it rings a bell


it sounds familiar

TRANSLATION

it rings a bell = kommt mir irgendwie bekannt vor, das sagt mir was

STATISTICS

IN THE PRESS

"For anyone who followed the auto industry in the 1980s, the name 'Lee Iacocca', the former Chrysler CEO, most likely RINGS A BELL."

The Journal Times, Wisconsin USA

Did you
know?

ring a bell
idiom

- to sound familiar

The Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary


ORIGIN

In the days before electronic buzzers invaded society, people were often reminded to do things by bells. For instance, get out of bed (alarm clock bell), go to church (church bell), open the door (door bell), answer the phone (telephone bell), go to school (school bell), toast is ready (toaster bell).

In boxing, the bell still remains an important tradition. As the great Joe Louis once said, “Once that bell rings, you’re on your own. It’s just you and the other guy”.

So with the bell as an important reminder mechanism, the expression “ring a bell” evolved to remind of someone or something else.


IDIOMS WITH BELL


- as sound as a bell = in perfect condition or health (My car may be old, but it’s still as sound as a bell)

- as clear as a bell = perfectly clear (Your microphone is as clear as a bell)

- Hell’s bells! = an exclamation of anger or surprise (Hell’s bells! The internet is slow again)

- set off alarm bells = trigger feelings of danger (The strange attachment to his email immediately set off alarm bells)

- bells and whistles = additional features designed to attract more buyers (The extra bells an whistles in this app make it too complicated)


PRACTICE OWAD in an English conversation, say something like:

“Does the name 'Pavlov' RING A BELL?”

(The Russian behavioural psychologist Ivan Pavlov, developed the theory of classical conditioning and trained dogs to respond to the sound of a bell.)


HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations at:

https://donorbox.org/please-become-a-friend-of-owad-3

Paul Smith

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