Toodle Pip?

Posted by Sauerkraut on March 10, 2002

In Reply to: Toodle Pip? posted by Word Camel on March 08, 2002

: : : : : : : as to the origin of "sally forth"? anyone?

: : : : : : If you meant "sally port":

: : : : : : Lifted verbatim from the Word Detective:

: : : : : : "Sally ports" were a feature of castles and fortresses, a closely-guarded opening or door in the wall of a fortified building designed for the quick passage of troops. One of the primary uses of these doors was to mount quick attacks on whatever enemy army might be besieging the castle at the moment, and here's where we meet "sally." A "sally," from the Latin "salire" meaning "to jump," was originally a sudden rush out of a besieged position, a lightning attack designed to surprise the enemy. "Sally" in this original sense first appeared around 1560, and "sally port" is first found around 1649. "Sally" has since acquired the broader sense of "an excursion or escapade." And since castles and fortresses are in short supply these days, "sally port" has gradually come to mean any guarded doorway or opening.

: : : : : ...which perfectly answers the original question. To sally forth is relatively commonly used, albeit usually when the speaker wants to be deliberately archaic.

: : : : : Now's what's the origin of "Tally Ho"?

: : : : Ah, thank goodness for the South where archaic phrasing still occurs. Sally forth and sally out are still used quite commonly, espically in Louisiana. I have sallied forth from many a banquette after receiving lagniappe.

: : : : As to Tally Ho . . .
: : : : Two hundred years ago, according to a magazine of that date, the English fox-hunter's cry was
: : : : " Tallio, Hoix, Hark, Forward," which is a corruption of the French hunter's call. Four hundred years ago the French hunter encouraged his dogs with the musical cry of "Thia-hilaud a qui forheur!" sometimes printed "Tya-hillaut a qui forheur!" (These huntsmen's shouts are given in a quaint and rare old French book illustrated with the strange pictures of the day and entitled "La Venerie de Jacques du Fouilloux, a Paris 1573.") From this the English manufactured "Tallio, hoix, hark, forward." Later it has been abbreviated to simply "Tally-ho."

: : : As long as we are on the subject of obscure English expressions...

: : : As an aside, the relocation team of a well known-consultancy that begins with the letter "A" is advising American's relocating to Britian that "toodle pip" is how they should say "goodbye".

: : My Dear Ms Camel,
: : But that is how we say goodbye. 95% of us a crafty cheeky cockney chimney-sweeps too, and we know the queen.

: : Ahem. Why are you so coy about naming the consultancy? I want a URL so I can go and laugh at them.

: : Ta-ta, Cheerio, Toodle-oo and Pip-pip.

: : PS: stumbled upon the following

: Said consultancy split several years ago to form seperate consultancies of almost exactly the same name. Typically, I can not remember which one it was and I didn't want to slander anyone unnecessarily.

: I stumbled on to this knowledge when I met an American who had recently transfered to London from Chicago. My British friends and I began to suspect something was amiss when he earnestly bid us "Toodle Pip" in his nasal, windy-city accent. A few days and several pints later, he showed us the book he he'd been given by the consultancy. There were other gems of advice, but none quite so funny.

Let's get back to the original question. A sally port, in addition to being a well guarded exit from a fort, usually had gates in back and in front.

Thus, the inner gates could be opened to allow the troops that would "sally forth" to assemble in a secure area. Once this was done, the inner gates would be closed and the outer ones opened, allowing the troops to go into battle without exposing the fortified area to a sneak invasion from the enemy.

A sally port was also used in the reverse mode to receive returning troops.

In modern usage, a sally port is a transition area between the outside world and a secured environment.