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QUICK QUOTE

Idiom

Saved by the Bell: Origin and Meaning

Meaning
When you are rescued from a difficult situation just in time.
Origin
saved by the bellThis idiom originates from boxing in the 19th century. If a boxer is knocked down, the referee will start counting to give the boxer time to recover. If they are not able to stand up by the end of the count, they lose the match and the other contestant wins. A boxer who is knocked down can be ‘saved’ if the bell signalling the end of the round rings while the referee is counting. The boxer can then continue fighting in the next round. This expression has since started to be used in any difficult situation, not just boxing matches.
Examples
“My boss wanted to speak to me but he got called into an important meeting suddenly. Saved by the bell!”

“Tom was running late to the conference and he asked me to make a speech instead of him. I was just about to get on stage when he ran in – I was saved by the bell!”

Anna: “Last night Robert asked me about my ex boyfriends.”
Sarah: “Oh no, what did you say?”
Anna: “Well I was actually saved by the bell. The waiter came to take our order before I could answer and he didn’t ask me again.”
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