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The expression "bells on" is an English idiom that means a high degree of enthusiasm. A common form of the saying is "I'll be there with bells on." It is often said in response to a social invitation or a future event. At times it is said sarcastically to describe a lack of enthusiasm for having to show up at work or some other dreaded function.
People typically use the phrase to communicate excitement or some extreme sentiment. It is a humorous saying that can be satirical. Some people use the saying "bells on" to make comparisons between creative works, such as television shows, novels or theatrical presentations. The saying usually indicates that the creative work is a notch above a similar work in terms of humor, likability or expression.
"Bells on" can also convey some sense of style or drama. It can be used as an indication to expect liveliness or attention getting behavior. A person may use the expression to give a heads up that his behavior may be unusually engaging or that he has a high degree of anticipation about an upcoming social event, such as a birthday party.
In England, Australia, and the United States, the phrase has slightly different meanings. It tends to be used in British humor to describe an object. The idiom is used to indicate that something is more extreme than something else. In the United States and Australia, the saying is used to describe an action that a person commits with a high amount of energy and excitement.
The saying "I'll be there with bells on" is also used in a sarcastic manner in the United States. Some individuals use it to indicate that they may not actually want to go somewhere or do something, but that they will make every effort to "fake it." For example, someone may not like his job or want to interact with his in-laws over a holiday dinner. He may use the idiom to actually indicate his lack of enthusiasm.
Almost any social event is game for the saying "bells on." Some may use the idiom to express the fact that others at the event should be on the lookout for their disingenuous behavior. There are plenty of people who enjoy being the life of the party. They may enjoy instigating playful social behavior and ensuring that everyone has a good time at social gatherings.