Contact Us

What Does The Phrase “With Bells On” Mean?

Source: Jack Berry via flickr

‘Tis the season and chances are you’ve heard the phrase “with bells on” at least once this holiday season.  Countless Christmas carols and greeting cards use the expression – but what does it really mean?

The phrase “with bells on” has it’s direct origins from three separate meanings from what I can gather in my research.  One of the earliest documentations of the term comes from Europe – especially in France, where it was customary to “ring the bells” upon completion of a new cathedral.  Those bell celebrations helped to give birth to our modern usage.

In addition, Appalachian peddlers used to travel the countryside silently to avoid foes.  When arriving in the town of their destination, they would unfurl necklaces and clothing that they had rigged with bells to announce themselves audibly to the townfolk – who would in turn come out and potentially buy their wares.

One additional orgin of the phrase also comes from the horse and buggy/sled days our our country – prior to  the automobile.  Often, these sleds would be outfitted with bells that would often fore-tell the arrival of a guest.

Blend these three seemingly separate origins together and you get the phrase that in modern times has come to mean that someone will be at a destination eagerly or with enthusiasm;  It can also mean to arrive promptly.

[Research for this post was gathered from various sources - including http://www.goodwords.com/sayings/meanings.html and http://www.phrases.org.uk/bulletin_board/19/messages/411.htm]

 

 

More from KOOL 101.7

Best of the Web

Leave a Comment

It appears that you already have an account created within our VIP network of sites on . To keep your points and personal information safe, we need to verify that it's really you. To activate your account, please confirm your password. When you have confirmed your password, you will be able to log in through Facebook on both sites.

Forgot your password?

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

It appears that you already have an account on this site associated with . To connect your existing account with your Facebook account, just click on the account activation button below. You will maintain your existing profile and VIP program points. After you do this, you will be able to always log in to http://kool1017.com using your Facebook account.

*Please note that your points, prizes and activities will not be shared between programs within our VIP network.

Please fill out the information below to help us provide you a better experience.

Register on Kool 101.7 Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!

Not a Member? Sign Up Here.

Sign up for an account to comment, share your thoughts, and earn points to get great prizes.

Register on Kool 101.7 Radio quickly by logging in with your Facebook account. It's just as secure, and no password to remember!