Online Encyclopedia

CALL (from Anglo-Saxon ceallian, a co...

Online Encyclopedia
Originally appearing in Volume V05, Page 55 of the 1911 Encyclopedia Britannica.
Spread the word: it!
CALL (from Anglo-Saxon ceallian, a common Teutonic word, cf. Dutch kallen, to talk or chatter), to speak in a loud voice, and particularly to attract some one's attention by a loud utterance. Hence its use for a visit at a house, where the name of the occupier, to whom the visit was made, was called aloud, in early times, to indicate the presence of the visitor. It is thus transferred to a short stay at a place, but usually with the idea of a specific purpose, as in " port of call," where ships stop in passing. Connected with the idea of summoning by name are such uses as " roll-call " or " call-over," where names are called over and answered by those present; similar uses are the " call to the bar," the summoning at an Inn of Court of those students qualified to practise as barristers, and the " call within the bar " to the appointment of king's counsel. In the first case the " bar " is that which separates the benchers from the rest of the body of members of the Inn, in the other the place in a court of law within which only king's counsel, and formerly serjeants-at-law, are allowed to plead. " Call " is also used with a particular reference to a divine summons, as of the calling of the apostles. It is thus used in nonconformist churches of the invitation to serve as minister a particular congregation or chapel. It is from this sense of a vocatio or summons that the word " calling " is used, not only of the divine vocation, but of a man's ordinary profession, occupation or business. In card games " call " is used, in poker, of the demand that the hand of the highest bettor be exposed or seen, exercised by that player who equals his bet; in whist or bridge, of a certain method of play, the " call " for a suit or for trumps on the part of one partner, to which the other is expected to respond; and in many card games for the naming of a card, irregularly exposed, which is laid face up on the table, and may be thus " called " for, at any point the opponent may choose. " Call " is also a term on the English and American stock exchanges for a contract by which, in consideration of a certain sum, an " option " is given by the person making or signing the agreement to another named therein or his order or to bearer, to " call " for a specified amount of stock at a certain day for a certain price. A " put," which is the reverse of a " call," is the option of selling (putting) stock at a certain day for a certain price. A combined option of either calling or putting is termed a " straddle," and sometimes on the American stock exchange a "spread-eagle." (See further STOCK EXCHANGE.) The word is also used, in connexion with joint-stock companies, to signify a demand for instalments due on shares, when the capital of the company has not been demanded or " called " up at once. (See COMPANY.)
End of Article: CALL (from Anglo-Saxon ceallian, a common Teutonic word, cf. Dutch kallen, to talk or chatter)

Additional information and Comments

There are no comments yet for this article.
» Add information or comments to this article.
Please link directly to this article:
Highlight the code below, right click and select "copy." Paste it into a website, email, or other HTML document.