any English word
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a) that sounds familiar
that rings a bell = etwas kommt einem bekannt vor
that rings a bell: approximately 1,600,000 Google hits
Those who think the American talent pool is shallow might want to ask Kenneth Di Vita Jensen or Diego Restrepo for an opinion. If those names don't RING A BELL it's because just being a successful professional American soccer player won't get you as far with the national team as it used to.
For anyone who followed the auto industry in the 1980s, and many who didn't, the name Lee Iacocca, the former Chrysler CEO, most likely RINGS A BELL.
(The Journal Times, Wisconsin USA)
Did you know?
ring a bell
- to sound familiar
(Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary)
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) and eat your breakfast (toaster bell).
There was also a time when people in the Wild West were reminded that it's time to eat by those iron dinner triangles that ring like bells when struck with another iron object. At least that's what Hollywood wants us to believe. The buzzer has not completely replaced the bell however. In boxing, the bell 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, it's not surprising that the expression "ring a bell" developed to describe someone or something that makes us think of someone or something else. And that reminds us that the bell is used in other expressions such as;
- sound as a bell = in perfect condition or health (My car may be old, but it's still sound as a bell)
- clear as a bell = very clear (The conversations in the next room are clear as a bell)
- Hell's bells! = an exclamation of anger or surprise (Oh Hell's bells! The trains are running late again!)
- with bells on = eagerly, willing and on time (Thanks for the invitation. I'll be there with bells on!)
SMUGGLE OWAD into today's conversation
"For anyone interested in classic British sports cars, the name Jaguar will ring a bell."
Today's Learning Tip (17):
MAKE A “DONKEY BRIDGE”
The phrase “donkey bridge” does not exist in English. We use the Greek word “mnemonic” or “memory aid”. By creating a visual bridge with something you know in German you can often remember the word - example: the phrase “donkey bridge” is a mnemonic to help ME remember your German Eselsbrücke!
more learning tips
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