There is a song which has this phrase:

What time do you call this? 

repeated in it. Is this a phrase with special meaning?

Here is a link to song


It means: "You are very late!" When a 16 year old girl returns home at 02.00, her parents will say to her: "What time do you call this?!Why are you late?


This type of question is called a rhetorical question, which is asked to make a point rather than to elicit an answer.

If you were to say to a 16 year old girl "Why are you late?" the girl will come up with a long list of (in her opinion valid) reasons, and a family dispute will probably follow. I witnessed many such disputes between my father and my younger sister.

So, what you do instead is to ask a question that can't reasonably be answered:

"What time do you call this?"

An argument may still ensue, but the parent has (or at least think they have) the upper hand after asking this kind of question.

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