Rings on her fingers, bells on her toes

A. Maberry maberry at U.WASHINGTON.EDU
Mon Feb 21 18:36:08 UTC 2000

Not restricted to your family at all. My parents and grandparents used the
same phrase in exactly the same way.

maberry at u.washington.edu

On Mon, 21 Feb 2000, Peter A. McGraw wrote:

> So far nobody has mentioned the context I have always taken for granted for
> this phrase.  My mother and her side of the family have always said, "I'll
> be there with bells on," meaning "I'll be there FOR SURE."  The context is
> usually some important event, like a graduation, wedding, etc.  I never
> connected it with the nursery rhyme verse at all, since I don't see
> anything in the verse that would relate to this meaning.  Surely this usage
> can't be restricted to my family?!
> Peter Mc.
> --On Mon, Feb 21, 2000 5:11 AM -0500 Bruce Dykes <bkd at GRAPHNET.COM> wrote:
> >>    Someone asked me about this.  Here goes.
> >>    The RHHDAS has "with bells on" from 1899.  The phrase is placed in no
> >> context whatsoever.
> ****************************************************************************
>                                Peter A. McGraw
>                    Linfield College   *   McMinnville, OR
>                             pmcgraw at linfield.edu

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