Five Alls

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

Modern "Five Alls" inn sign

Traditionally pub names had a pictorial representation, and the inn sign for inns named "Five Alls" showed five representative figures, each in appropriate garb with a motto underneath. This has occurred in a number of variations, but usually included a monarch saying "I rule (for) all" or "I govern all", a bishop or minister saying "I pray for all", a soldier saying "I fight for all", and a farmer saying "I pay for all". (In modern signs, often John Bull pays for all.) The fifth figure was often a lawyer saying "I plead for all", or could be omitted, in which case the inn would be named "Four Alls".

Proper noun[edit]

the Five Alls

  1. The name of many pubs.

References[edit]

  • The etymology is from the Classic 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.