April 24, 2003 4:21 AM   Subscribe

How bona to varda your dolly old eek! Fancy a bevvy? If so, then you must know how to speak Polari, a language that is a mixture of romany, cockney, criminal slang and Italian. Many people first heard this secret language on the radio show round the horne with Julian and Sandy, but it still crops up now and again. Morrissey even used it on his album Bona drag (see the lyrics to Piccadilly Palare). Gives a whole new meaning to people who troll as well.
posted by ciderwoman (8 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
Halloah! Anybody there?
posted by bonaldi at 5:02 AM on April 24, 2003

Reminds me of NADSAT from A Clockwork Orange.
posted by Pollomacho at 6:01 AM on April 24, 2003

is anyone else mildly amused that the word varda means "to see"? wonder if it was a tribute to the aforementioned filmmaker.
posted by pxe2000 at 7:24 AM on April 24, 2003

Also briefly used in Velvet Goldmine, with subtitles. That was my introduction to the language.
posted by Katemonkey at 7:28 AM on April 24, 2003

Here's the bible in Polari...
posted by charlesv at 2:24 PM on April 24, 2003

People still use "fancy a bevvy" in Australia. I assumed it was a slang word for beverage, no?
posted by Onanist at 10:02 PM on April 24, 2003

Languagehat had a fascinating blog post about Polari a while back (a month ago? more?), but his site is going wonky for me. Perhaps someone else could scan the archives.
posted by hippugeek at 11:33 PM on April 24, 2003

languagehat's post is here and BBC7 is rebroadcasting Round The Horne on Wednesdays 1230 GMT, which is available online.
posted by yonderboy at 2:20 PM on April 25, 2003

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