One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Angling. A line with baited hooks set to catch fish at night.
2Chiefly British. Usually in form Nightline. A telephone helpline available at night, especially for university or college students (frequently as the name of such a service); (hence more widely) any overnight out-of-hours telephone service.
Early 18th century; earliest use found in Gentleman Angler. From night + line.
night line/ˈnʌɪt lʌɪn/
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