bell (v.) Look up bell at
"attach a bell to," late 14c., from bell (n.). Related: Belled; belling. Allusions to the story of the mice that bell the cat (so they can hear him coming) date to 1520s.
bell (n.) Look up bell at
Old English belle, common North Sea Germanic (cognates: Middle Dutch belle, Middle Low German belle) but not found elsewhere in Germanic (except as a borrowing), from PIE root *bhel- (4) "to sound, roar." Statistical bell curve was coined 1870s in French. Of glasses in the shape of a bell from 1640s. Bell pepper is from 1707, so called for its shape. Bell, book, and candle is a reference to a form of excommunication. To ring a bell "awaken a memory" (1934) is perhaps a reference to Pavlovian experiments.