Saved by the Bell

Having read about how dangerous eating and drinking could be …

England is old and small and the local folks started running out of places to bury people. So the obvious solution was to dig up coffins and take the bones to a bone-house, and reuse the grave.

But … When reopening these coffins, 1 out of 25 coffins were found to have scratch marks on the inside and they realized they had been burying people alive. So they started tying a string on the wrist of the corpse, lead it through the coffin and up through the ground and tie it to a bell. Someone would have to sit out in the graveyard all night.

Hence the saying:


The graveyard shift


They would be required to listen for the bell and in doing so save someone who seemed dead and had been buried.


And hence a saying I hear often still:

Saved by the bell

or one I hear less often

A dead ringer


The English language has tons of similar stories, but that’s me for this round.