[Ads-l] Cousin Sally, new in OED

Stephen Goranson goranson at DUKE.EDU
Sun Jan 26 13:25:00 UTC 2020

The following is highly speculative, iffy.

OED now has an entry for Cousin Sally referring to Confederate States from 1861, reasonably enough.
Speculation: this name choice might could have been influenced by the often-reprinted antebellum southern folk tale, Cousin Sally Dillard. Richard Walzer, "Ham Jones: Southern Folk Humorist,"The Journal of American Folklore
Vol. 78, No. 310 (Oct. - Dec., 1965), pp. 295-316 [via JSTOR], reprints and discusses it.

The Daily Journal, Wilmington, NC, March 21, 1860, 2/2 on slavery and abolition:
"That is what the Register said only one month before the meeting of the Opposition Convention, before the editor was brought to the confessional by cousin "Sally Dillard" and received the judgement of the court from Judge Badger."

Admittedly, a weak association, though why a fictional character mentioned? Maybe a post hoc ergo propter hoc fallacy.


The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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