The correct phrase is “roll call” in English. “Role call” is incorrect and should not be used in English. A “roll call” is when someone checks attendance from a list of attendees.
The English language is full of homophones, which are words that are pronounced exactly the same with similar spellings but mean two completely different things. Roll and role are homophones that get mixed up all of the time.
The word roll is used when discussing something in motion. For example, you roll the ball. Roll also refers to a list of names, like those in a class or a group. It can also refer to putting something away, such as roll up the blanket. Another definition can mean go with the flow, like roll with the punches.
Roll can also mean that something is going well. The most common phrase used for this would be ‘on a roll’. One last definition for the word roll is a cylinder of something, like a roll of paper towels or a roll of carpet.
It’s your turn to roll the dice.
Make sure you roll the blanket back up before you leave.
I watched the ball roll right down the hill and straight into the water.
The word role refers to the part that someone plays in a theatrical production. For example, an actor plays a role in a movie. It can also refer to the part someone plays in an everyday situation. For example, your job is your role at work.
She is a great role model for younger girls to look up to.
He was incredibly well prepared for his new role at the car dealership.
Each person had a role in the final outcome of the group project.
Roll vs. Role
Roll and role are two words that have different meanings even though they sound the same. Role is the more popular word out of the two, as it appears around seven times more often than the word roll. It is easy to get these words mixed up, but it is easy to tell the difference when you know how.
If the word is referring to something that is moving, a list of names, or something that is going well, you will want to use the word roll. If the word is referring to a part that is being played by someone or something, then you will use the word role.
Roll Call or Role Call?
Role call is a very common misspelling of the phrase roll call. There is a trick to make it easy to remember which word is proper in the phrase. Back in the old days, a scroll was what everything was written on. When you use a scroll, you roll it up. Roll call is the proper phrase.
Other Common Mistakes
Roll Model or Role Model?
Being someone that people look up to is playing a part in their life. That means that the correct phrase is “role model”.
Roll or Role the Dice?
The correct word for this phrase is “roll the dice”. The dice are going to be in motion, not playing a part in something. For example, you roll the dice and land on a six.
Role Play or Roll Play?
The definition of this phrase is to act out the part of a person or character. Since it is referring to the part someone plays, the correct phrase is “role play”.
Let’s Roll or Let’s Role?
The correct expression here is let’s roll. The phrase “let’s roll” is usually said when leaving somewhere. For example, you are getting ready to leave your house and your dad says, “let’s roll”. This means you are going to be in motion, so the word will be roll.