One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Any of various plants having somewhat bell-shaped flowers, as the foxglove, Digitalis purpurea; especially any of several plants of (or formerly of) the genus Disporum (family Asparagaceae), of Asia and North America.
2Music. A type of percussion instrument consisting of several small bells joined in a row and attached to a handle.
Early 19th century; earliest use found in Thomas Lovell Beddoes (1803–1849), poet. Partly from either fairy or fairy + the plural of bell.
fairy bells/ˈfɛːri ˌbɛlz/
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