Q: Origin of "dumb-bell"?

Michael Quinion wordseditor at WORLDWIDEWORDS.ORG
Mon Apr 12 16:26:55 UTC 2010

Joel S. Berson wrote:

> Is there any more recent opinion on which came first?  (Bell-ringing
> seems the obvious choice.)

It seems certain that the exercise sense followed the bell-ringing one.
See http://www.worldwidewords.org/weirdwords/ww-dum2.htm

Michael Quinion
Editor, World Wide Words
Web: http://www.worldwidewords.org

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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