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Pull the other one

Posted by Bob on January 04, 2002 at

In Reply to: Re: Ring the other one posted by masakim on January 03, 2002

: : : Any help with the derivation of "Ring the other one it's got bells on". Anything to do with the women's fashion of wearing bells in their garters during the Twenties & Thirties?

: : From Eric Partridge, "A Dictionary of Catch Phrases":

: : "'pull the other one, it's got bells on it!', occ. prec. by 'now'. 'A rejoinder to a fanciful statement or a tall story. "We don't believe it. Pull the other leg, it has bells on it"' (Granville, 1969).
: : Frank Shaw attributed it to the 1920s. . . .
: : Presumably from pictures of court jesters, wearing cap and bells."

: Does it have something to do with the following nursery rhyme?

: Ride a cock-horse to Banbury Cross,
: To see a fine lady upon a white horse;
: Rings on her fingers and bells on her toes,
: And she shall have music whenever she goes.
: --Gammer Gurton's Garland, 1784.

FYI: "pull the other one," which is common enough in the UK, is almost never heard in the US.