Friday, September 9, 2011

With Bells On! Where did that come from?

Ever invite someone to a party or an event and had them reply, "I'll be there with bells on!"

Most of us know that this statement means that they are eager to attend. But where did this phrase originate from?

There are several different theories as to where this particular sentiment originated:
  • Theory #1:
    The costume of a court jester. The court jester would wear a costume to many events that was decorated with bells. Most of these events were lively parties, in which the participants celebrated one occasion or another in merriment. 
  • Theory #2:
    This theory goes back to days before the modern automobile. When people rode around in horse drawn carriages. Sometimes when attending a holiday or festive event, they would use harnesses on the horses that had jingle bells on them.
  • Theory #3:
    In the Appalachian mountains and other areas of the U.S. peddlers had to be quite when they roamed in order to avoid bandits and other threats to themselves and their wares. When reaching a settlement or town the peddler would place bells on their horses to announce their arrival to that settlement's people. People were always excited for a peddler's arrival since they were able to receive not only goods and wares that were sold by the peddlers, but also because the peddlers would bring news and letters from the outside world.

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