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    #1

    Calling time

    I am puzzled by the expression "calling time" in the title of I. Sinclaire's book Ghost Milk: Calling Time on the Grand Project. I have searched some dictionaries, but they do not record the idiom (if it is one at all). I am guessing that it means something along the lines of asking for it to be over and done with. Is that so?

    Many thanks in advance.
    Last edited by a_cam; 30-Jun-2012 at 15:49.

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    #2

    Re: Calling time

    Not a teacher!

    I believe the expression "calling time" originates from a time when pubs in Britain had to close at 11PM. Then the landlord (publican) would shout (call), "Time, gentlemen!" a few minutes before 11PM, thus allowing every punter to order a last pint at the bar before closing time. At 11PM a bell would ring and the roller shutters would go down on the bar.

    Here is a dictionary definition:

    call - Definition and pronunciation | Oxford Advanced Learners Dictionary at OxfordLearnersDictionaries.com

    Under idioms:
    call time (on something) (British English) to say or decide that it is time for something to finish


    TomUK

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    #3

    Re: Calling time

    TomUK:

    That's an interesting take on the expression, and it's probably accurate, given the nationality of the author.

    But here in the U.S., "calling time" has a slightly different meaning stemming from the world of sports. In baseball, if the team's manager (the equivalent of a head coach in basketball, football, etc.) calls time, it means he's requesting that the umpire (referee) temporarily stop the game from proceeding.

    A manager often calls time because he wants to have a conference with his team's pitcher or replace the pitcher. Since the rules don't allow the manager to walk into the field of play while the game is in progress, he "calls time" (a request that's routinely granted by the umpire) and then strolls to the pitcher's mound, usually to either give the pitcher advice, check on the player's fatigue level or to simply wave his hand and call in a replacement pitcher.

    It's similar to the expression "calling time out," which is associated with basketball, football and other sports.

    Just thought I'd give you a perspective on what "calling time" means on this side of the pond.

    (And as my screen name suggests, I'm not a teacher.)

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    #4

    Re: Calling time

    "Calling time" in the American sense is simple an abbreviation for "calling time out." The gesture for this is to form a "T" with one hand placed palm down on top of the fingers of the other hand.



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