A situation in which a person unsuccessfully attempts to contact another person by telephone and leaves a message instead, and in which the second person then unsuccessfully attempts to return the initial call and leaves a message for the first person, and so on as if the two are playing a game of tag in which the most recent person to have been left with a message is now designated as "it" (i.e. as the player now obliged to chase the other and to attempt anew to make contact).
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"telephone tag." Phrases.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2018. Web. 23 Sep. 2018. <https://www.phrases.net/phrase/telephone-tag_15306>.