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Could someone tell me what that phrase means?

(The complete answer has been sufficiently reiterated throughout this thread; hence, it is now closed-- MM)

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It's the title of a book by Hemingway.
You're a Metallica fan I take it?Emotion: smile
This phrase basically means 'for whom the bell rings' but generally in a church because the word 'toll' implies that the bell is large and making a louder sound than a smaller bell ringing. For me, I get the sense of a funeral bell here. There are many song meaning websites that will help you more with the full interpretation of the song.
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Before it was a Hemmingway title or a Metallica lyric, it was a line from a poem. I forget the title and author, but the full sentence was: "Ask not for whom the bell tolls. It tolls for thee." And it was a meditation on death. In Europe, they used to ring a bell to announce a death. So the point of the line was, don't look around wondering whose death the bell is signalling; we are all going to die, including you.
That's so sweet, thanks, "pedant".
Not so much that we are all mortal, but that we are intricately intertwined and involved with one another. The poet was John Donne.
No man is an island, entire of itself;
every man is a piece of the continent, a part of the main;
if a clod be washed away by the sea, Europe is the less,
as well as if a promontory were,
as well as if a manor of thy friends or of thine own were;
any man's death diminishes me, because I am involved in mankind, and therefore never send to know for whom the bell tolls;
it tolls for thee.
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I figured it had someting to do with death. Thanks.
In Greece, this phrase (in greek, of course) is nowadays used as a saying or proverb, when something bad is going to happen to someone.

For example, if I'm looking for someone to, say, beat him up, people could ask themselves 'for whom the bell tolls', meaning whom it is I'm looking for to beat up. Emotion: wink
that poem ALWAYS sends such a shiver down my spine ... "it tolls for thee" indeed!
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