Submitted by charlie  •  May 11, 2004

Will-Call

Try as I might I cannot find out anything about the origin of WILL CALL as in “You can pick up your theatre tickets at the WILL CALL window.” Any enlightenment will be deeply appreciated.

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To the best of my knowledge and belief, the phrase comes from the fact that you have prearranged for the tickets to be held for you (usually so you can get guaranteed good seating) and you "will call" for them at the booth when you get there.

"Call" in this case does not mean the phone call you make to arrange the tickets to be held for you, or a shout to the fellow on duty, but something like what's meant in the phrase "a social call" (i.e. visit).

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I was always under the impression the "will" part was more of a reference to a Will like an inheritance style usage, as your name is on a list and the tickets are handed out to that particular person only...and the call as per Speedwell's comment... I might be trippin'.

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