Let's call in sick today for the office

Is this sentence correct? The intention is to take sick leave at work. Is using "call in" a metaphor? Because we usually write an email or send a chat message for informing anything.

  • In my country, we very often use a 'telephone' or more shortly a 'phone' to notify a workplace of sick absence. The usual verb for contacting someone by phone is call. We add 'in' and say e.g. I called in to say I would be late for work or I called in sick to my work. In my job I am required to use a phone to let my manager know if I am sick. Mar 8 at 14:15
  • Yes, I think you could reasonably say to call in sick is "figurative", since to many if not most native speakers today it's a perfectly acceptable usage even if you only notify your employer by text rather than an actual voice call. Besides which, call in the sense of contact by phone is already "metaphoric" - it's not like you're literally calling out by voice to get someone's attention. Mar 8 at 14:45
  • Confusingly, call out (of work) is also used. I don't really use it myself, but it seems to be particularly common in situations like retail or hospitality when schedules are irregular. It's a funny quirk that we can use opposite prepositions (in/out) for the same thing. Mar 8 at 19:34

1 Answer 1


"Call in sick" is just an idiomatic expression defined as:

To inform one's employer that one will be absent due to illness (real or feigned). The phrase originally referred to calling by phone, but can refer to any form of communication (such as email).

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