Do you mean "ring a bell"(it means "sound familiar" today)? If yes, click here .
Differences between "ring a bell", "ring the bell" and "saved by the bell".
Some more and the origin of "Dead ringers" / "Dead ringer" for your reference.
There are 3 different versions to the origin of the US idiom "ring a bell":
(1) In old days, the bell was used by customers at restaurants or shops to beckon the waitress or shopper to order food/ask for the bill,etc.;
(2) A shooting game at an amusement park/game centre. When you hit the target with a shooting gun, the bell will ring and you win a prize;
(3) Finally, the ringing sound of the bell at school or church, just reminding you the teachings of teachers and priests in those days.
But nowadays, the meaning mostly used is "sound familiar to someone".
- For Teachers