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,
"ball" (see balloon
) + maglio
"mallet." Modern sense of "enclosed shopping gallery" is from 1963. Mall rat
is from 1986.