Short film shot in Polari, legendary British slang

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Memories of Julian and Sandy, and Bona Law, the criminal practice that kept them busy.


Back in 1990 Morrissey released a song titled “Picadilly Palare” that used some of this same type of slang:



There’s a polari Bible. Needless to say.

  1. In the beginning Gloria created the heaven and the earth.
  1. And the earth was nanti form, and void; and munge was upon the eke of the deep. And the Fairy of Gloria trolled upon the eke of the aquas.
  1. And Gloria cackled, Let there be sparkle: and there was sparkle.
  1. And Gloria vardad the sparkle, that it was bona: and Gloria medzered the sparkle from the munge.

“Palaver” is Polari? Well, I never, I’ve been speaking Polari all this time. I blame Julian and Sandy. Fantabulosa!


That packed a wallop.

Seems like Polari (that is, sailor lingo, adapted from Portuguese, in this case) that also was adopted by the mainstream.

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According to the glossary on Wikipedia, “thews” is Polari for thighs. I’ll never read a Conan story quite the same way again.

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An interstellar showman speaks a bit of Polari in the Doctor Who story Carnival of Monsters. The Doctor doesn’t understand a word of it, which comes as a bit of a surprise to me.

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