1. the penis.
|Passionate Morrice (1876) 54: He [...] of a coye queane, was pleased by her, with wagging his bawble and ringing his bell, while she pickt his pocket.|
2. o’clock, usu. in pl., e.g. eight bells, eight o’clock [naut. use; a bell was struck to indicate the change in the day’s watches].
|Adventures of John Wetherell (1954) 22–30 Dec. 85: By this time it was near Six bells in the Aftenoon.|
|Adventures of Johnny Newcome II 69: He kept them till ‘one bell’.|
|Pilot (1824) III 216: We can [...] get a supply of fuel before eight bells are struck.|
|Quid 164: At two bells they would steal along the waist to the cook’s galley.|
|‘Nights At Sea’ in Bentley’s Misc. Mar. 270: Hark! It is four bells.|
|Waggeries and Vagaries 14: Jest at eight bells, up ruz the gall, stark naked.|
|Moby Dick (1907) 150: Eight bells there! d’ye hear, bell-boy? Strike the bell eight, thou Pip!|
|(con. 1840s–50s) London Labour and London Poor IV 415/2: Give – a – copper – to – a – poor – sailor – as – hasn’t – spliced – the – main – jaw – since – the – day – ’fore – yesterday – at – eight – bells.|
|Seven Years of a Sailor’s Life 103: Say, old fellow, how many bells is it?|
|Love Afloat 182: They come off about two bells, purty dirty with the powder and grease.|
|Admiral Guinea I vii: To-night, about three bells in the middle watch, old Pew will take a little cruise.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 2 May 23/4: The word ‘lime-juicer’ […] was the nick-name given to English seamen by American sailors before the latter were compelled (as the English were) to drink their fill of lime-juice daily at eight bells.|
|‘Get Up, Jack! John, Sit Down!’ in Amer. Ballads and Folk Songs (1934) 494: In some rum-shop they’ll let him stop, / At eight bells he’s turned out.|
|Boy’s Own Paper 16 Feb. 305: So by five bells next forenoon he was ready for action.|
|A. Mutt in Blackbeard Compilation (1977) 113: I’ll take no chances and set the alarm for three bells.|
|Our Mr Wrenn (1936) 55: Though it was so late as eight bells of the evening.|
|Compensations of War (1983) 10: I [...] can now yell out ‘four bells’ with the best of ’em.diary 16 Aug. in Carnes|
|Babbitt (1974) 146: I been trying to get into this darned little hammock ever since eight bells!|
|Runyon on Broadway (1954) 89: One morning along about four bells.‘The Bloodhounds of Broadway’ in|
|Hard-Boiled Detective (1977) 309: Waiting for eight bells. At eight, we’re going to nail your father’s murderer.‘The Turkey Buzzard Blues’ in Ruhm|
|Roll On My Twelve 21: ’E was jus’ goin’ up to the flag deck with a cup o’ cocoa at five bells.|
|Run For Home (1959) 82: Nine bells—and all’s well.|
|Mad mag. Apr. 36: It means slipping the bed before two bells.|
|(con. 1930s) Lawd Today 192: ‘It’s near eleven bells,’ said Al.|
|Killshot 67: I’ll meet you in conference room six at ten bells.|
|Campus Sl. Apr. 1: bells – o’clock. I have my Chem exam at eight bells tomorrow.|
|Powder 111: I’m here, matey. Eleven bells, you said. Bin here since five this morning.|
|Stump 167: — What time is it? Alistair looks up at the clock tower. — Three bells nearly.|
3. (US black) the clitoris.
|🎵 I said, ‘Give it to me, baby, you don’t understand, / Where to put that thing, where to put that thing, / Just press my button, give my bell a ring’.‘Press My Button, Ring My Bell’|
4. (US prison) an ear.
|(con. 1950-1960) Dict. Inmate Sl. (Walla Walla, WA) 8: Bell – the ear.|
5. (US black) personal notoriety, reputation [the image of a bell around a cat’s neck, announcing its imminent arrival].
|Pimp 7: bell notoriety connected to one’s name.|
6. (US) a hotel doorman; a bellboy [? abbr. bell captain].
|Digger’s Game (1981) 26: Three K, promo [...] tips for the bells.|
7. (UK Black, also dumb-bell) a bullet.
|🎵 Them man soon go dead up / Ten fat bells in the mac.‘Dead Up’|
|🎵 60 dumbbells in the shotgun hold.‘Bop with Smoke’|
8. see bell end n.
9. see button n.1 (1c)
see separate entry.
homosexual anal intercourse.
|Probert Encyc. 🌐 Bell shiner is slang for homosexual anal intercourse.|
describing a penis that is larger at the top than it is at the base.
|Venus in India I 35: Ah! oh! what a beauty! How handsome! bell topped! and so big!|
the shaft of the penis.
|Roger’s Profanisaurus 3 in Viz 98 Oct. 4: bell towern. Knob shaft; Bean stalk.|
|Roger’s Profanisaurus Rex.|
SE in slang uses
(US) a loud laugh.
|Thief 223: He laughed like a fool, a great booming beller you could hear all over the bar.|
the head of the penis.
|My Secret Life (1966) IV 720: How randy I was as I felt my belling pressing against those two stupendous globes.|
(Aus.) bell-bottomed trousers, also attrib.
|Sport (Adelaide) 15 Mar. 12/2: They Say [...] That Dob, with his flash boots and bell botts, caught a ‘little bit of orlright’ the other night.|
|Sport (Adelaide) 15 Mar. 12/2: They Say [...] That Dave, the bell bott boy, is trying to get the £5 bonus [i.e for a baby].|
see separate entry.
(UK Und.) condemned to death.
|New and Improved Flash Dict.|
(US) a hotel doorman, a bell-boy.
|Democrat & Chron. (Rochester, NY) 10 Apr. 4/2: You don’t understand it, and neither does any one in the hotel from the proprietor down to the bell hopper.|
|Saint Paul Globe (MN) 22 July 3/3: The game of base ball [...] between the bell-hops of the Lafayette and the Lake Park and the waiters of the Lafayette was the livesliest affair of the season.|
|Salt Lake Herald (UT) 30 Jan. 5/1: Henry Coffman was formerly a bell hopper in a Cincinnati hotel.|
|More Fables in Sl. (1960) 98: The Bell-hopper [...] asked him if he cared to Sit in a Quiet Game.|
|Spokane Press (WA) 28 July 2/1: The corkscrew [...] reclining supinely in the bell hop’s pocket.|
|You Know Me Al (1984) 67: I am a bellhop and the big rube with me is nothing but a pitcher.|
|Coll. Short Stories (1941) 97: A bellhop bounced in and told them the danger was over.‘Hurry Kane’ in|
|Gingertown 35: They had met at a big chamber-maids’ and bell-hops’ ball in Harlem.|
|Really the Blues 149: He’d been working as a bellhop in the Claridge Hotel in St. Louis.|
|Men from the Boys (1967) 10: Kenny, the bellhop, took another fifteen cents besides his tips.|
|Pimp 98: The [...] bell hops on this fast track are better pimps than the best in the hinterland.|
|Airtight Willie and Me 74: I followed a bellhop, with my bags.|
|in Damon Runyon (1992) 128: A bellhop came running in to announce that there was trouble at the Shelton Hotel.|
|Guardian Guide 11–17 Sept. 8: The only person who recognises him is the black bell-hop.|
(UK Und.) the specialist who silences electronic alarm systems.
|Inside the Und. 36: He was the preferred bellman.|
(US) a great success; thus bell-ringing adj.
|🎵 The swingin’est, / Hot singin’est, / Bell-ringin’est, / Song singin’est / High tootin’est, / Sky tootin’est, / I love to sing!‘I Love to Sing’|
|AS XV:2 204: bell-ringer. A decided success.‘Guide to Variety’|
1. a fashionable hairstyle in which men wore their hair twisted into two ropes, on each side of the face [pun, such a hairstyle is designed to ‘draw the belles’].
|Dict. of Modern Sl. etc. (2nd edn).|
|, ,||Sl. Dict.|
2. (US) the penis [it gets ‘pulled’].
|Wild Bunch [film script] While you did the planning me and Tector was getting our bell rope pulled by two, two, mind you, Hondo whores!|
|Underground Dict. (1972).|
(US) a hat, with a curved brim and crown.
|Life in Boston & N.Y. (Boston, MA) 6 Apr. n.p.: Gas bag was seen [...] rushing up Main street at a killing rate, wearing a 2,40 bell-teazer.|
|Sacramento Bee (CA) 20 Mar. 1/3: Winnemucca, the War Chief was [...] rtigged out in a ring-streaked blanket overcoat and a bell-teazer plug hat.|
|Record of the Year I 644/2: He wore a white hat, curved as to brim and crown, and of the variety known as ‘bell-teazer’.|
|L.A. Herald 20 Oct. 3/1: That bell-teazer of Thomas Jefferson would not suffice.|
(Aus./N.Z.) a top hat.
|Cardiff & Merthyr Guardian 29 Dec. 4/3: Letter from Australia [...] The hat, or bell-toppers as they are styled here, is gradually superseding the straw hat [...] although at the diggings [...] they are at a discount, for a digger would would be as strictly in keeping with a tall, shiny bell-topper as a sailor would be with top-boots.|
|Nelson Examiner and N.Z. Chronicle 14 Feb. 3/1: He had no ‘belltopper’ in his hand, and no ‘claw-hammer’ on his back; and the coat he had on was most injudiciously buttoned up.|
|Queen of the South 4: Suppose I twigg some soogie swell in a coat and bell-topper, d’ye think I owns him for my betters? No such thing, I joes him.|
|Life in Victoria 268: [footnote] Bell-topper was the derisive name given by diggers to old style hat, supposed to indicate the dandy swell.|
|Bell’s Life in Victoria 3 Sept. 3/6: Try a bell-topper amongst the gum trees, and see how long your head and it will keep company. [...] A cap in Victoria is as correct as the swell tile in the fast counties.|
|Grey River Argus (NZ) 31 Aug. 2/6: Yer remember, Mister Heditur, wen the Guvernur comed to Greymouth, that Heepeesee made hisself werry forrard in making arrangements, and wos orful big with his new belltopper and patentlethers.|
|Vagabond Papers (3rd series) 44: They all wear bell-toppers.|
|N.Z. Observer (Auckland) 18 Sept. 4: The passage being narrow, a large proportion either trod on my favourite corn or kicked my belltopper.|
|Secrets of Tramp Life Revealed 6: This man wore a clerical suit, with black hat, &c., or ‘Bell topper’.|
|Bulletin (Sydney) 5 Nov. 7/1: In pursuit of this resolution they start out in their long-tailed coats and belltoppers and blow a man’s head off in a boat while drifting down a dark and dirst river at midnight’s solemn hour.|
|Dead Bird (Sydney) 26 July 6/2: He was a tip-top swell, a real smock-dozzler [...] He wore a patent shut-up bell-topper.|
|Wkly Irish Times 16 May 3/5: Last ‘All Fool’s Day’ he hid a heavy brick, / Under a tall silk hat — an old ‘bell topper’.|
|Materials for a Dict. of Aus. Sl. [unpub. ms.] 13: BELLTOPPER: high silk hats of any kind – no doubt so called from the old style of silk hat which broadened out at the crown – bell-wise.|
|‘Dads Wayback’ in Sun. Times (Sydney) 8 Mar. 5/4: ‘Bounders is great on belltopper hats, all shiny an’ smooth like a black tomcat’.|
|Benno and Some of the Push 57: His battered bell-topper floated in the lye tub below.‘The Truculent Boy’ in|
|Boy in Bush 57: Ever wear a bell-topper?|
|Ex Africa 1: Kok saw Wellppener leaving the Dutch church [...] wearing his beltopper.|
|Jimmy Brockett 43: We grew beards to appear older and look the part, and wore frock coats and belltoppers.|
see separate entry.
in possession of a burglar alarm.
|You Flash Bastard 34: ‘What about next door?’ ‘Belled up?’ ‘How well?’ ‘A men’s outfitters.’ ‘Don’t s’pose there’s an alarm on the basement anyway.’.|
(orig. US) embellishments, gimmicks, esp. used in advertising copy to ‘talk up’ a product that, bereft of such add-ons, would have little to offer over its peers.
|Byte July 122/2: This simple circuit...even has a few outputs that can be used to provide user defined functions, such as enabling external devices or turning on bells and whistles.|
|Sun. Times (London) 26 Aug. 49/1: There are more than 600 microsystems on the market so it is hardly surprising that the manufacturers have taken to hanging a few bells and whistles on to their machines to get them noticed.|
|OnLine Dict. of Playground Sl. 🌐 Burton (gone for a.... ) v. I heard a woman on PBS’s Face The Nation discussing slang [...] she said that it came from a suit called a Montague which has three pieces and all the bells and whistles.|
|Snitch Jacket 139: [of a pistol] Doesn’t have to be high style [...] Don’t worry about the bells and whistles.|
|Finders Keepers (2016) 310: It’s just a cheapie, not the iphone with the all the bells and whistles she desires.|
see separate entry.
to tell a secret, to betray a confidence.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 96/2: Crack the bell (People’s). [...] to reveal a secret unintentionally.|
to muddle, to ruin, to blunder.
|Passing Eng. of the Victorian Era 96/2: Crack the bell (People’s). To produce failure by speech; or even act [...] to muddle.|
(orig. US) from the beginning.
|Never Die Alone 15: You owe me six hunded big ones from the bell.|
to call on the telephone.
|Pulp Fiction (2006) 107: You can give the hospital a bell in ten minutes.‘Stag Party’ in Penzler|
|Pal Joey 109: Carl Kress and Manny Klein go right thru town and never give me a bell.|
|Don’t Tread on Me (1987) 109: I’ll give you a bell when I get into town.letter 6 Aug. in Crowther|
|You Flash Bastard 231: His man said he’d like to hear from you [...] Reckon it might be worth giving him a bell.|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] His dad gave me a bell last week.‘Healthy Competition’|
|Scholar 121: You got me moby number, so gimme a bell dis week, yeah?|
|Walking With Ghosts (2000) 60: I’ll give Marie and J.D. a bell.|
|www.asstr.org 🌐 You need a Roller or a Jag or a BMW, you give Harry boy a bell and I’ll fix you up chicken and rice, stand on me.‘Dead Beard’ at|
|Killer Tune (2008) 44: Give me a bell asap.|
(US) to work as a hotel porter.
|Democrat & Chron. (Rochester, NY) 29 Dec. 5/8: The bell boys also receive but comparatively small wages, but the tips that result from ‘hopping bells’ are frequent.|
|L.A. Times 3 June 14/4: ‘What does he do?’ [...] ‘Hops bells at the Van Nuys’.|
|Leavenworth Times (KS) 9 Apr. 6/5: He has been keeping in training by ‘hopping bells’ at the Baltimore Hotel.|
|New York Day by Day 29 Dec. [synd. col.] An Oxford man, in temporary ill luck, was discovered ‘hopping bells’ in a large hotel.|
|Kingsport Times (TN) 27 Aug. 6/8: Bell Hop Now a Financier; Came into a Fortune [...] Ray D. Cremona, who was hopping bells at a hotel here last spring, today occupied the hostelry’s royal suite.|
|Akron Beacon Jrnl (OH) 7 May 12/8: At least a score of girls are now hppping bells at local inns, replacing the little jockeys who set down the bags, opened the windows and then opened those tickling palms.|
|Swell-Looking Babe 20: Almost four years of college under his belt, and he ends up hopping bells.|
|Get Your Ass in the Water (1974) 71: I’ve juggled trays in New York cafes, hopped bells in hotels in Chi.|
to beat viciously.
|Examiner (London) 16 Feb. 13/1: The captain wanted [...] the malcontents to stand before him and he’d knock seven bells out of them.|
|Wrexham Advertiser 8 Jan. 8/3: He said he would ‘knock seven bells’ out of the prosecutor.|
|Western Avernus (1924) 149: Get up, or I’ll knock seven bells out of you.|
|Truth (Sydney) 1July 5/4: Jimmy, the half-caste [...] picked a quarrel with me one night at mother Breen’s. I knocked seven bells out of him.|
|Manchester Courier 3 Mar. 14/3: When he squared off before it again [...] he meant to knock seven bells out of something.|
|Cobbers 233: ‘I get that pelican!’ he say ‘I knock seven bells out of him!’.|
|Derby Dly Teleg. 25 Feb. 3/2: Doing their best to knock seven bells out of the enemy.|
|Official and Doubtful 342: Last time I saw Cal he was knocking eight bells out of him. And getting as good as he gave.|
|Ringer [ebook] n.p.: I’m seriously contemplating knocking ten bells out of it for this performance.|
1. on credit.
|Tom and Jerry III iii: Aye, aye! – lend us a tanner on the bell, vill you? [...] Verry vell, two pound, vith a pickled cowcumber, and a pen’orth o’ketchup, to make some gravy of; and stick it up to the bell! – d’ye hear?|
2. (Scot.) buying (a round of drinks).
|Patter 10: If it’s your round in the pub you are said to be on the bell.|
|Filth 63: Make that a large Grouse Les, seeing as this English cunt’s on the bell.|
to remind one of something, to jog one’s memory.
|This is Schoolroom (2000) 215: The things we talked about meant nothing to them: they rang no bell .|
|Coroner’s Pidgin 203: That’s where I saw the name, then [...] It rang only a very faint bell.|
|Jennings Goes To School 55: Something about it rang a bell in Jennings’ brain.|
|Jeeves in the Offing 15: Does it ring a bell with you?|
|Habeus Corpus Act I: Does the name Rumpers ring a bell?|
|Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Doesn’t ring a bell, sorry.‘Go West Young Man’|
|(con. early 1950s) L.A. Confidential 204: ‘Smut’ buzzed him – little eye flickers. Bud said, ‘Ring a bell?’.|
|No Place of Safety 144: Doesn’t ring a bell. What’s her Christian name?|
|Guardian Rev. 21 Apr. 20: This description might well ring a bell with some straightahead jazz listeners.|
1. to make a woman, occas. man orgasm during intercourse.
|‘Mae West in “The Hip Flipper”’ [comic strip] in Tijuana Bibles (1997) 94: Lotta rode that bowel ravager like a rabbit and Schnozzola again rang the bell.|
|🎵 And I’ll have that thing, / That thing-a-ling, / Just press my button, give my bell a ring.‘Press My Button (Ring My Bell)’|
|Widespread Panic 99: ’Your wife rings my bell eight nights a week. She’s a go-down girl from way back’.|
2. to make a woman pregnant.
|5000 Adult Sex Words and Phrases.|
3. to appeal to, to impress, to carry any weight with.
|(con. 1967) Welcome to Vietnam (1989) 3: I needed to have my bell rung early so that I could get on with life.|
|Indep. on Sun. Culture 25 July 9: I’ve seen a Nike ad I really like. It’s pushed my buttons [...] rung my bell, all that.|
4. (US, also blow someone’s horn) to attract sexually, e.g. She really rings my bell.
|(con. 1930s) Night People 65: She told me to go by and see her girl friend [...] So I dropped by her pad and blew her horn [...] I mean, rang her bell.|
|(con. 1940s) Tattoo (1977) 195: ‘Don’t think I can’t ring your bell, buddy,’ she added aggressively.|
5. (orig. US, also ring someone’s hat) to concuss, esp. in US football use when this may well follow a clash of helmets.
|Semi-Tough 254: Dreamer rang my hat when he busted me, all right.|
|AS L:1/2 56: bell, get one’s — rungv phr Be hit hard enough to be dazed, stunned, or knocked unconscious (usually said of football players).‘Razorback Sl.’ in|
|Pound for Pound 129: Farrell knocked him down again [...] hard enough to ring his bell.|
to carry off the prize; to be the best of a lot; to be acquitted.
|Greenmantle (1930) 293: I’ve no contribution to make to quieting Sir Walter Bullivant’s mind, except that he’s dead right. Yes, Sir, he has hit the spot and rung the bell.|
|Shearer’s Colt 29: I hadn’t hardly rung the bell at this here racing before I got pinched.|
|DAUL 179/1: Ring the bell. To succeed handsomely. ‘We sure rang the bell on that touch (robbery).’.et al.|
|Dear ‘Herm’ 122: Listen to this story I dreamed up – and I know it can ring the bell money-wise.|
|Lowspeak 121: Ring the bell – to obtain an acquittal.|
(US) to dismiss, to declare useless.
|Out for the Coin 75: Aw, say, Foxy Gran’, ring de tinkler on yourself!|
|New York Day By Day 6 Oct. [synd. col.] Simmons walked over and broke Mr Kinsley’s hat, remarking: ‘They rang the bell on straw lids, mister’.|
|What Makes Sammy Run? (1992) 6: That spiel really rings the bell on my old man.|
(US) rescued or relieved at the last minute.
|S.F. Chronicle 1 June H5/7: When it comes down to brass tacks the most polished orator will lapse into ‘saved by the bell,’ [etc.].|
|Loneliness of Long-Distance Runner (1960) 31: ‘Ain’t it next door to a pub, then?’ I wanted to know. He answered me sharp: ‘No, it bloody well aint.’... ‘Then I don’t know it,’ I told him, saved by the bell.‘Loneliness of the Long-Distance Runner’ in|
|Soho 7: A masochistic cocktail waitress trying unsuccessfully to get herself murdered for kicks, being saved by the bell when her hired would-be killer falls in love with her.|
|Best Science Fiction Stories 326: We’ll fly over their double-despicable city again and scare seven bells out of them.|
to put an end to, to forbid.
|Mop Fair 34: She would probably [...] have tolled the bell on the whole proceeding.|
1. in a joyous mood, enthusiastic.
|Tales of the Ex-Tanks 89: I had enough to get back here with bells on inside of a couple of months.|
|Actors’ Boarding House (1906) 28: Dear old Noo York! Well, we’re gettin’ back with bells on!|
|‘In Old Juarez’ 1 Jan. [synd. col.] Yea, old pal, we were there with bells — / But Rosemary ran last today.|
|Hysterical Hist. of Aus. 110: Lefty Buggins thanks im an orl that fer is nise invertashun an ses ribuck ole pal Ile cum wiv bels on.|
|Dear ‘Herm’ 334: See you soon – with bells on! Here we come!!|
2. (US, also with bells) definitely, without doubt; as a negative retort.
|TAD Lex. (1993) 88: Lewis F. Byington was in line ‘with bells’.in Zwilling|
|Maison De Shine 111: As for settling now, I’ll be there with bells on Sat’day, sure.|
|in Dear Folks at Home (1919) 76: When this is all over, I will be home with bells on.|
|Fighting Blood 247: Nate says it’s all fun and shuts me up, telling the press agent we’ll be there with bells on.|
|N.Y. Age 1 Feb. 7/1: Thanks, Will Doar for my ticket [...] I’ll be there with a belle, er, er-r-r I mean with bells on.‘Truckin ’round Brooklyn’ in|
|Dames Don’t Care (1960) 91: I have only gotta go for her an’ I am right in the front row with bells on.|
|Mildred Pierce (1985) 410: I’ll be here Thursday. With bells.|
|(con. 1943) Big War 200: Grade A jackass. With bells ...|
|(con. 1940s) Do Not Go Gentle (1962) 337: ‘But, Sarge I itch!’ ‘You itch with bells on. God damn it, I said don’t move!’.|
|Much Obliged, Jeeves 47: ‘You mean Florence is here as well?’ ‘With bells on. You seem perturbed.’.|
|Tourist Season (1987) 325: If the bastard really had been alive, Keyes thought, he would have shown up. With bells on.|
|Point of Origin (1999) 165: I’ll be there with bells on.|
|Screen Door Jesus 99: ‘Be here with bells on,’ he said. ‘I’m unstressing.’.‘A Tinkling Cymbal’ in|
3. (also with spangles) with melodramatic, lurid and otherwise exciting embellishments.
|Rockabilly (1963) 50: This is it, baby, it with spangles!|
|Skin Tight 219: We arrive with bells on – sirens, lights, the works.|
|Powder 392: I think we can start a separate category for ‘you’re very welcomes’. It’s, like, ‘you’re welcome’ with bells on, isn’t it?|