With bells on?

I’ll be there with bells on!  You’ve heard this phrase, and maybe have even used it.  It means you’re excited to be invited, say to a party, and you’ll be very pleased to attend.  The origin can’t be nailed down conclusively, however, one possible explanation comes from the westward expansion in the United states. According to Plan Sponsor dot com, settlers crossed the country in wagons being pulled by horses, mules or, in some cases, oxen. The collars were often fitted with headdresses of bells. George Stumway, in his book “Conestoga Wagon 1750-1850,” says that the wagon-drivers personalized the bells to tunings of their liking and took great pride in them. If a wagon became stuck, a wagon-driver who came to the rescue often asked for a set of bells as reward.  Arriving at a destination without the bells hurt a driver’s professional pride, whereas getting there “with bells on” was a source of satisfaction.  Listen to the podcast here;    https://theriver953.com/lonnies-fun-fact/

Fun Fact March 24, 2022.

You best red it up!  I haven’t heard or used this phrase in years but as soon as I read it I had flashbacks to my youth.  When I was growing up in Pennsylvania I often heard this phrase when I was at my friend Harry’s house.  His mom would say “red this up before you leave.”  No, it doesn’t mean grab a can of red paint.  It means “clean it up.”  According the Map Quest dot com, it’s descended from the verb “to ready up,” which means to make a room ready for a guest or to set the table for a meal.  It might be related to other archaic uses like “ready the cannons.” The Pennsylvania Dutch introduced that particular idiom to English in the Keystone state. In the modern day, “ready” has been changed to “red,” even though the phrase still means the same.  If you’re ever visiting PA, especially Amish country, don’t be surprised if you hear this phrase; red it up.  Listen to the podcast here; https://theriver953.com/lonnies-fun-fact/