EXAMPLES FROM THE WEB FOR ALLEY
They have moved from the alley; the surroundings were not such as they liked.
Through the trees the mouth of the alley could be seen, opening out on a moonlit glade.
Then but a few moments to reach Gerty's alley, and Gerty's window.
Up the alley went the car, police keeping the crowd from following.
He walked on ahead of them, turned down an alley, and disappeared.
Reassured at the sight of the youth, but angry, the instructor moved into the alley.
You saw nothing in that alley, yet you asked me to come back and look.
They walked in silence down the alley which led to the ball-room.
The car in mention was doing sixty as it came out of the alley ahead of us.
This alley, this bit of staircase which was frightfully dark, terrified him.
mid-14c., "passage in a house; open passage between buildings; walkway in a garden," from Old French alee (13c., Modern French allée) "a path, passage, way, corridor," also "a going," from fem. of ale, past participle of aler "to go," which ultimately may be a contraction of Latin ambulare "to walk," or from Gallo-Romance allari, a back-formation from Latin allatus "having been brought to" [Barnhart]. Cf. sense evolution of gate. Applied by c.1500 to "long narrow enclosure for playing at bowls, skittles, etc." Used in place names from c.1500.
The word is applied in American English to what in London is called a mews, and also is used there especially of a back-lane parallel to a main street (1729). To be up someone's alley "in someone's neighborhood" (literally or figuratively) is from 1931; alley-cat attested by 1890.