French pêle-mêlefrom Old French pesle mesleprobably reduplication ofmesleimperative ofmeslerto mixmeddle
American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition
From FrenchpÃªle-mÃªle from Old French pesle-mesle, apparently a rhyme based on the stem of mesler (“to mix, meddle"). Compare meddle, melee.
Pell-mell Sentence Examples
This took place on the night of the 22nd of April 1826; but a mistaken order threw the ranks of the Greeks into disorder, and the Turks entered the town pell-mell with the retreating crowd.
He drives pell-mell out of Washington because of air raid dangers, onto his estate, then back to Washington... .
The incoming workers returning pollen-laden from the fields, carried away by the prevailing excitement, do not stop to unload their burdens in the old home, but join the enthusiastic emigrants, tumbling over each other pell-mell in the outrush; among them the queen of the colony will in due course have taken her place, bound like her children for a new home.
It's great, intoxicating darkness, going pell mell for the burn.
Chamberlain, the necessity of committing to memory two syllabaries, one of which has many variant forms, and at least two or three thousand Chinese ideographs, in forms standard and cursive ideographs, too, most of which are susceptible of three or four different readings according to circuinstance,add, further, that all these kinds of written symbols are apt to be encountered pell mell on the same page, and the task of mastering Japanese becomes almost Herculean.