She grabbed her walkie-talkie and started speaking into it...

Hannah: Joel? Joel, can you hear me? Come on, pick up. I know you're there.

Would it be weird/unnatural to use "pick up" when it's not a phone but a walkie-talkie or do you not see any problems using it here?

  • How would you answer a walkie-talkie without picking it up? :) But yeah guess it's just following on from telephone. Wouldn't see it as weird or unnatural, but then I'm not a regular walkie-talkie user. Maybe Hannah should be saying "Come in, John" instead. (That's possibly cliché though, not sure!) Commented Feb 26, 2021 at 14:15

1 Answer 1


The phrase pick up dates from the days when telephones had a separate handset and base. When it rang you had to pick up the handset to answer. Its use for a modern telephone is a figurative use since there is no longer anything to pick up. Given that its extension to other devices like walkie-talkies seem very natural.

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .