The Old Dog and Duck: The Secret Meanings of Pub Names by Albert Jack
From the international bestselling author of Red Herrings and White Elephants, Pop Goes the Weasel & They Laughed at Galileo.
And so at last we turn to the book I have always wanted to write.
Beer, after all, is the oldest and still most popular alcoholic drink on the planet having first been recorded in the year 9000BC and is recorded in the ancient history of Mesopotamia around that time. Only water and tea are drunk in greater quantities
Before we begin with the fascinating subject of pub and hotel names and the history and tradition inspiring these titles, perhaps we should take a brief look at the suffixes to many of them.
Tavern, Inn, Hotel, bar, pub and lounge can all be found in parts of the world following any kind of George, Prince, Tree, black, white or grey horse, any colour of lion, moons full and half and suns either rising or setting.
Folk heroes, war heroes and kings and queens are all remembered as are inventors, writers and artists. Come to think of it The Albert Jack Inn has a certain ring to it doesn't it (now there's an idea)
The good old English pub was once described by 17th century diarist Samuel Pepys as the 'heart of England while the church is its soul.'
These days I would say he is only half right, obviously. Today there remain over 56,000 pubs in Great Britain, half of which are filled with youngsters who play loud music on a jukebox that sounds like somebody is hitting his lawnmower with a hammer, whilst the next door neighbour is shouting at them from over the fence.
The other half, however, are quite the perfect place to while away an afternoon with fine ale and deep conversation whilst quietly contemplating your next move. That's what I do.
So take a seat in your favourite armchair by the fireside and join me on a pub crawl along memory lane and through history corner. We may be some time.
Albert Jack has written a series of bestselling books that explore the strange stories behind things we take for granted: that's everything from nursery rhymes - Pop Goes the Weasel - to everyday phrases - Shaggy Dogs and Black Sheep. When not engaged in research, he lives somewhere between Guildford and Cape Town, where he divides his time between fast living and slow horses, neat vodka and untidy pubs. This is the book he has always wanted to write.