Etymology
Advertisement
call (v.)

mid-13c., "to cry out; call for, summon, invoke; ask for, demand, order; give a name to, apply by way of designation," from Old Norse kalla "to cry loudly, summon in a loud voice; name, call by name," from Proto-Germanic *kall- (source also of Middle Dutch kallen "to speak, say, tell," Dutch kallen "to talk, chatter," Old High German kallon "to speak loudly, call"), from PIE root *gal- "to call, shout." Related: Called; calling.

Old English cognate ceallian "to shout, utter in a loud voice" was rare, the usual word being clipian (source of Middle English clepe, yclept). Old English also had hropan hruofan, cognate of German rufen. Coin-toss sense is from 1801; card-playing sense "demand that the hands be shown" is from 1670s; poker sense "match or raise a bet" is by 1889. Meaning "to make a short stop or visit" (Middle English) was literally "to stand at the door and call." Telephone sense is from 1882.

To call for "demand, require" is from 1530s (earlier in this sense was call after, c. 1400). To call (something) back "revoke" is from 1550s. To call (something) off "cancel" is by 1888; earlier call off meant "summon away, divert" (1630s). To call (someone) names is from 1590s. To call out someone to fight (1823) corresponds to French provoquer. To call it a night "go to bed" is from 1919.

Related entries & more 
Advertisement
call (n.)

early 14c., "a loud cry, an outcry," also "a summons, an invitation," from call (v.). From 1580s as "a summons" (by bugle, drum, etc.) to military men to perform some duty; from 1680s as "the cry or note of a bird." Sense of "a short formal visit" is from 1862; meaning "a communication by telephone" is from 1878. From 1670s as "requirement, duty, right," hence, colloquially, "occasion, cause."

Related entries & more 
calla (n.)
marsh-plant found in colder parts of Europe and America, 1789, from Latin calla, the name in Pliny of an unidentified plant, perhaps a mistake for calyx. The common calla-lily (1805) is a related species, not a lily but so called for the appearance of the flowers.
Related entries & more 
caller (n.)
c. 1500, "one who proclaims," agent noun from call (v.). Meaning "one who announces step changes at a dance" is short for caller-out (1882). Meaning "a social visitor" is attested from 1786; as "one who places a telephone call," 1880.
Related entries & more 
call-girl (n.)
"prostitute who makes appointments by phone," 1928, from call + girl.
Related entries & more 
Advertisement
calligraphy (n.)
"the art of beautiful writing, elegant penmanship," 1610s, from Greek kaligraphia, from kallos "beauty" (see Callisto) + graphein "to write" (see -graphy). Related: Calligrapher; calligraphic.
Related entries & more 
calling (n.)
mid-13c., "outcry, shouting," also "a summons or invitation," verbal noun from call (v.). The sense "vocation, profession, trade, occupation" (1550s) traces to I Corinthians vii.20, where it means "position or state in life."
Related entries & more 
calliope (n.)

"harsh-sounding steam-whistle keyboard organ," 1858, named incongruously for Calliope, ninth and chief muse, presiding over eloquence and epic poetry, Latinized from Greek Kalliope, literally "beauty of voice," from kalli-, combining form of kallos "beauty" (see Callisto) + opos (genitive of *ops) "voice" (from PIE root *wekw- "to speak").

Related entries & more 
calliper (n.)
variant of caliper. Related: Callipers.
Related entries & more 
callipygian (adj.)

"of, pertaining to, or having beautiful buttocks," 1800, Latinized from Greek kallipygos, name of a statue of Aphrodite at Syracuse, from kalli-, combining form of kallos "beauty" (see Callisto) + pygē "rump, buttocks," which Beekes calls "A slang word, completely avoided in epic poetry and higher literature (Wackernagel 1916: 225f.). It has no convincing etymology." Sir Thomas Browne (1646) refers to "Callipygæ and women largely composed behinde."

Related entries & more 

Page 17