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Glossary of ringing terms

Glossary last updated 27 August 2022. This page updated on:

This on-line glossary is based on the comprehensive glossary in  The Tower Handbook, which I wrote for CC Publications in the mid 1990s, plus later additions. Please contact me  if you find any errors or inconsistencies, or if there are additional terms that you think should be included.

Ringing uses many special terms. Some of them are unique to ringing while others are ordinary words given a special meaning. The original list (~650 entries) was not exhaustive, but I tried to include most of the words and phrases you might hear used in the tower, especially practical everyday ringing terms. David Struckett's Dictionary of Campanology (1985), which lists some 600 terms about bells, bell history and ringing (as well as a list of bell founders - with dates - and a bibliography of books on bells and ringing) proved a valuable source of inspiration for the original printed version, but with conscious omission of some terms connected with bell history, bell archaeology or bell founding, and a few obsolete terms. In some cases, the definition was simplified. Since putting the glossary online I have extended it to make it more complete (~850 terms) and included more definitions of technical terms.

Where it assists with clarity, a definition is annotated to indicate a part of speech. (n) = noun, (vb) = verb, (adj) = adjective, (adv) = adverb. Words or phrases that are defined within the glossary are shown as links to the relevant definition. Where there are references to numbered figures or sections these relate to the figures or sections within The Tower Handbook. Diagrams in the Glossary (section 15) are repeated here .

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