Being gay in Britain in the s was not easy. InMorrissey released the Polari allowed gay people to speak " Piccadilly Palare " containing a number of lyrics in Polari and exploring a subculture in which Polari was used. In the Are You Being Served?
Want to share your story? He regularly gives talks and workshops about Polari and is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. Live Journal. The s gay liberation movement found the language to be old fashioned and sexist.
It has been compiled and recompiled many times and under many different editorships. Polari allowed gay people to speak today, you have used Polari if you've ever had a few bevvies at the pub, zhooshed up your bijou flat, or said something is a bit naff.
Help when you need it, a good read when you don't. It is an eclectic mixture of slangs, dialects and languages common in London at the time, containing aspects of Cockney Rhyming Slang, Romany, Yiddish, Latin, criminal language, Backslang, Italian, circus speak, canal speak, theatre language and some original words and phrases.
Polari enabled one gay man to identify another, allowed them to express themselves publicly without fear of arrest or reprisal and provided a vocabulary for talking about gay sex and sexuality. The 'West End Queens' spoke a version of the language which contained a lot of theatre speak Polari allowed gay people to speak they regarded both themselves and their slang as much more upmarket than the East End version which was heavily influenced by canal language and criminal slang.
Unless you were in the know, you would only partially understand what was being said and hear nothing incriminating. For any other comments, please visit the Feedback page. Before homosexuality was decriminalised, Polari allowed gay people to speak openly and identify themselves as gay without attracting unwanted interest or the attention of undercover charpering omis policemen.
Well, it's been bonaroo cackling with you, my old coves, but my luppers are knackered now so I'm off for a troll up the tober to the ajax bungery for a few bevvies. Help when you need it, a good read when you don't. Una, duey, trey, quater, chinker, sey, setter, otto, nobber, dacha. It is an eclectic mixture of slangs, dialects and Polari allowed gay people to speak common in London at the time, containing aspects of Cockney Rhyming Slang, Romany, Yiddish, Latin, criminal language, Backslang, Italian, circus speak, canal speak, theatre Polari allowed gay people to speak and some original words and phrases.
Polari was a secret, mainly spoken form of language in Britain which occurred in private conversations among people who were not part of a social elite and has roots in forms of language that were around long before the invention of recording devices, so we often have to rely on secondary sources, hearsay, theories, and educated guesses.
I t is simplistic, though, to think that at the time people were consciously aware of how speaking Polari was helping them to cope with the oppressive times; this was perhaps more likely to come in hindsight. Henry Mayhew gave a verbatim account of Polari as part of an interview with a Punch and Judy showman in the s.
Thinking that this might be your last few hours alive, during night after night of air raids, has a way of making you live for the moment. Polari was no longer needed to avoid police. Liverpool Maritime Museum.