SAVED BY THE BELL

This is an English language lesson aimed at all general levels of students who are learning English as a second language.

The lesson is about the English idiom ‘Saved by the Bell’.

It is a very common expression in professional boxing.

A round of boxing lasts three minutes and is ended by the ringing of a bell.

If the ring rings for the end of the round while one of the fighters lies on the canvass of the ring, having been knocked down with a punch by the other fighter, the floored fighter will be saved by the bell if the three minutes are up.

The idiom has, however, a different and historical origin.

In the old days, doctors were not as skilled or knowledgeable as they are today.

It is not unknown for someone to be presumed dead and then buried, only to be discovered alive later.

So the practice developed of attaching a cord or piece of string to the wrist of the supposed deceased  and placed a coffin to a bell above the grave.

A man was employed to do the ‘graveyard shift’ and watch out for anyone who became a ‘dead ringer’.

People were so afraid about being buried alive that they gave specific instructions about their burial in their Will to avoid the unfortunate event happening.

Two famous people who did this were William Shakespeare and Abraham Lincoln.

Nowadays, the idiom is used in a differentr context as students rush to leave class and go home when the bell is rung at the end of a lesson in school.

I hope you have enjoyed this short explanation about the English idiom.

There are many more from where this one came from.

The key idioms you learn in this lesson are

Saved by the Bell

Graveyard Shift

Dead Ringer

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