phone it in
Definition from Wiktionary, the free dictionary
- (Should we move(+) this sense?) to choose to deliver a message by telephone when etiquette demands the effort and respect conveyed by in person communication
- (idiomatic) To fulfill a responsibility with a minimum effort rather than the appropriate level of effort.
1998 January 12, “It's All About Timing”, TIME:
- But here was someone who could have been paid regally for just phoning it in for another year or two willing instead to throw that all away
2000 April 26, Candy Sagon, “All Talk, No Cooking”, Washington Post:
- his new show with Julia Child -- "Julia and Jacques Cooking At Home" on WMPT Channel 22 -- is a clever marketing stroke, but at times both of these veteran teachers seem to be phoning it in.
2008 October 6, “Getting Offensive; How Will Voters Respond?”, ABC GMA:
- And I think our campaign put a lot more on the line, frankly, to try to solve that problem than Senator Obama, who tried to phone it in.
- (Should we move(+) this sense?) to make an unseemly, timid performance; to be restrained and timid when bold action is called for