A word a month – Polari


From the dictionary of unusual sex:

Polari – A complex slang used by the British >gay community during the nineteenth century to recognize its members and communicate without danger in a time in which revealing that sort of inclinations could have serious consequences. Such language, whose name derives from the Italian word parlare (‘to talk’), became public knowledge in the Fifties when it was auto-ironically used by some camp comedians, and came back in fashion around 1990. Polari is based on on assonances and mangled Italian, Romany and Yiddish words, has local imitations worldwide, but due to its difficulty it is scarcely known and used outside of the United Kingdom.

(the symbol “>” indicates a cross-reference to another entry in the dictionary) This was one of the over 1.500 entries from Ayzad’s book XXX – Il dizionario del sesso insolito, which unfortunately is not available in English yet. If you can read Italian, you can buy it here.