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90s Slang You Should Know

Bow bells

[boh] /boʊ/
plural noun
the bells of Bow church, in the East End district of London: traditionally, a true Cockney is born and raised within the sound of Bow bells.
Origin of Bow bells
First recorded in 1590-1600 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for Bow bells
Historical Examples
  • It seemed to carry an admonition with it; something like the premonition conveyed to young Whittington by Bow bells.

    Redburn. His First Voyage Herman Melville
  • But for the most part we were Cockneys, born within the sound of Bow bells.

    Kitchener's Mob James Norman Hall
  • Bow bells rang out the hour; but the room was as still as a deep sleep.

    Master Skylark John Bennett
  • The signorina also speaks our villainous tongue as well as if she had been born and bred within the sound of Bow bells.

  • This is true, and hence, let us judge leniently of the lad living within the sound of Bow bells.

    About London J. Ewing Ritchie
  • If, in short, you have ever had the advantage of being born within the sound of Bow bells.

  • One way of expressing the fact of being a Londoner used to be to say 'born within sound of Bow bells.'

    The Children's Book of London Geraldine Edith Mitton
  • But yours is very like the cockney's, who despised all the world, beyond the sound of Bow bells.

    The Actress in High Life Sue Petigru Bowen
  • In Cheapside there was a great many bonfires, and Bow bells and all the bells in all the churches as we went home were a-ringing.

  • Bow bells rang for them; they drank in the inn's long-room; their names were in men's mouths.

    Sir Mortimer Mary Johnston

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