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Beck and Call: Origin and Meaning

To be immediately available to somebody when they call; to respond to somebody’s demands quickly.
Beck and call The origin of this idiom dates back to the 18th century. The word beck is a bit of a strange word, which on its own means river, but in this idiom it is thought to be an abbreviation of the verb to beckon, i.e.: to make a gesture with the hand, to signal or ask someone to approach. In other words, it means to call someone over. So to be a someone’s beck and call is a tautological expression as both beck and call have similar meanings which reinforce each other.

– My assistant is brilliant! Anytime I need anything he is always at my beck and call.

– I am sure The Duchess of Cambridge has loads of people at her beck and call. Particularly now that she has had her third child!

– I know you are going through a bit of a tough time, so don’t hesitate to call me. Don’t worry! I’ll be at your beck and call.

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