Get Con Op on the hook

Agito a42

Senior Member
The phrase comes from Predator (a movie). A military squad is in an enemy camp.
Major to his subordinate during the firefight: Hawkins, call in position and situation. Get Con Op on the hook.

What does it mean? Who or what 'Con Op' is?
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Later, Hawkins says "Air surveillance says we got guerrillas all over. Can't be more than one, two miles away."

I'm not sure if Major actually says "Con Op". Probably it's just nonsense, but maybe not.
 
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  • dojibear

    Senior Member
    English - Northeast US
    I'm sure it is fictional, but it is intended to mean the overseeing non-fighting team that this squad gets orders and information from, and sends information and status back to.

    Beyond that, it doesn't matter. It's made up. "Con Op" sounds military. A squad would use a short version of the real name of the unit (Combat Operations? Maybe he is saying Com Op, which sounds the same).
     

    Agito a42

    Senior Member
    Many thanks, london calling. I was sure about 'Con', but I thought it might be 'Up' instead of 'Op'.
    So, we probably have Con for Control(ler) and Op for Operations/Operator. I'm pretty satisfied with it.
    However, could somebody please provide some more information about 'on the hook'? How could it mean 'get in touch with'? Is it used this way in communications?
     

    Egmont

    Senior Member
    English - U.S.
    "On the hook" means "on the telephone." Older telephone handsets would be placed on a hook when not in use. The expression lives on even though technology has changed. The communication device may not even be a telephone today, though it might have been thirty years ago when this movie came out.
     

    Agito a42

    Senior Member
    Egmont, probably I took some part of your explanation wrong. You says "Older telephone handsets would be placed on a hook when not in use". Well, I can see the logic of it, but then Major should've said 'off the hook', no?
     
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    Andygc

    Senior Member
    British English
    "On the hook" is Hollywood scriptwriter technobabble. From telephony - "On hook" = not being used. "Off hook" = in use. I've used military communication systems that had a switch labelled "hook". I'd call "Con Op" just babble - no techno - I could understand "Operations Control" being contracted to "OPCON", but "CONOP" :confused:.
     

    Agito a42

    Senior Member
    "On the hook" is Hollywood scriptwriter technobabble. From telephony - "On hook" = not being used. "Off hook" = in use. I've used military communication systems that had a switch labelled "hook". I'd call "Con Op" just babble - no techno - I could understand "Operations Control" being contracted to "OPCON", but "CONOP" :confused:.
    I see. Thank you, Andygc.
     
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