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Ring the other one

Posted by R. Berg on January 03, 2002

In Reply to: Ring the other one posted by Graeme Forbes 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, Dictionary of Catch Phrases: American and British, from the Sixteenth Century to the Present Day:

"'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."

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