|With bells on|
||I'm looking for the origin of the phrase I'll be there "with bells on".|
I defined this a while back for the fun of it. But here goes again:|
In the days when the Conestoga freight wagons were used along the rivers to the east of Pittsburgh, it was traditional for the oxen to wear bells on their yokes so that inns and way stations would know you were coming. A teamster, getting himself mired down in mud, could be pulled free by any other teamster who might come along, but he was required by tradition to give up one of his bells as payment.
So if you got where you were going "with bells on" it was to say that you got there with no trouble, or if you say "I'll be there with bells on" it meant that you anticipated an easy and quick trip.
This from the York Pennsylvania Museum of early American history.