If I get up in the morning, and I’m sick, or I’ve simply lost the will to go on, I will “call in sick”. I would expect my supervisor to then announce to my crestfallen coworkers, “Bayard called in sick”. I grew up in Missouri.
Here in the Cincinnati area, however, people “call off”. Not “call off sick”, just “call off”. People say, “Jane called off”. I can’t recall anyone around here ever saying, “Jane called in sick this morning”.
So, I did a quick google for “call off” + “sick” (so I wouldn’t get stuff about calling off a plan or an attack or something), and several of the hits on the first page had connections to Ohio – a band from Columbus, something about the Cleveland Browns, and so on.
So, is “calling off” an Ohio thing? And, more generally, what is the phrase in your location when you want to inform your boss that you’re not going to show up?