Get your own copy of this book on Amazon

To bear the Bell (Grose 1811 Dictionary)

To bear the Bell

To excel or surpass all competitors, to be the principal in a body or society; an allusion to the fore horse or leader of a team, whose harness is commonly ornamented with a bell or bells. Some suppose it a term borrowed from an ancient tournament, where the victorious knights bore away the belle or fair lady. Others derive it from a horse-race, or other rural contentions, where bells were frequently given as prizes.

Definition taken from The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally by Francis Grose.

Bell * Bellows

Nearby

Nathan Bailey's 1736 Dictionary of canting and thieving slang

John S. Farmer's collection of canting songs and slang rhymes

Beef
Beef Eater
Beetle-browed
Beetle-headed
Beggar Maker
Beggar’s Bullets
Beilby’s Ball
Belch
Belcher
Bell
To bear the Bell
Bellows
Bellower
Bellowser
Belly
Bellyfull
Belly Cheat
Belly Plea
Belly Timber
Bell Swagger
Bell Wether