Clifford's Alley received its name in the 18th century from the Clifford family who owned land at its east end. Generally, the alley seems to be known as Clifford's Alley at its east end and as Jacob's Alley at its west end, for obscure reasons. The alley is also known as Bottle Alley, for equally obscure reasons. That name is recorded in a traditional local ditty:
"Where'd you get them bung-up shoes?
Got 'em from Mulally.
Where Mulally keep he shop?
Corner King and Bottle Alley."