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In telephony, the "thing" the receiver is placed upon after hanging up is called the "hook" because on the old wall phones it literally was a hook. If you neglect to hang up a phone, it is said to be "off hook" and this condition can be detected at the central phone switch. Likewise, a phone properly stowed and inactive is said to be "on hook". Even though we no longer stow our phone receivers on a hook, the terms "on hook" and "off hook" are still used in the telephone business.

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Q: What is the button called that the receiver goes on to hang up the phone?
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