Word Origin & History
1737, "shaded walk serving as a promenade," from The Mall, broad, tree-lined promenade in St. James's Park, London (1674), formerly an open alley that was used to play pall-mall, a croquet-like game involving hitting a ball with a mallet through a ring, from Fr. pallemaille, from It. pallamaglio, from
palla "ball" (see balloon
) + maglio "mallet." Modern sense of "enclosed shopping gallery" is from 1963. Mall rat is from 1986.