A History Of Tavern Names And Their Clever Wordplay

Charles Douglas Barr enjoys a pint outside The Last Drop pub in the Grassmarket on October 7, 2020 in Edinburgh, Scotland. (Getty Images)

The White Hart, the Pig N' Whistle, Ye Old Fighting Cocks: Whether it's the liquid courage or the desire to stand out from the crowd, it seems that pub owners have no trouble using inventive and often humorous names and signs to hang over their fine establishments. But have you ever wondered why so many tavern names include such colorful imagery, very often having little to do with actual products being sold (you know, alcohol)? It turns out there's actually a rich history behind these wild and whimsical symbols.