In Reply to: Name rings a bell posted by Ben Bowles on March 21, 2010 at 22:15:
: Hi there. I'm interested in the phase 'name rings a bell'. I've searched the Oxford English Dictionary online and I have found the following. I'm interested in whether anyone knows any other famous texts where this phrase would have been used. Thanks so much!
: 1945 M. AGATE Madame Sarah xii. 171 They would be quick to recognize a great performance, but would it 'ring a bell' with them, I wonder?
: 1945 M. ALLINGHAM Coroner's Pidgin xxiii. 203 That's where I saw the name, then... It rang only a very faint bell.
: 1957 P. FRANKAU Bridge 64 'Do you remember..the stage~hands who built the set?' 'That rings a bell.'
Not famous, but an earlier citation:
1939 Nicholas Monsarrat's "That Is a Schoolroom." "The things we talked about...rang no bell." "Facts on File Dictionary of Cliches," second edition, edited by Christine Ammer, Checkmark Books, New York, 2006. Page 358.