Sally Ann (Salvation Army, 1914-1918)

Jonathon Green slang at BLUEYONDER.CO.UK
Mon Oct 21 09:47:14 UTC 2002

>   Note 10 states that "Sally Ann" is an informal British term for
>Army," and it's first cited in AMERICAN SPEECH (1927).
>We can do better than that.

Perhaps, but not me. The best I have remains the AS cite, which reads:

1927 Charlie Samolar 'The Argot of the Vagabond' (AS II:9) 387: Sally Ann is
the sobriquet for Salvation Army

Two years later comes the AS also offers:

1929 Vernon W. Saul 'The Vocabulary of Bums' (AS IV:5) 344: Sal or Sally-The
Salvation Army

However there is also this, from the Sydney (Aus.) Bulletin:

1885 Bulletin (Sydney) 16 May 12/3: Two Salvation Sallys were trotted out at
Wanganui (N.Z.), recently, at the head of the local contingent, dressed in a
style which gave old Nick spasms to such an extent that he incited a member
of the 'foorce' to run them in on a charge of lunacy or something

which if nothing else suggests that that 'Sally' abbreviation comes very
eaerly on in the Army's existence. The more general Aus. name for SA workers
was (and remains) 'the Salvos'.

Early nicknames seem to have been less affectionate. J. Redding Ware
'Passing English of the Victorian Era' (1909) has

Salvation jugginses (i.e. fools); Salvation rotters and Salvation
soul-snakers, all dated 1882-3. Salavtion Army itself, in rhyming slang,
meant 'barmy', i.e,. mad or drunk.

>Can anyone check this on TIMES (London) full
>text?  Is that available yet?  The following was found on the web:

I am told by a friend at the (London) Times Online that the full
(searchable) text is indeed in preparation, funded by many Murdoch millions,
but it is sadly not yet available.

Jonathon Green

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