phone tagphone tag
a series of attempts by two people to speak to each other directly by phone, in which a failed attempt by one person prompts the other person to return the call, also without success: used chiefly of a prolonged sequence of such calls
Origin of phone tagby analogy with a game of tag (noun)
A series of unsuccessful calls exchanged by two people who are attempting to contact each other by telephone.
- (idiomatic) A situation in which two individuals attempting to contact each other by telephone repeatedly do not get a live person and instead trade messages, such as by voice mail.