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Ring Of Truth

Posted by Victoria S Dennis on November 27, 2006

In Reply to: Ring Of Truth posted by Bob on November 27, 2006

: : : Ring Of Truth

: : : I know what the expression means. I am interested in knowing how it came to be. What does the word 'ring' in any of its various meanings have to do with 'the truth'?
: : : :

: : One of the meanings of ring is the sound. At one time, merchants and other people using coins were very happy if a coin, when dropped on, say, a counter, had the proper metallic ring, of ringing sound, indicating that the metal was the right kind, not a base metal. If something has the ring of truth, then it sounds as though it were true. Not much of a guarantee, but there it is.
: : SS

: The difference between glass and crystal can be detected pretty reliably by tapping it to make it ring. Glass is a thud; crystal is musical.

And any metallic percussion instrument, such as a bell, that does not "ring true" is said to give out a "false note".