[Ads-l] Cousin Sally, new in OED

Peter Reitan pjreitan at HOTMAIL.COM
Wed Jan 29 00:41:15 UTC 2020

The apparently well-known, frequently reprinted "cousin Sally" story may well have influenced  the choice of name to fit the C. S. initials.

That story is very ridiculous, and would seem pejorative if consciously based on the name from the story, but the name was reportedly suggested by a pro-Confederacy, Southern newspaper in Alabama, and not applied to it by Northern critics.

The format of the name was clearly intended to mimic the other well-known national nicknames like Brother Jonathan and Uncle Sam.

A Northern critic suggested an alternate name - Aunt Sally - the name of a carnival game involving throwing sticks at a mock head, kinda like throwing softballs at a stack of milk bottles, I guess.

"Cousin Sally! - we beg to propose a trifling alteration - Aunt Sally would be greatly more appropriate. . . . A REbel sisterhood, pelted with the scoffs and jeers of the whole world, and with something still more effective, by Uncle Sam, might well be called Aunt Sally."

Philadelphia Inquirer, June 20, 1861, page 4.

------ Original Message ------
From: "Laurence Horn" <laurence.horn at yale.edu>
To: ADS-L at listserv.uga.edu
Sent: 1/26/2020 8:22:39 AM
Subject: Re: Cousin Sally, new in OED

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Sender: American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
Poster: Laurence Horn <laurence.horn at YALE.EDU>
Subject: Re: Cousin Sally, new in OED

Maybe it goes without saying but, as the OED notes, the primary =
motivation, whichever real or fictitious Sally may have been involves, =
was the alliteration of Cousin Sally =3D =E2=80=9CC[onfederate] =
S[tates]=E2=80=9D as a nod to that in Uncle Sam for =E2=80=9CU[nited] =

On Jan 26, 2020, at 8:25 AM, Stephen Goranson <goranson at DUKE.EDU> =
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 =
"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.
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