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Malakoff

(in the Crime'a). In 1831 a sailor and ropemaker, named Alexander Ivanovitch Malakoff, celebrated for his wit and conviviality, lived at Sebastopol. He had many friends and admirers, but, being engaged in a riot, was dismissed the dockyards in which he had been employed. He then opened a liquor-shop on the hill outside the town. His old friends gathered round him, and his shop was called the Malakoff. In time other houses were built around, and the Malakoff became a town, which ultimately was fortified. This was the origin of the famous Malakoff Tower, which caused so much trouble to the allied army in the Crimean War. (Gazette de France.)

Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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