Beck and call or beckon call – what is the correct phrase?

If you ever doubt whether you should use “beck and call” or “beckon call,” remember that it’s always the first one.

Milena Lazova
Milena Lazova

If you’re like many people and don’t know whether it’s “beck and call” or “beckon call,” it’s time to change that. Save yourself from the embarrassment of using the wrong phrase and leaving a negative impression on people around you.

The correct phrase is “beck and call,” but why do so many people mistake it for “beckon call,” and what does it mean?

When to use beck and call

If you ever doubt whether you should use “beck and call” or “beckon call,” remember that it’s always the first one. That’s because “beckon call” is only a misheard version of the right phrase.

The reason for the confusion comes from the fact that both phrases sound almost the same.

If you pronounce them, you will notice the end of the word “beckon,” which is “on,” sounding a lot like “and,” so it’s like you’re hearing “beck and.” The last word of the phrase “call” remains the same, so what you hear is actually “beck n call.”

Beck and call meaning

If you wonder what does beck and call mean, it’s being ready to obey someone’s commands or orders. It’s a part of a more prominent phrase – to be at someone’s beck and call.

You use it to say that someone is ready to do whatever another person asks immediately. For example, if Jack is at his friend’s beck and call, it means he is always at their disposal. That’s why it usually has a negative connotation.

Example:

My boss expects me to be at his beck and call every day of the week.

What about beckon call

“Beckon” is a verb that means to call someone by making a physical gesture. “Call” is another verb with an obvious meaning. Therefore, combining these two verbs in one phrase doesn’t really make sense.

Some more examples for “beck and call”:

Pretty Woman (1990)
The Dawnseeker (2018)
Pretty Woman (1990)
EnglishIdioms & expressionsWhich is correct

Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.


Cecilia Gigliotti

I have extensive experience writing in a variety of genres, from literary novels to music reviews to academic articles. I appreciate the power of words.

Geoffrey Mutie

My name is Geoffrey! I am constantly looking for new ways to improve my writing skills and my interpersonal skills, which in my opinion help a person be professional.

Milena Lazova

I'm an ESL teacher with over 7 years of experience in providing original content. I really like writing educational articles which may help others learn some aspects of English.