Common Phone Terminology
Barge: Barge refers to the ability to add yourself to already-established calls taking place between other people.
Call: Simply put, a call is one person using a telephone to reach another in order to have a conversation.
Call Waiting: “Call waiting” refers to your phone’s ability to alert you of incoming calls while you are already on the phone with another party. When call waiting is utilized, an incoming call will be indicated by a beeping sound while the party’s name and number appear on the phone screen.
Conference Call: Conference calls are phone calls which take place between several separate entities, each in a separate location and utilizing a separate phone.
Cradle: The cradle is the part of the phone’s external hardware in which the phone rests when not in use.
Handoff: “Handing off” a call is when one party transfers a phone call, and all of the concerns and responsibilities thereof, to a different party.
Handover: Synonymous with “handoff.”
Hardkey: Hardkeys are buttons with actions that are consistent; that is, the actions they perform when triggered don’t change.
Hook: A “hook” is an electronic toggle that indicates when your phone is hung up. It can be found near the top of your phone cradle. When the phone is absent from its cradle, the phone is said to be “off-the-hook.” A phone being “off-the-hook” is usually indicated by a fast-paced beeping sound when a third party attempts to call the phone in question.
Line: A telephone connection.
Softkey: Soft keys are buttons that perform different actions when pressed, depending on the context. On your Cisco phone, the buttons of your soft keys will have their actions indicated by the touchscreen adjacent to the buttons.