Polari – A Cinderella Among Languages

Don’t be strange – troll in and have a varda at my new insertion on the gay slang language of polari:  Polari – A Cinderella Among Languages. There’s a bit of bespangled history and a glossary to amaze your dearest beancoves with. It’s  been kept vigorously alive by omipalones such as Queen of the Polari Bette Bourne, and was made (in)famous by the two camp BBC Radio stalwarts of Round The Horne, Julian and Sandy.


In the meantime, let me serenade you with a bona polari busker‘s song. You can join in if you like:


Nantee dinarlee: The omee of the carsey
Says due bionc peroney, manjaree on the cross
We’ll have to scarper the jetty in the morning,
Before the bonee omee of the carsey shakes his doss
– Polari busker’s song


It loses a little in translation, but is basically an entreaty to push off pretty quickly because the landlord’s after the rent and we don’t have any money … and by rent I mean money for lodgings and not the gay slang for … well, you see, this is where it gets complicated. Nish the chat and varda the colour of his eyes ….


2 comments on “Polari – A Cinderella Among Languages

  1. […] Impertinent Decorum. Which is a cheat, as it’s What I Wrote. My first book, and the result both of my M.Phil research, life as a Queer Activist in London in the 90s, and became what one friend referred to as a ‘personal manifesto’. It’s concerned with Gay Male identities and ‘theatrical manoeuvres’ – the way gay men use the body, codes and space to create identity and culture. It feels like a far away place now, but helped me to make sense of creative and political activism, emerging politics and identities, and my first experience of researching, structuring and writing a book.It also introduced me to the gay slang/uage polari. […]


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