Headlong; in reckless confusion. From the players of pallmall,
who rush heedlessly to strike the ball. The “pall” is the ball
(Italian, palla), and the “mall” is the mallet or bat (Italian, maglia; Latin, malleus). Sometimes the game is called “pall
mall;” and sometimes the ground set apart for the game, as Pall Mall,
It is not quite certain that pell-mell is the same compound
word as pall-mall.
Source: Dictionary of Phrase and Fable, E. Cobham Brewer, 1894
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