Adjective Animal Alehouse
The name may or may not be indicative of said place's character.note
There are several trends in naming bars and inns, but among the more interesting ones, particularly in High Fantasy
, is the tendency to name it after an animal, specifically in the form of... "The Adjective Animal." Extra points for alliteration and/or a present participle (that is, an adjective derived from a verb by adding "-ing"). It often also involves colors: White Hart, Red (or Golden) Lion, White Horse, Black Bull.
There are several other naming conventions for pubs. Either describe an animal in a different grammatical form (such as The Hog's Head, from Harry Potter
, from the barrel volume hogshead and the UK pub chain of the same name) or have "The Adjective Noun," without referring to an animal (such as The Salty Spitoon, from Spongebob Squarepants
) or linking two random nouns with a "&" (Elephant & Castle).
This is Older Than Print
, going back to the European High Middle Ages. You obviously wanted your pub to have a name, so people can say "Join me at Alice's Tavern," instead of Bob's Tavern down the path. But since literacy wasn't that big a thing back then, just writing "Alice's Tavern" on a sign would likely lead to someone not knowing that you've got a pub here. Instead, you'd paint a picture of, say, a red duck on the sign, and then people could say "Meet me at the sign of the Red Duck."note
This pattern was reinforced by the way that from the middle ages until the 18th century most houses in European cities and towns — not just those that housed an inn or tavern — were named after such a sign because nobody had yet thought of numbering houses.
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- Astérix in Britain has the British inn "The Laughing Boar" ("Le Rieur Sanglier" in the original version, parodying English word order).
- Dave Trampier's Wormy. In the Dragon magazine #96 strip, the last page had a depiction of an underground town full of trolls and goblins. One of the establishments was named the Blind Giant Inn.
- The "Blue Boar", traditionally the inn of choice of Robin Hood and his Merry Men.
Films — Animation
- The Red Lobster Inn from Disney's Pinocchio, which is where the Coachman often tends to hang out whenever he's not kidnapping boys, taking them to Pleasure Island, turning them into donkeys and shipping them to either the salt mines or the circus.
- The Snuggly Duckling, of Disney's Tangled, which despite the cute name is a borderline Bad Guy Bar.
Films — Live-Action
- A rather grisly example is The Slaughtered Lamb in An American Werewolf in London, which was later used in World of Warcraft and made into Real Life pubs in both New York and London.
- The Fiesty Goat in Euro Trip.
- Les Enfants du Paradis has the less than reputable tavern "Le Rouge-Gorge" (the French word for robin, literally "red throat"). As emerges during the scene, the name is actually a not-so-oblique reference to a previous landlord being found one morning with his throat cut.
- Dancing at the Blue Iguana is a story about five dancers at the Blue Iguana strip club.
- The Two-Headed Dog and The Famous Cock in The World's End are the only pubs out of the twelve to follow this formula. A few others (The First Post, The Old Familiar, The King's Head) are similar, but without animals.
- Snow Queen (2002) had the White Bear Hotel.
- The "Prancing Pony" of Bree and the "Green Dragon" of Hobbiton in The Lord of the Rings.
- Tortall, the setting of many of Tamora Pierce's books, has a couple. Most notable is The Dancing Dove, but there is also a mention of a place called The Jugged Hare in Squire. (Jugged Hare is an English dish).
- The Sozzled Parrot in Artemis Fowl.
- Agatha Christie wrote a novel (set at an inn) entitled The Pale Horse.
- Fritz Leiber's Fafhrd and the Gray Mouser stories. The city of Lankhmar had three taverns of this type: the Silver Eel, the Golden Lamprey and the Whistling Fish.
- Notably averted in Discworld — of the dozen or so drinking establishments on the Disc, the closest any of them gets to this is "The Mended Drum" (previously "The Broken Drum).
- There's one definite example: the Crimson Leech gets briefly mentioned at the very start of The Colour of Magic. It may be a parody of The Silver Eel example above, since it's frequented by Bravd the Hublander and the Weasel.
- Back when it was the regular location of the Discworld Convention, the bar at the Hanover Hotel, Hinkley was the Snooty Fox. They've changed it since.
- As a reference to this, the tavern in Hanoverian Hinckley in the Discworld fandom fanfic The Tale Of Westala And Villtin is the Unobtrusive Beagle. The main tavern in Anorankhmar, meanwhile, is "The Plummeting Lemming".
- The Compleat Ankh-Morpork City Guide, having to name a whole load of pubs that were never mentioned in the books, goes to this well on several occasions, including the Green Dragon (formerly owned by the dragon-breeding Ramkin family), the Singing Hippo, and the Flaming Kookaburra (FourEcksian embassy in the back room). The list of cafes also has the Plaited Pheasant and the Prancing Pony Tearoom.
- There's a Gaiman story where the pub was called the Dirty Donkey, only the picture on the sign looked more like a Pale Horse.
- Vortex, the penultimate book in the Sten Series, has "The Blue Bhor" although the fully sentient alien Bhor might take offense to being called an animal.
- The Thieves' World series has the "Vulgar Unicorn". Several vague descriptions of the sign are given, most mentioning what it depicts as "physically improbable," or something.
- The Blue Boar in Great Expectations.
- Steven Brust's Dragaera novels.
- Vlad sees two such sign on inns/pubs in Jhegaala and refers to them by their signage. However, the locals call the first pub by the owner's name.
- In the prequels featuring Khaavren, a scholar from the capital opens a pub in the countryside, doesn't do this, and has to have it explained to him that nobody in the area can read.
- The short story "The Most Precious of Treasures" by Desmond Warzel has The Talking Carp.
- The Sherlock Holmes short story "The Adventure of the Priory School" has The Fighting Cock Inn.
- The location of Arthur C. Clarke's Tales From The White Hart, based on Real Life meeting place for London sf fans, the White Horse.
- Andre Norton's science fiction novel Uncharted Stars had The Diving Lokworm, a Bad Guy Bar where the protagonist goes to find a starship pilot. The Lokworm is an unwholesome alien creature.
- The Pink Rat the most prominent Bad Guy Bar in The Shadow pulp series.
- Fred Vargas' last novel has Le Sanglier Courant (The Running Boar), which is actually a restaurant but often serves as a meeting place for the main characters. For some reason, Adamsberg insists on calling it Le Sanglier Bleu (The Blue Boar).
- Septimus Heap has The Grateful Turbot tavern.
- Star Wars
- In Michael Stackpole's X-wing: Wedge's Gamble, the rogues meet in the Azure Dianoga Cantina.
- Michael Reaves' Coruscant Nights II: Street of Shadows features the Dizzy Dewback Cantina.
- Double Cross on Ord Mantell, a short story by Michael Mikaelian published in Star Wars Galaxy 5 has the Drunken Bantha on Ord Mantell.
- James Luceno's Cloak of Deception has The Tipsy Mynock.
- Michael Stackpole's Dark Tide II: Ruin features The Violet Viska on Garos IV.
- The poem and drinking-song Altassyrisches by 19th-century poet Viktor von Scheffel is much better known by its first words "Im Schwarzen Walfisch zu Askalon" ("In the 'Black Whale' in Ascalon").
- S. M. Stirling's 'Dies the Fire'' (and several other Emberverse volumes) has The Hopping Toad, in Corvallis, Oregon.
- Dungeons & Dragons
- Ed Greenwood used this one a lot in the Forgotten Realms setting.
- Volo's Guide to Waterdeep. Inns: The Galloping Minotaur, The Grey Serpent, The Raging Lion, The Rearing Hippocampus, The Wandering Wemic. Taverns: The Blue Mermaid, The Crawling Spider, The Friendly Flounder, The Grinning Lion, The Red-Eyed Owl, The Sleeping Snake, The Sleepy Sylph, The Spitting Cat, The Spouting Fish, The White Bull. Nightclub: The Smiling Siren. Tavern and Fest-hall: The Gentle Mermaid. Tavern, Inn and Fest-hall: The Blushing Mermaid.
- Volo's Guide to Cormyr. Inns: The Dead Dragon, The Golden Unicorn, The Murdered Manticore, The Old Owlbear, The Red Stirge, The Roaring Griffon, The Snowbound Hound, The Wild Goose. Taverns: The Dancing Dragon, The Silvery Sembian Snail, The Sleeping Cat (restaurant)
- Volo's Guide to the Dalelands. Inns: The Black Horse, The White Hart. Taverns: The Drunken Lion, The Thirsty Pig
- Volo's Guide to the North. Inns: The Crowing Cockatrice, The Frost-Touched Frog, The Headless Troll, The Shining Serpent, The Sleeping Dragon, The Stone Stallion, The Whistling Stag, The White-Winged Griffon. Taverns: The Dancing Goat, The Dreaming Dragon, The Old Owl, The Sly Fox, The Talking Troll
- Volo's Guide to the Sword Coast. Inns: The Black Boar, The Dire Dragon, The Happy Hippocampus, The Jaded Unicorn, The Old Talking Ox, The Raging Lion (in Scornubel), The Running Stag, The Storm Griffin, The Wandering Wyvern, The Worried Wyvern. Taverns: The Dancing Bear, The Happy Cow, The Scarlet Stag
- Forgotten Realms Adventures (those that aren't in the supplements above). Inns: Black Bear, The Black Cockerel, The Black Viper, The Bloody Boar, The Blue Cow, The Rising Raven, The Roaring Lion, The Spitting Cockatrice, Splurging Sturgeon, The Weeping Wyvern. Taverns: The Empty Fish, The Roaring Dragon, The Silly Satyr, The Stranded Fish (burnt out), The Tattooed Troglodyte. Inn and tavern: The Black Stag, The Blushing Mermaid (Baldur's Gate), The Naughty Nixie, The Weeping Unicorn
- 1st Edition Forgotten Realms Campaign Setting (those that aren't in the supplements above). Festhall: The Lavender Lion. Hardware Shop: The Copper Cockatrice. Inns: The Night Wolf, The Watchful Lynx. Taverns: The Black Rat, The Blinking Owl, The Dancing Dracolisk, The Drunken Dragon, The Golden Goblin, The Lame Camel, The Lazy Lizard, The Striking Snake, The Thirsty Thunder Beast, The Two-Headed Lion. Tack Shop: The Silver Stallion.
- The Silver Lion tavern can be found in the city of Selgaunt in Sembia.
- The Horde boxed set. The Red Sturgeon tavern is in the town of Almorel.
- The 1977 Holmes Basic D&D boxed set. In the sample dungeon the PCs could gather in the Green Dragon Inn (thus making this an early example of You All Meet in an Inn). The Green Dragon also appeared in one of Holmes' Boinger and Zereth stories: "The Sorceror's Jewel" in Dragon magazine #46.
- A3 Assault on the Aerie of the Slave Lords. The city of Suderham had several examples. Taverns: Waltzing Werebear, Grimacing Gargoyle. Gambling Hall: Bouncing Bugbear. House of Ill Repute: The Wild Cat.
- AC1 The Shady Dragon Inn. The Shady Dragon (called the Shady Dragon Tavern in the text) is a place where PCs can meet and join up with NPCs to go adventuring.
- DG1 The Shattered Statue. The village of Volkumburgh has the Crimson Wyrm Inn.
- GA1 The Murky Deep. The Purple Mermaid tavern can be found on the docks of the town of Whitton.
- HHQ3 Thief's Challenge. The Grey Griffon pub and the Bloated Boar tavern can be found in the town of Hylock.
- I12 Egg of the Phoenix. The city of Fairway had the Red Wyvern Inn.
- L1 The Secret of Bone Hill. The Dying Minotaur Inn can be found in the city of Restenford in the Lendore Isles, in the Greyhawk setting.
- Ravenloft supplement Chilling Tales, adventure "The Taskmaster's Leash". In the realm of Dementilieu, the Laughing Pig Inn can be found in the town of Chateaufaux.
- WG7 Castle Greyhawk. In the title fortification can be found the Snooty Salamander Inn and the Merry Memory Moss Tavern (memory moss is a type of monster).
- Dragon magazine #37 adventure "The Pit of the Oracle". A Green Dragon Tavern can be found in the town of Narrion.
- Dragon magazine #73. An article about bounty hunters starts off with a short story that mentions the Laughing Trout Inn.
- Dragon magazine #132.
- Article "All the Trappings". An example of a trap-based security system is that of the Grey Griffon Inn in the town of Phalanx.
- The short story "Out of Hand" has the Lusty Lorelei tavern.
- The article "The Ecology of the Aurumvorax" mentions a Red Lion tavern.
- Dragon magazine #176 short story "Time for an Experiment". One of the establishments near the Pavilion Fair is the Growling Owl Tavern.
- Dungeon magazine #7, adventure "The Matchmakers". The city of Povero has the the Gray Whale pub.
- Imagine magazine issue #21, adventure "For Whom the Bell Tinkles". The PCs start the adventure in the White Weasel inn.
- The Net supplement ''50 D&D Bar Encounters" had The Elven Hare, The Bloody Bunny, The Dirty Troll, The Noble Hound and The Rotten Fish.
- In the Greyhawk setting, Lord Robilar owned The Green Dragon Inn in the city of Greyhawk. This inn also appeared in the AD&D Coloring Album for children.
- Mayfair Games' Role Aids
- Dark Folk. The Green Dragon Inn can be found in the town of Aspregull.
- Dwarves. The town of Ostahar has the Blue Beetle and Racing Willibs taverns.
- The Red Dragon Inn is a board game about drinking games, which can trivially be turned into a Drinking Game itself.
- Native American Nations Vol. 2, adventure "Eye of the Eagle". The city of Kemano in the Tsimshian Nation has a tavern called The Randy Sasquatch.
- Seattle Sourcebook (1990).
- Bar: The Filthy Dragon, The Green Fish, The Lost Unicorn
- Hotels: Gold Lion Inns (also a Bland-Name Product for Real Life Red Lion Hotels)
- Restaurants: The Big Rhino, The Shy Giant
- Stores: The Green Nymph, The Silver Slug.
- London Sourcebook. White Lion Hotels and The Lounging Lizard nightclub.
- Neo-Anarchist Guide to Real Life. Nightclubs: The Chrome Stallion in San Francisco and The White Elephant Saloon in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex.
- Judges Guild
- City State of the Invincible Overlord (Revised) had several of them.
- Brothels: Happy Harpy
- Inns: Golden Lamprey
- Taverns: Dewy Dryad, Flipping Frog, Prancing Ki-Rin Saloon, She-Devil, Singing Squid, Wild Boar
- Inn/Tavern: Blue Dolphin, Bonny Black Bear, Crummy Crab, Green Goblin, Sea Nymph, Silver Eel
- Flop Houses: The Water Dog
- Pegasus magazine #3, Isle of the Blest (sic): The Red Hydra and Smiling Mermaid Inns.
- The Thieves of Fortress Badabaskor. The title fortress had the Iron Stallion Inn.
- Druids of Doom. The village of Wili's Holding had The Leaping Groundhog inn.
- Inside the title city can be found the following inns: The Red Roc, The Flying Falcon, and the Galloping Goblin.
- In the town of Wartenberg are Ardent Ogre alehouse, the Wandering Wyvern inn and the Stalking Wildcat mead hall.
- The Lost Man's Trail supplement (2010) has the Fat Deer Inn.
- The Earthdawn main rules had a picture of the signboard of an inn called "The Gilded Toad".
- Dark Dungeon RPG supplement Samaris, Island of Adventure. The Green Dragon Inn can be found in the city of Southport.
- Dangerous Journeys/Mythus RPG. The main rulebook includes the scenario "High Time at the Winged Pig", which takes place at an inn called The Winged Pig.
- Atlantis: The Lost World generic RPG setting. City of Atlantis: the Silver Unicorn and Gilded Dragon taverns. City of Tang in Khitai: the Red Bird Inn.
- R. Talsorian Games' Cyberpunk, supplement Night City. One of the city's Chinese restaurants is called The Silver Dragon, and a bar is called The Night Owl.
- Call of Cthulhu
- Dark Designs, adventure "Eyes for the Blind". The Black Lion Hotel can be found in in Truro.
- Masks of Nyarlathotep
- Chapter 2 "London". The Laughing Horse pub can be found in the village of Lesser-Edale in Derbyshire.
- Chapter 5 "Shanghai". The Stumbling Tiger bar in Shanghai where the PCs can contact Jack Brady.
- Cthulhu By Gaslight, adventure "The Yorkshire Horrors". In the town of Northallerton, the Investigators can obtain useful information by talking with a madman at the Red Rooster Inn.
- The online PDF supplement 100 Pub, Tavern, and Inn Names has the following examples: The White Hart, The Prancing Horse, The Dancing Bear, The Old Griffon, The Bawling Orc, The Charging Boar, The Hopping Troll, The Black Charger and The Jumping Trout.
- The Complete Arduin version of Arduin Adventures. A picture has a view of Elric's Castle as seen from Red Lantern Street. One of the buildings has a sign that says "The Dancing Termite", presumably an inn or tavern.
- Rolemaster Shadow World setting supplements
- Cyclops Vale. The mining town of Coronan has the Blue Dragon Inn.
- Quellbourne: Land of the Silver Mist. The Raging Threk Inn can be found in the town of Kelfour's Landing.
- Star Crown Empire and the Sea of Fates. The Red Eagle Inn in the town of Borbinak.
- Kingdom of the Desert Jewel. The Restless Khabak Inn in the nome (province) of Meyaat in the country of Gethrya.
- Star Wars
- Star Wars: The Roleplaying Game, Second Edition features the Dancing Dewback.
- Star Wars Adventure Journal 5 has the Laughing Bantha.
- The Living Force adventures Quarters and Peaces featured the Raging Rancor Cantina on Genarius.
- In Polyhedron 86 a group of rebels visits the Ravaging Wardog Cantina.
- Chaosium's Stormbringer
- Adventure Stealer of Souls. The four merchants who hired Elric to kill Nikorn ask Freyda Nikorn to meet them at the Purple Dove Tavern in Bakshaan.
- Stormbringer Companion adventure "Hall of Risk". One of the possible adventure rationales, "Quest for the Sybil", has the PCs meet their patron at the Screaming Gull Inn.
- Demon Magic: The Second Stormbringer Companion adventure "The Velvet Circle". The PCs are sent to the town of Fakash, where they are to meet a man named Chunloom at the Black Camel Inn.
- Kobolds Ate My Baby 3rd edition. The sample village of West Bumble has the Screaming Unicorn Tavern. The barkeeper is washing the three unbroken glasses in the place.
- Mayfair Games' Chill supplement Veil of Flesh. One of the Ganabes is hiding out at the Blue Baboon Tavern.
- Chivalry & Sorcery adventure Stormwatch. The town of Wyndhaven has the Golden Lyon (Lion) tavern.
- Flying Buffalo's Citybook series.
- Citybook I: Butcher, Baker, Candlestick Maker had the Diamond Spider Tavern.
- Citybook II: Port O' Call had the Scotch Woodcock Fishery.
- Citybook III: Deadly Nightside had the Singing Frog Sanctuary.
- Citybook VII: King's River Bridge had the Guzzlng Gargoyle tavern.
- Lejendary Adventures. The introductory adventure "Moon Slaves" had the Savory Swine tavern.
- Quietly lampshaded in a (black and white) illustration in a Champions supplement (may have been Kingdom of Champions, which dealt with Britain) in which then-iconic villainous martial artist Green Dragon is visibly pondering the sight of an inn, pub, or similar establishment with an obvious dragon sign...
- The Hunted Stag in Too Many Girls.
- The White Horse Inn on the Wolfgangsee from The White Horse Inn (Im weißen Rössl).
- The Elder Scrolls
- The Stray Sheep bar from Catherine, if non-fantasy examples count.
- From Dungeons & Dragons Online: "The Wayward Lobster", "The One-Eared Bugbear Inn", and (in a pirate-themed zone) "Salty Wench Tavern".
- "The Swarthy Hog" from King's Quest V: Absence Makes The Heart Go Yonder!
- "The Crippled Burrick Inn" from the second Thief game. (Burricks are the appropriately down-to-earth version of dragons in the game's universe.)
- World of Warcraft
- Stormwind has both the Blue Recluse and the Slaughtered Lamb.
- The Horde hearth location in Dalaran is "The Filthy Animal", coming as close to this page's title as one can get.
- The Golden Lion pub in Medal of Honor: Frontline.
- The Drunken Rat from The Bard's Tale.
- La Volpe Addormentata (Italian for The Sleeping Fox) is an inn and the thieves headquarters in Assassin's Creed: Brotherhood.
- The Naughty Ottsel (formerly the Hip Hog Heaven Saloon) in the Jak and Daxter series, which is the Local Hangout / Good Guy Bar and is actually run by Daxter when he's not out adventuring. Torn commandeers the place for a makeshift southern HQ for the Freedom League in Jak 3 after our heroes are thrown out of the city (Daxter is not pleased, but otherwise rolls with it) and it serves as the gang's meeting spot whenever they're in Haven City in Jak X.
- The Octarine Parrot in Discworld Noir.
- Star Wars
- Temple of Apshai. The game's instruction booklet has a prologue called "The Adventures of Brian Hammerhand". After Brian arrives in a small village he gets a drink in the Wallowing Whale tavern.
- In Infocom's Cutthroats, your character stays in a scruffy room at the Red Boar Inn.
- The Witcher. Vizima, capital of Temeria has The Hairy Bear Inn. It has everything from gambling and illegal fist-fighting to drug dealing, borderline prostitution, and even gang warfare.
- Bioshock Infinite. One area in the game is a bar called the Salty Oyster.
- The Slaughtered Calf Inn from Diablo III, where you first meet Leah.
- The Dirty Duck is a well-known pub in Stratford-upon-Avon where actors from RSC productions traditionally can be found hanging out after a performance.
- "Schwarzer Bär" (black bear) is the name of a hotel in Jena which continues the tradition of a medieval guesthouse which counted Martin Luther among its patrons.
- The Laughing Lion is a restaurant located in Dover, New Jersey.
- The Red Lobster restaurant chain in the U.S.
- The Red Lion is a chain of hotels in Real Life, as well as being the most common real-life pub name in England.
- Richard Wagner was born in the house "Zum rot-weißen Löwen" ("At the (sign of the) Red-and-White Lion") in Leipzig in 1813. That city is also home to Germany's oldest existing coffee-house "Zum arabischen Coffee-Baum" ("At the Arabian Coffee-Tree").
- Some unusual ones in the UK:
- The Bleeding Wolf — Hale, Altrincham, Cheshire
- Drunken Duck — Hawkshead, Cumbria
- Mad Dog — Odell, Bedfordshire
- The Sociable Plover — Portsmouth
- Ye Olde Thirsty Pig — Maidstone, Kent
- The Horny Bull is a restaurant/cafe/bar in Tauranga, New Zealand.
- The Battered Beaver, Oakdale, CA
- The Winking Lizard is a tavern in Northeast Ohio.
- San Diego, California, U.S.
- Bar/Tavern: The Black Cat, The Pink Elephant, Rockin Baja Lobster, The Salty Frog, The Sand Crab, The Silver Fox
- Bar and grill: Blue Frog, Blue Parrot, The Jumping Turtle, Red Fox Room, The Tickled Trout, The Tin Fish
- Cocktail Lounge: Nite Owl, Red Parrot
- Dance Club: The Tipsy Crow
- Pub: Flying Elephant, The Regal Beagle (named after the Three's Company pub under Live-Action TV above).
- Restaurant: Blue Jay Lodge, Red Marlin, Red Fox Steakhouse, The Smoking Goat
- Restaurant and bar: Lazy Dog
- The U.S. Naval installation on San Clemente Island off the coast of San Diego has a bar called the Salty Crab.
- The famous 6th Street in Austin, Texas is home to several of these - Chuggin' Monkey, Dirty Dog Bar, and Dizzy Rooster, to name a few.
- One of the most famous cafés in Paris is Les deux Magots ("the two monkeys").
- Nantwich (a town in Cheshire, England) has the Red Cow pub.
- The Dutch city of Rotterdam has De witte aap ('The White Monkey'), once voted 'best bar in the world' by Lonely Planet readers.
- U.S. country singer Brad Paisley gets his morning cup of coffee at a coffeehouse called the Frothy Monkey in Franklin, Tennessee.