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Warning Stone

Anything that gives notice of danger. Bakers in Wiltshire and some other counties used to put a “certain pebble” in their ovens, and when the stone turned white it gave the baker warning that the oven was hot enough for his bankings.

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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More on Warning Stone from Infoplease:

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