One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Informal. All kinds or varieties of things; miscellaneous items.
2A general mixture; a miscellaneous collection; a salmagundi.
3A mixture of sweets; especially (frequently more fully "liquorice allsorts") one of typically black-and-white or brightly coloured sweets containing liquorice. Also in singular: a sweet of this type.
Late 18th century; earliest use found in Ann Radcliffe (1764–1823), novelist. From all + the plural of sort.
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