Posted by ESC on March 26, 2001
In Reply to: "Clear as a bell" posted by R. Berg on March 26, 2001
: : Does anyone know the meaning or orgin of the phrase "Clear as a bell"? If you know, or could find out from a reliable source, I would greatly appreciate it. I have looked everywhere and can't find it! Thanks!
: : -Anna
: The phrase means simply "very clear." A bell is used as a model of clarity because the sound of a bell ringing is a clear tone. In the realm of sound, the opposite of clear is dull.
It's an old phrase. I don't know this origin but this is an early citation.
CLEAR (SOUND) AS A BELL -- "In good voice or health, a trustworthy proposition. Thus, Thomas Newton in a translation from Latin of Lemnius's 'Touchstone of Complexions': 'They be people commonly healthy, and sound as a Bell.'" From "The Dictionary of Cliches" by James Rogers (Ballantine Books, New York, 1985).