0

What does "take a call" mean?

Let me cite two references:

Congress President Sonia Gandhi will take a call on the candidature of around a dozen relatives of leaders, including that of President's son, for the October 13 assembly elections in Maharashtra.

Another reference:

We have certain guidelines & policy in delivering consignments safely & any violation in safety will not be tolerated.

If you don’t want to abide by our policy, then you are free to take a call on continuing your business with our organization.

What does "take a call" mean in the above contexts? The meaning of the phrase appears to be to "take decision". But, I do not find the phrase in any dictionary.

Can anyone shed some light?

  • 3
    Oxford noun 7.1 (You'll need to scroll down quite a long way) – Andrew Leach Mar 7 '18 at 13:24
  • Related, but probably not a duplicate. english.stackexchange.com/questions/289624/… – DJClayworth Mar 8 '18 at 17:19
  • @AndrewLeach: The definition that you linked to works with “make a call”, not so well with “take a call”. Perhaps, if you believe that you know the answer to this question, you should post it as an answer, so it can be downvoted if appropriate. – Scott Mar 8 '18 at 19:03
  • @Scott You've never heard of taking a decision? It's exactly analogous. Perhaps what I should have done was to close the question, but working on a phone isn't as easy as on a large screen. – Andrew Leach Mar 8 '18 at 19:13
1

The normal, simple meaning of "take a call" is to decide to receive a phone call. For example a leader of one country would 'take a call' from another to discuss some issue, as opposed to 'not taking a call' meaning that they don't want to discuss.

By extension the phrase can be used for any form of discussion, not just a phone call. So your first could reasonably be interpreted to mean that Sonia Gandhi will discuss the candidatures of relatives with others, presumably before making a decision.

I had thought that the in second sentence "take a call" was a mistake for "make a call". In British and American English "Make a call" means to make a clear and definite decision: for example a football referee "makes a call" on whether a goal is valid or not. However I have since found several examples of Indian English where "take a call" is used with the same meaning as "make a call" in British English, i.e. "make a definite decision". 1 2

While the company may be urging you to discuss with others whether you want to abide by their safety rules, it is much more likely that they want you clearly decide if you want to continue your business with the company (in which case you need to abide by the safety rules) or not.

  • Would the downvoter care to explain? – DJClayworth Mar 9 '18 at 1:18
  • Yes, the company is asking the transporter to stop transporting. – Dinesh Kumar Garg Mar 9 '18 at 16:17
  • 1) If you know that why did you ask? 2) That's what the answer says. – DJClayworth Mar 9 '18 at 18:31
  • I asked because I wanted to know what the expression exactly meant. What are its usages? Was it rightly used? Do not you fall back upon a dictionary to find out the whole lot of details about a particular word or phrase you have heard only for the first time, though you could sense the meaning? – Dinesh Kumar Garg Mar 12 '18 at 9:12
  • Moreover, even if a person knows the answer, he can ask. That is why this website allows you to answer your own question. – Dinesh Kumar Garg Mar 12 '18 at 9:15
0

The first example appears to be in the sense of "receive a phone call", in this case extended to mean "sit in on a conference call".

The second example appears to be a sports (or perhaps card game) metaphor, but it's hard to guess specifically which one. A player may be "called" for some sort of "foul", or (particularly in cards) may choose to "pass" a round of the game.

There are several other senses of the idiom, but those would seem to fit best.

  • Do you have an example of 'take a call' being used in the card game sense? – DJClayworth Mar 9 '18 at 1:20
  • @DJClayworth - No, I do not. But "call", in poker (and, metaphorically, elsewhere), refers challenging a presumed "bluff". And, in some card games, one can "call" for a card to be drawn from the deck. – Hot Licks Mar 9 '18 at 1:29
  • In poker you always "make a call". And I've never heard "take a call" used on the other games. – DJClayworth Mar 9 '18 at 1:31
  • @DJClayworth - If you make a call then the guy on the other side takes the call, doesn't he? – Hot Licks Mar 9 '18 at 1:36
  • I've never heard it put like that. Any examples? – DJClayworth Mar 9 '18 at 2:14
0

This is a phrase peculiar to India. It's not used by native English speakers. Its meaning is the same as "make the call", i.e. to make a decision.

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.