belle, common Low Ger. (confer Middle Dutch
Belle, Middle LatinG. belle) but not found elsewhere in Gmc. (except as a borrowing), from PIE base *bhel- "to sound, roar." Bellhop is a 1910 shortening of bellhopper (1900), from the notion of hopping to action at the ring of the bell. Bell-boy was originally (1851) a ship's bell-ringer, later (1861) a hotel page. Bell-wether (c.1440; see wether) was "the leading sheep of a flock, on whose neck a bell is hung;" used earlier in the fig. sense of "chief, leader" (c.1430). Bell-bottomed trousers first recorded 1891. Bell, book, and candle is a reference to a form of excommunication. To ring a bell "awaken a memory", 1934, is perhaps a reference to Pavlovian experiments.