A phrase used by Jehovah’s Witnesses conducting door-to-door ministry to jokingly refer to the occurrence when a householder is obviously home but pretending not to be.

This phrase is a play-on-words based on the official phrase “Not at Home.” Jehovah’s Witnesses preach methodically and keep lists of every home they visit where no one answered the door, so that they can go back at another time in the hopes that someone will eventually answer. The list is referred to as “the not at homes” and the house itself is referred to as “a not at home.”

“Home-but-hiding” is not an official category and those houses are recorded as “not-at-homes” so that someone can return at another time.
JW 1: “Was that last house a not at home?”
JW 2: “No, it was a home but hiding.”
JW 1: “Ha! At least it wasn’t a do not call.”
by JW Terms September 27, 2018
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