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From Biology-Online Dictionary
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A game formerly common in England, in which a wooden ball was driven with a mallet through an elevated hoop or ring of iron. The name was also given to the mallet used, to the place where the game was played, and to the street, in london, still called pall mall.

Alternative forms: pail-mail and pell-mell.

Origin: OF. Palemail, It. Pallamagio; palla a ball (of German origin, akin to E. Ball) _ magio hammer, fr. L. Malleus. See lst Ball, and Mall a beetle.