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Rings a bell

Meaning/Usage: To remember something

Explanation: A bell is used to alert us of many things such as a door bell, telephone bell, school bell, clothes dryer bell, etc.  When we hear the bell, we know what the bell represents.  To ring a bell became a way of saying that you remember something.  Another explanation comes from Pavlov.   He created an experiment where he rang a bell before he gave food to a dog.  He did this repeatedly and the dog started to drool before he saw any food because the dog knew the food would come after the bell rang.  

"I can't put my finger on it, but it definitely rings a bell."
"It rings a bell, but I'm not one hundred percent sure."
"Oh, oh, oh... that rings a bell.  Where did I see that from?"

A:  "Did you go to Martha Lake High School?"
B:  "Yeah.  Why?"
A:  "I met this girl.  Her name is Jane Summerland.  Do you know her?"
B:  "That name rings a bell, but I don't remember for sure."

Other Common Sentences

"That reminds me of something."
"That sounds so familiar."
"I know what you're talking about but I can't pin point it."

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