common and widely accepted?

I looked up put over online, but I could not seem to find an authoritative resource to support that "connect/put someone through to" meaning to it.


  1. Make successful, bring off, as in Do you think we can put over this play? [Early 1900s]

  2. Make something or someone be understood or accepted, as in The public relations staff helped put our candidate over to the public. [Early 1900s]

  3. put over on. Fool, deceive, as in We can't put anything over on Tom. [Early 1900s]

  4. (US) Delay, postpone, as in The meeting was put over until tomorrow. [Early 1500s] Also see put off.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer

Please, consider these sourced examples:

So, I just got off the phone with Plat AMX customer service. I called and told them the offer BoA had given me to move my business. The rep went through all the benefits of the card, and I reminded the agent I had been using them and was familiar. (Yes, I was very friendly and cordial.)

She then said, "Well, let me put you over to Centurion Card Services and see what they might be able to do for you."

A few minutes later, a rep from Centurion was on. She went through the normal security checks and such, then proceeded to thank me for our business and being a good customer, etc. Then came the death nail...."I will notate your interest in the Centurion on your account, and the next time they process invitations, your account will be reviewed." (emphasis is mine.)


10:03 a.m. – A call comes in that Mariano answers, this one a 911 call. Two vehicles are involved in an incident. “What are they doing? Let me put you over to Phoenix PD. Don’t hang up, OK?

Arizona State University


If that usage of "put one on to someone/put one over to someone" actually is acceptable, how do using these phrases in a telephone conversation differ from using "put one through to someone/connect one to someone"?

You might consider the following example:

Mr. Brown - Hello, this is Mr. Brown. May I speak to Dr. Capwell, please?

Receptionist - Surely, Mr. Brown. Just a moment, I'll put you right through to him.

Receptionist - Surely, Mr. Brown. Just a moment, I'll put you right on to him.

Receptionist - Surely, Mr. Brown. Just a moment, I'll put you right over to him.

  • Putting someone over isn't familiar to me in this context. Sending someone over means to have them physically go there. Patching someone through is idiomatic and has interesting origins. Putting someone through is also idiomatic, as is handing the other party over to someone else on your side. Putting someone on is close, though putting someone over is at least comprehensible in the context of a phone call.
    – Lawrence
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 9:43
  • It isn't familiar to me either. A somewhat close idiom I hear in television newscasts is "go over" when switching from one newscaster to another as in: "Let's go over to Marcus for the weather." Or using the phrase: "Over to you, Marcus." Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 10:10
  • 1
    I'm in the UK and i have heard the usage "I'm going to put you over to Steve in accounts" (for example), as well as "I'm going to transfer you over to ...". I'm a bit confused about what your actual question is - there are so many slashed alternatives in every sentence that it's not clear to me which ones you are asking about. Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 11:52
  • Yes, agreed with the others, I don't think put someone over is a standard phrasal verb or idiom. I think it's just normal use of metaphor of location: [You and I are here right now, but I'm going to] put [you] over [there]. Straightforward enough, just normal language used in the moment.
    – Dan Bron
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 11:54
  • @DanBron Just found the answer to my own question. "put someone on/over [to someone" means just about the same as "put someone on the phone/over the phone to someone," i.e. make someone available for talking to over via some communication medium. macmillandictionary.com/dictionary/british/put-on_1
    – Elian
    Commented Mar 21, 2016 at 12:41

1 Answer 1


It's common in English to use that term: example, "Please put mother on the phone." I've never heard this with the word "over," to me it sounds a bit British if you say it that way, but most English speakers would probably understand what is meant by "Please put mother over the phone."

A more fitting statement would be "An announcement came over the broadcast system" or if someone said "I learned about your birthday over the phone."

Like you mentioned before, using 'over' makes more sense when moving something around. Like, "Put this box over there." Similarly, "I'll transfer you over to the fraud department."

Also, "over" can specify the medium of transmission; for example, "over-the-air." But you wouldn't say "I heard that song over the radio," you'd say "I heard that song on the radio," or "I saw that football game on TV"

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