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Great Tom

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12:32 Feb 14, 2009
English to Chinese translations [Non-PRO]
Art/Literary - Poetry & Literature / 英国建筑
English term or phrase: Great Tom
I searched internet and undstood that the Great Tom is a big bell in Oxford. But in my source article, The Great Tom is behind the Big Ben's facade.

I am confused, Need England native's help.

original text:
a static image of Big Ben atop London’s Houses of Parliament. Behind the clock’s facade was the giant bell, Great Tom, which was often mistakenly called Big Ben. The TV commentator chattered away the seconds to midnight as people across the kingdom filled their glasses. The quarters began to sound.

Question 1:
what is the meaning of The Great Tom?

Question 2:
In the sentence "The quarters began to sound."
Does "The quarters" mean the clock strike every quarter?


Summary of reference entries provided
Great Tom
Kathy Huang
Dylan Edwards

Discussion entries: 5


Reference comments

2 hrs
Reference: Great Tom

Reference information:
您說的'static image',會不會是指圖畫還是照片,而不是實物?

Kathy Huang
Native speaker of: Native in ChineseChinese
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3 hrs peer agreement (net): +2
Reference: quarters

Reference information:
The quarters are the smaller bells:

Big Ben 1859 - 2009 - The Great Bell and the quarter bellsView Big Ben, and other Parliament video clips, on YouTube. ... First quarter bell weight: 1.1 tonnes. First quarter bell diameter: 1.1m ...

little bells which sound the quarters of an hour. QUARTERS of the Heaven (Astron.) the four cardinal points. — Quarters of the Moon, certain periods in the ...

II, Quarters [in a Clock or Movement} are little Bells which sound the Quarters or other Parts of an Hour. 1822 BYRON Vis. Jndgm. Ixxxvii, I ve scarcely ...

The word 'quarters' may also refer to the melody played by these bells:
The Westminster Quarters is the most common name for a melody used by a set of clock bells to strike the hour. It is also known as the Westminster Chimes, or the Cambridge Chimes from its place of origin.

Dylan Edwards
United Kingdom
Native speaker of: Native in EnglishEnglish

Peer comments on this reference comment (and responses from the reference poster)
agree  Henry Zhang
12 hrs
agree  xxxmonkiw: The large bell in the clock tower was originally known as ‘Edward of Westminster (possibly after Edward the Confessor), but later came known as ‘Great Tom’ or ‘Westminster Tom’. http://www.ascy.org.uk/articles/great_tom_of_westminster.htm
9 days
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