|Saved by the bell|
||what is the origin f the term "saved by the bell? I would also like to know the origin of the phrase "graveyard shift"|
Lewis Joplin II
SAVED BY THE BELL - "An expression first used in boxing, 'saved by the bell' means to be rescued from something at the last moment..." From "Encyclopedia of Word and Phrase Origins" by Robert Hendrickson (Facts on File, New York, 1997).|
GRAVEYARD SHIFT - "The 'graveyard shift' is the shift of workers that starts at midnight...The name refers, according to Wentworth and Flexner's 'Dictionary of American Slang" to 'the ghostlike hour of employment'..." From the "Morris Dictionary of Word and Phrase Origins" by William and Mary Morris (HarperCollins, New York, 1977, 1988). In West Virginia we called it the "hoot owl shift."
There is a bogus "Life in the 1500s" floating around Internet that has several questionable origins of phrases including these two. But the bell attached to a buried coffin/graveyard shift theory about these phrases is, according to my references, incorrect.