Cover image for Fantabulosa : a dictionary of Polari and gay slang
Title:
Fantabulosa : a dictionary of Polari and gay slang
Author:
Baker, Paul, 1972-
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Continuum, [2002]

©2002
Physical Description:
xii, 242 pages ; 20 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780826459619
Format :
Book

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PE3727.G39 B34 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Summary

Polari has been the secret language of gay men and women through the twentieth century. But more than a language, Polari is an attitude. From the prisons and music halls of Edwardian England to American Gis, to the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Polari has been used to laugh, bitch, gossip and cruise.

Like all slang, Polari users coined an ever-changing vocabulary. Derived from words used by criminals, circus artists, beggars and prostitutes, it also employed Italian, Yiddish, French, rhyming slang and backslang.

Since gay liberation, lesbian and gay slang has become less a language of concealment than a language of specialisation, though the tradition of camp remains. A carefully researched and entertaining read, Fantabulosa presents a lexicon of Polari and a more general dictionary of lesbian and gay slang. If you don't yet know what vada the bona cartes on the ommee ajax, parkering ninty, a Mexican nightmare or a nellyectomy mean, then this is the book for you.


Author Notes

Paul Baker is Lecturer in Linguistics and Modern English Language at Lancaster University.