One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A bell rung immediately after a death as a signal for prayers.
- ‘Owen had come closer to the reality when he had asked ‘What passing bells for these who die as cattle?’’
- ‘The last of the book's generous number of historical illustrations has the timbre of a passing bell: a ‘Design for a Motor Garage and Chauffeur's Lodge’ from 1913.’
- ‘No passing bells here, though there are three churches within spitting distance.’
- ‘When biting the kerb in a Paris street, there is no recompense, no handfuls of clay with which to sign the mould for your own passing bell.’
- ‘She was awakened rudely by the ringing of the passing bell.’
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