Etymology
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volley (v.)
1590s, "discharge in a volley," from volley (n.). Sporting sense (originally in tennis) of "to return the ball before it has hit the ground" is from 1819. Related: Volleyed; volleying.
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volley (n.)

1570s, "discharge of a number of guns at once," from French volee "flight" (12c.), from Vulgar Latin *volta, fem. noun from Latin volatum, past participle of volare "to fly" (see volant). Sporting sense of "a return of the ball before it hits the ground" (originally in tennis) is from 1851, from notion of hitting the ball in flight.

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volleyball (n.)
1896, from volley (n.) in the sporting sense + ball (n.1). So called because the ball must be returned before it hits the ground.
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tirade (n.)
"a long, vehement speech, a 'volley of words,' " 1801, from French tirade "a volley, a shot; a pull; a long speech or passage; a drawing out" (16c.), from tirer "draw out, endure, suffer," or the French noun is perhaps from or influenced by cognate Italian tirata "a volley," from past participle of tirare "to draw." The whole Romanic word group is of uncertain origin. Barnhart suggests it is a shortening of the source of Old French martirer "endure martyrdom" (see martyr).
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backhand (adj.)
1690s, "having the hand turned backward;" see back (adv.) + hand (n.). By 1894 in reference to handwriting that flows at a back-slant. As a verb, by 1857. As a noun, in reference to tennis, 1890, short for backhand stroke or volley. The figurative adjectival sense of "indirect" is from c. 1800. Related: Backhanded; backhanding.
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salvo (n.)

1719, an alteration of salva (1590s) "simultaneous discharge of guns, intended as a salute," from Italian salva "salute, volley" (French salve, 16c., is from Italian), from Latin salve "hail!," literally "be in good health!," the usual Roman greeting. It was regarded as the imperative of salvere "to be in good health," but it is properly the vocative of salvus "healthy" (from PIE root *sol- "whole, well-kept").

The notion is of important visitors greeted with a volley of gunfire into the air; the word was applied afterward to any concentrated fire from a number of guns, originally artillery pieces (of firearms by 18c.). As a verb by 1839. The same noun in the Latin sense, via Medieval Latin, came into English in senses common 17c.-18c. but archaic now: "a saving clause or provision; a solution or explanation; an expedient," etc.

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confetti (n.)

1815, "small pellets made of lime or soft plaster, used in Italy during carnival by the revelers for pelting one another in the streets," from Italian plural of confetto "sweetmeat," via Old French, from Latin confectum, confectus (see confection).

The little balls (which left white marks) were substitutes for the small sugar-plum candies that traditionally were thrown during Italian carnivals; the custom was adopted in England by early 19c. for weddings and other occasions, with symbolic tossing of little bits of paper (which are called confetti by 1846).

The chief amusement of the Carnival consists in throwing the confetti—a very ancient practice, and which, with a little research, may be traced up through the Italian Chronicles to the time of the Romans. The confetti were originally of sugar, and the nobility still pique themselves on adhering to so costly a material. The people have degraded them to small balls of lime, which allows more sport, and takes in a much greater number of combatants. [Dr. Abraham Eldon, "The Continental Traveller's Oracle; or, Maxims for Foreign Locomotion," London, 1828]
[The Roman ladies] are generally provided with a small basket of confetti, and as their acquaintance and admirers pass in review, they must be prepared to receive a volley of them. It is thought quite the supreme bon ton for a Roman beau, to mark how many distinguished beauties he is in favour with, by having both his coat and hat covered as white as a miller with the flour of these confetti. [John Bramsen, "Letters of a Prussian Traveller," 1818]
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