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I came across the phrase "from the top on down" in this sentence,

England is rotting from the top on down! We pledge our revenge on Nottingham Town!

I consulted some dictionaries but could only find "from top to bottom" and "from the top-down". Does the phrase "from the top on down" have the same meaning as "from top to bottom" or the same meaning as "from the top-down"?

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    From the top on down is identical in meaning to from top to bottom and from the top-down. "On" was added to from the top down so that the two sentences in the chant will have the same number of syllables: to suit the meter. – P. E. Dant Jun 23 '17 at 2:16
  • @P. E. Dant But I can't find "from the top down" in any dictionary. – dennylv Jun 23 '17 at 2:26
  • The hyphen in from the top-down is unimportant. It's the same phrase. They all mean exactly the same thing. And from the top down is in Cambridge, Merriam Webster, and the OED, at minimum. – P. E. Dant Jun 23 '17 at 2:33
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Your quote by the "Merry Men" in The Adventures of Robin Hood (Scene 2)

from the top on down

England is rotting from the top on down! We pledge our revenge on Nottingham Town!

has the same meaning as

from head to toe
from head to tail
from tip to toe
from top to bottom

meaning the entire structure or being.

NB: One also notes that "bottom" does not rhyme very well with "town", and by phrasing this way the rhythm is kept consistent.

I originally thought this might have been a Leicester City football chant, but Nottingham City FC is commonly known as Forest.

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