One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1An instance of being called away from an activity; an instance of calling (a person or animal, especially a dog) off. rare.
2US. An instance of an employee reporting his or her absence from work that day, especially due to illness. Compare to call off.
3A cancellation of an event, activity, etc. Compare to call off.
4Business. A purchaser's request for a delivery of goods or services which have been ordered in full but are to be supplied on demand; (occasionally also) a contract for order and delivery of this kind.
Late 19th century; earliest use found in Joseph Parker (1830–1902), Congregational minister. From call + off, after to call off.
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