"sound a bell," O.E. hringan, from P.Gmc. *khrenganan (cf. O.N. hringja, Swed. ringa, M.Du. ringen), probably of imitative origin. To give (someone) a ring "call on the telephone" was in use by 1910. To ring down a theatrical curtain is from 1772, from the custom of signaling for it by ringing a bell.