Sally

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Dr. Goodword
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Sally

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Apr 16, 2015 10:43 pm

• sally •

Pronunciation: sæ-lee • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Verb, intransitive

Meaning: 1. Make a sortie, leap forth suddenly. 2. To set forth confidently on a short, brief trip, proceed with confidence.

Notes: If you capitalize this word, it becomes a former nickname for Sarah, now a feminine name on its own. However, uncapitalized it is a verb meaning "dart forth". It also serves as a noun without any suffix as in, 'a sally to the market to fetch fresh vegetables'.

In Play: Today's Good Word, when used as a verb, is often accompanied by forth: "As soon as the bug lighted on the leaf, a robin sallied forth and grabbed it." However, it is not required: "Ray Scane sallied bravely out of the first debacle and on to new deeds of shame." Let's not leave the figurative uses behind: "Myna Byrd couldn't believe that such a word had sallied from her lips."

Word History: The English verb sally came from the Old French noun saillie "a sally", the feminine past participle of saillir "to rush forward" used as a noun. French inherited this verb from Latin salire "to jump, leap". Apparently the Proto-Indo-European language contained a word with a root sel- "to jump", for it also turned up in Greek as hallesthai "to leap, jump". We find it in the English borrowed vocabulary as salacious and salient ("jumps out at you"). Somersault also contains the remnants of this word. It comes from Old French sombresault, comprising sombre "over" (from Latin super) + sault "leap". (Time to sally forth now and thank Lew Jury for bringing this lacuna in our Good Word series to our attention.)
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RobertJohn
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Re: Sally

Postby RobertJohn » Fri Apr 17, 2015 8:05 pm

Doors called sally ports were sometimes built into the outer defensive walls of medieval castles and towns here in Britain. These were much smaller than the main gates (which had to be large enough for vehicles) - being small made them more secure if the castle / town was attacked. During a siege, some of the defenders could sneak out (sally forth) at night through a sally port to make a surprise raid on the besieging army. I understand that in modern prisons, the high-security entrances are also called sally ports. Modern sally ports are narrow and well-guarded (like the medieval version) but they are no longer for sallying forth (presumably that’s something they are intended to prevent)

misterdoe
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Re: Sally

Postby misterdoe » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:20 pm

Sally Forth was the name of a comic strip that used to run in my local newspaper back in the 80s. It was the lead character's name.

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Slava
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Re: Sally

Postby Slava » Mon Jun 01, 2015 9:25 pm

Runs every Sunday here in the local Finger Lakes Times. I'm under the impression they aren't repeats, though I could very well be wrong.
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Philip Hudson
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Re: Sally

Postby Philip Hudson » Wed Jun 03, 2015 9:20 am

Hello, RobertJohn: Welcome to the Agora.

Sally Forth is one of the newer luminaries who populate the comic strip pages. Blondie, the good looking air head has been with us forever. Alas, Li'l Abner has gone the way of all flesh and he wasn't even real flesh. Despite his creator's vow that Peanuts would die with him, the strip still thrives. But, as all of us old curmudgeons say, they don't make comic strips the way they used to.
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