Sally

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  • Sally is a short form of the forename Sarah. There are two main types of such shortenings: they are convenient for writing, e.g. in lists; or they are essentially spoken pet-names, and thus informal. (See Conventional abbreviations for forenames.)
Short form Long form Informal or written Other short forms Remarks
Sally Sarah informal Sadie; Sarrie Sally is often used in its own right as a given name

There is a list of similar names at Conventional abbreviations for forenames, as well as the category:short names

Note that any informal form may be spelled in different ways. Notably, any spelling listed that ends in '-ie' may be written with the ending '-y', and vice versa.
    • The name Sally, and Sally Army, has been used as an abbreviation for the Salvation Army, a Christian organization that offers much support for the poor, and seeks to spread the Christian religion. It wears military-style uniforms, and attracts attention with its brass bands.
    • A Sally Lunn is a type of tea-cake, identified with the town of Bath. It is supposed to be named after a Sally Lunn who sold them in the streets in the 18th century, or "a Huguenot immigrant called Solange (Sollie) Luyon who brought her native skill and worked at a Bath bakery". ODNB labels her as "Lunn, Sally (supp. fl. 1680x1800), supposed baker" and says "Whether a person or an accident of popular etymology, in the twentieth century Sally Lunn became an integral part of the folklore of Bath." The name may well be, or have been reinforced at least, as rhyming slang.
  • There is also a verb 'to sally', and a couple of (current) nouns.
  • The verb means 'to rush out', originally as defenders of a besieged town or castle would suddenly break out and charge their attackers, hoping to take them by surprise, later as any sort of raid. This has several figurative uses.
      • A sally-port is a small gate built in a castle or town wall out of which defenders can sally forth.
Etymological note: sally, both as noun and verb in this sense derives from the Latin salire, 'to jump', 'to leap', 'to go up' (still used in Italian for 'to climb [stairs etc]'), via the French saillir, 'to jut out'
    • There is also a technical verb in bell-ringing: 'to bring the bell into position for its first movement [its sally]'.
        • This may be derived from its (obsolete) nautical sense of '[a vessel] to jump around or rock under the influence of waves, etc'.
      • The bell-ringing technicality has a noun equivalent as well. Sally is also the name for the padded swelling on a bell-rope which ringers grasp to ring bells.
  • The commonest of the nouns is one of the raids in which people sally out.
    • A derivative meaning is 'a sudden witty remark', 'a riposte', often malicious and pointed at an individual, or that person's foolishness.