ring a bell, expression ring a bell, aussie english, ring a bell expression

AE 677 – Expression: Ring a Bell

Learn Australian English in this Expression episode of the Aussie English Podcast where I teach you how to use RING A BELL like a native English speaker.

Transcript of AE 677 - Expression: Ring a Bell

G'day, guys and welcome to Aussie English. My objective here is to teach you guys the English spoken Down Under. So, whether you want to speak like a Fair Dinkum Aussie or you just want to understand what the flipping hell we're on about when we're having a yarn, you've come to the right place. So, sit back, grab a cuppa and enjoy Aussie English.

G'day, you mob! And welcome to this episode of Aussie English, the No.1 podcast for everyone and anyone wanting to wrap their heads around the confusing dialect of English that is Australian English. Guys, welcome to this episode. I am your host, Pete, and it is a pleasure to be chatting to you once again.

As you will see, guys, as you'll see, I've been working my little arse off recently. I've been working really, really hard to try and bring you a bunch of new content. So, obviously I'm doing the expression episodes a little bit differently now, but I'm also doing some Aussie politics episodes. And hopefully you've had a look at the first episode that was A Donkey Vote, A Donkey Vote.

Remember, as a reminder, that is where you go to sign up to vote. You get your papers and you don't vote for anyone, and then you submit your papers, right? It's a vote that effectively doesn't count. So, guys, hopefully you're enjoying that. I've been working really hard. I've been up late at night. It is currently 10h55 pm.

Kel and Noah are asleep getting into sort of a rhythm of being a night owl at the moment, a night owl, someone who stays up late at night. I'm also working on the Real English Discussions course that will be out soon. The biggest thing at the moment that I'm working on with that is the final content, the final parts of the content, which are the vocabulary breakdowns.

And hopefully you've had a chance to cheque out the sample lesson for that episode. That was Episode 671 - The Real English discussion course is coming. That's the name of the episode. Go cheque that out if you haven't. And remember, give me some feedback.

Let me know what your two cents is, are? Not sure if that's plural or singular or two cents. It sounds a bit weird to say that, what your two cents is with regards to that episode. And yeah, I'm looking forward to releasing this course in the next two weeks. I've got a lot of interest from you, guys. It seems like you are really interested and enthusiastic about purchasing this course and working on your listening comprehension and levelling that up.

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And if you want access to my other courses, you can go to www.aussieenglish.com.au/courses. And if you want to join my Academy, guys where you'll get the Premium Podcast as well, but you'll get all of the course content related to the expression episodes that I've done in the past. I believe there are over 100 of those advanced English expression episodes in there with things like Aussie facts, You get vocab quizzes, there's loads of video tutorials on pronunciation, on expression's from the different expression episodes where I break down ten of the more interesting expressions in each episode.

And there are also other courses in there, like the Shadowing Course and The Natural English Conversations courses where you will be in natural situations learning about vocab and conversations like going to the doctor, ordering coffee, that sort of stuff. So, go and cheque that out at www.aussieenglish.com.au/academy.

So, put that aside, guys. I've been having a lot of fun putting these episodes together. As usual, I've sort of, I don't know, found my rhythm again. I found my rhythm again. So, let's just get into it. Today's episode is the expression 'to ring a bell', 'to ring a bell'. And I wonder, I wonder if this expression rings a bell for you, guys. Does it ring a bell?

So, before I tell you about this expression and break it down a little bit more, let's go through a joke, alright? It's going to be related to bells, and a bell is a metal instrument that when you shake it, it rings. I'll go through that shortly.

Alright. So, why do cows wear bell? Why do cows wear bells? Right? They often have those collars that have a bell attached under their neck. Why do cows wear bells?

Because their horns don't work. Because their horns don't work.

Do you get it there, guys? Do you get that joke? The pun here is on the word 'horns' because a horn could be something say that you have in your car, right? If you beep your horn, it makes that sound in the car. You could have a horn on your bike as well. You could have a horn on a train or on a truck.

But in this case, the joke here on the word 'horn' is not that it means that is that it also means the horns on a cow's head, right? Like the bony protrusions that come out of its skull that it uses to defend itself, they are the cows horns. So, why do cows wear bells? Because their horns don't work.

Alright. So, the expression is 'to ring a bell'. And this could be to ring a bell with someone, to ring a bell, to ring a bell with someone. Let's go through the different words in this expression, right?

So, the verb 'to ring', if you ring something, you make a clear, resonant or vibrating sound, or it is that you cause something to make that sound. But it can also be to cause a bell to ring. So, if you ring a bell, you cause a bell to ring.

A 'bell' is a hollow instrument of cast metal, typically cup shaped with a flaring mouth and it's suspended from the vertex and rung by the spokes of a clapper hammer or the like. So, that is the definition that I got from Google and I did a search for it, but effectively, guys, a bell is something that you would find in, say, a church steeple, right?

When people get married, the church, if they get married in a church, often rings the bells. You might open a door to a store and when you open the door, there's a little bell above the door that rings, right? It goes like ding a ling a ling, right?

And you'll also know bells from the song Jingle Bells, right? To jingle a bell is to ring a bell. Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle bells, Jingle bells rock. So, that's not, that's not jingle bells.

So, the expression 'to ring a bell', this means to sound vaguely familiar. To awaken a memory, to seem familiar. To remind someone of something or to stimulate an incomplete or in distinct memory. So, this can be used in the affirmative. Something rings a bell, but it can also be used in the negative, that doesn't ring a bell. So, something rings a bell, you can obviously use that to show that something jarred your memory, caused you to remember something.

If something doesn't ring a bell, it's that it doesn't cause you to remember anything, you know? So, if someone says something, does something and it doesn't ring a bell, doesn't cause you to think that something is vaguely familiar. It doesn't cause a memory to awaken in your mind.

So, it has an interesting origin. I looked this up, something that rings a bell. The expression 'rings a bell' likely came about as a reference to a general allusion to some stimulus that causes us to have an inkling of a thought, right? If you have an inkling of a thought, it's that you have this feeling, right? It's yeah, I've got a little bit of a thought here, you know? I've got a feeling.

And actually, the fact that inkling and tinkling are so similar as words may have brought about the idea of a faint bell ringing, jingling, making a sound in our mind when we remember something faint, when we have a faint memory. So, obviously, that's conjecture, we don't know for sure, but it's a possible origin of this expression.

Let's go through the examples, guys, of how I would use the expression 'to ring a bell'. So, example number one: someone mentions a name to you that you don't know. So, you work in an office and have a secretary. One day when you come into work, the moment that you walk in the door, your secretary says that, 'hey, John Smith called for you and said that you'll know what it's about'.

And you might say 'who?', and the secretary might reply, 'John Smith, do you know this guy?', and you might say, 'well, no, that name doesn't ring a bell, doesn't ring a bell at all. I've never heard of him. I haven't got the foggiest idea who that is. I don't have the faintest idea who John Smith is. It doesn't ring a bell. His name doesn't ring a bell. It doesn't cause me to remember anyone'.

Example number two: imagine that you go away to a family reunion one day where all the members of your extended family are going to catch up and reunite. And I remember doing this as a kid, I think I was about 12 years old and this was our first big holiday sort of interstate where we drove all the way up to Queensland in our Four-Wheel Drive, for a family reunion, and there were, I don't know what I want to say, hundreds, but I don't reckon it would have been hundreds.

It may have been more than 100, less than 200 people, descendants and relatives all together in the one place, many of whom I didn't actually know, but got to know at the family reunion. So, imagine you're there, you're at the family reunion. And whilst you're there, you meet up with your grandparents and they want to take you on a drive somewhere, you know, to show you something, because they used to live nearby.

So, they want to take you for a stroll down memory lane. They drive you to a house on some quiet suburban street and they ask you if you remember this place and you say, 'nah, doesn't ring a bell. I don't think I've ever been here before'. And then they point out something that looks familiar to you, There's this big rose bush in the front garden, And you start to remember, 'oh, my gosh, I used to play under that rose bush as a kid. My parents would bring me here beforehand'.

And so you start remembering and you might actually say, 'actually, now this place is starting to ring a bell that rose bush rings a bell. It awakens a memory in me. I think I remember this place now. It definitely rings a bell'.

Example number three: imagine you were in the street one day and you saw a mugging. So, some lady was walking down the street, she was holding her purse, clutching a purse, and some thief comes out of a dark alley somewhere and snatches her purse from her, holding a knife, brandishing a knife and then runs off. So, you saw the whole thing go down. And when the cops arrive, they ask you to give a statement.

They want to hear what happened from your perspective, and so after that, they ask you to follow them down to the station to get the rescue details. And maybe they've picked up a bunch of criminals. They've picked up some crooks and they want to see if you recognise any of these crooks as the culprit, as the person who may have stolen snatched this purse.

So, you go down to the police station, down to the cop shop, and they get you to cheque out the police line-up of six different people. And then they ask you, 'do you recognise any of these guys? Do you recognise any of these people in the Line-Up?'.

If you don't recognise any of them, you might say, 'none of their faces is familiar. None of them rings a bell, I don't recognise any of them, none of their faces rings a bell. None of them cause me to remember someone, I don't know any of them, don't recall any of their faces. Never seen them in my life'.

So, there you go, guys. That is the expression 'to ring a bell'. Hopefully now you understand what it means, and just a quick reminder, it is to sound vaguely familiar. You'll say this when something awakens a memory, when something seems familiar, it reminds you of something, ok? 'To ring a bell'.

So, let's go through a little listen and repeat exercise, guys. And then we will go through a little Aussie fact and finish up. So, listen and repeat after me, guys. Find somewhere quiet away from the crowds and practise your pronunciation, repeat after me.


To ring.

To ring a.

To ring a bell.

To ring a bell with.

To ring a bell with someone.

To ring a bell with someone.

To ring a bell with someone.

To ring a bell with someone.

To ring a bell with someone.

That doesn't ring a bell with me.

That doesn't ring a bell with you.

That doesn't ring a bell with him.

That doesn't ring a bell with her.

That doesn't ring a bell with us.

That doesn't ring a bell with them.

That doesn't ring a bell with it.

Good work, guys, good work. Now, just make sure that you go back over these pronunciation exercises, guys. Pronunciation is something that I always like to encourage all of my students to just keep working on, no matter how advanced you are. It's always important to keep working on your pronunciation.

And so before we finish up, guys, I wanted to give you a little Aussie fact here about Bells Beach. So, obviously, I was thinking, how do I tie in a bell or bells with Australian history, Australian culture? And I thought, Bells Beach! Perfect thing to talk about.

So, Bells Beach is one of the most famous surf beaches in the world, let alone in Australia. It's very popular in Australia, it's a short 40 minutes drive from my house. So, it's pretty much just around the corner between the town of Torquay and the start of the Great Ocean Road.

So, any of you guys that have been down the Great Ocean Road have definitely driven past Bells Beach, at least assuming that you went from east to west. So, long before surfing had blown up in the now iconic destination, in fact, long before European settlers had even arrived in Australia, Bells Beach and the surrounding land was home to the Gulidjan people, the indigenous people who lived in that area.

In the 1840s, only a few years after Melbourne had been founded and Europeans had arrived in Victoria, a European family by the name of Bell settled the nearby area. It wasn't for another hundred years, however, that in 1957 a small group of members of the Torquay Surf Lifesaving Club followed the dusty dirt track out of town and made their way through the bush to Bells Beach to ride its amazing waves.

Four years later, in the year of 1961, the Rip Curl Pro, formerly known as the Bells Beach Surf Classic, got started and has remained the world's longest running surfing competition ever since. Bells Beach is perfect for surfing as its geology has formed a natural amphitheatre and unique point break where the incoming swell hits the point to the west and causes long breaking waves to curl eastwards as they roll into shore.

In fact, there are several breaks at Bells Beach, including the Bowl, Outside Bells, and Rincon. Some famous Aussies whose names may ring a bell with you that have left their mark on Bells Beach by winning the Rip Curl Pro are Mick Fanning, Joel Parkinson, Taj Burrow, Stephanie Gilmore, and Sally Fitzgibbons.

Each time they've won, they've been awarded the trophy, which is a wooden frame and a beautiful, iconic bell set within it, and the winner usually shakes it in triumph above their head, causing the bell to ring whilst the runners up, second and third place, shower them in champagne.

So, next time you're heading down through Torquay to the Great Ocean Road, guys, make sure that you pass by Bells Beach. Cheque out the waves and hopefully the name is going to ring a bell.

So, that's it for today, guys. I hope you really enjoyed this episode. It is always a pleasure, guys, chatting to you. I'm looking forward to working on this course, The Real English Discussions Course and releasing it for you soon. So, keep an eye out for that.

For everything else, guys, go to www.aussieenglish.com.au and yeah, big thanks to you, and I hope you're staying safe during this period of coronavirus, guys. Chat soon.

G'day, mate! Thanks for listening to the Aussie English podcast if you'd like to boost your English whilst also supporting the podcast and allowing me to continue to bring you awesome content, please consider joining the Aussie English Academy at www.aussieenglish.com.au. You'll get unlimited access to the Premium Podcast as well as all of my advanced English courses.

And you'll also be able to join three weekly speaking calls with a real English teacher. Thanks so much, mate, and I'll see you soon.

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