Thursday, January 14, 2010
DID YOU KNOW THE "TRANSFANTASTICAL,"
"BONAROO," TRANSGENDER COMMUNITY HAD ITS OWN LANGUAGE? WELL,WE DO.
I DISCOVERED POLARI THIS MORNING. AT FIRST, IT APPEARED AS A MIS SPELLING. BUT AFTER SOME QUICK RESEARCH, I FOUND IT TO BE, INDEED, A BRITISH SLANG DEVELOPED BY THOSE WHO NEEDED TO BE "INVISIBLE."
Polari (or alternatively Parlare, Parlary, Palare, Palarie, Palari, Parlyaree, from Italianparlare, "to talk") was a form of cant slang used in Britain by actors, circus or fairground showmen, criminals, prostitutes etc., and latterly by the gay subculture. It was revived in the 1950s and 1960s by its use by camp characters Julian and Sandy in the popular BBC radio shows Beyond our Kenand Round the Horne, but its origins can be traced back to at least the 19th century (or, according to at least one source, to the 16th century). There is some debate about how it originated.There is a longstanding connection with Punch and Judy street puppet performers who traditionally used Polari to talk with each other. 
Polari was used in London fishmarkets, the theatre, and the gay subculture. As Polari, it was used to disguise homosexual activity from potentially hostile outsiders (such as undercover policemen), but also because many gay men worked in theatrical entertainment where the lingo originated (including fairgrounds and circuses, hence the many borrowings from Romani in Polari). The almost identical Parlyaree has been spoken in fairgrounds since at least the 17th century and continues to be used by show travellers in England and Scotland. As theatrical booths, circus acts and menageries were once a common part of European fairs it is likely that the roots of Polari/Parlyaree lie in the period before both theatre and circus became independent of the fairgrounds. The Parlyaree spoken on fairgrounds tends to borrow much more from Romani, as well as other languages and argots spoken by travelling people, such as cant and backslang.
Posted by De Sube at 1/14/2010 11:10:00 AM