A friend is telling me the phrase “saved by the bell” comes from several centuries ago when people would often fall into comas and be mistaken for dead, and sometimes buried alive. To prevent this, a rope connected to a bell would be put in the coffin with them, and if they woke up, they would ring the bell to alert the graveyard workers that they were still alive. Thus, they were saved by the bell.
Now, being the fan of Occam’s Razor that I am, I find it far more likely the term comes from boxing, when a fighter getting beaten up would be able to escape the beating when the bell rang to end the round.
We’ve both been showing eachother cites for our claims, and nothing’s been settled. So, I was hoping someone on here could settle it for us definitively. Anyone wanna take a stab at this one?