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Short video in Polari

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Edited by Patrick Andrews, Thursday, 25 Jun 2015, 16:44

E301 includes some content on "polari" (a gay language) and I found it interesting to see the following video where the dialogue is mainly in the language.  It is clear that some of the words such as "naff" have been taken up in English more generally but other words are mysterious to me.


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Sharon Hartles - Zemiologist - because ALL HARM MATTERS

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What is E301 the study of?

I watched the short video.

It is not surprising that polari came about due to homophobia during the time the language was used. Fear of persecution and/or death would be enough to create a new language for security measures for those wanting to live their life for who they are.

In context, I guess it is no more different to reading a shakespearean book - the language is fitting of its geographical place, historical time and audience. Some 1700 of William Shakespears invented words are still commonly used today within the English Language. So it it not surprising that polari words have made their way into it too - even if understood or having a different meaning to its original understanding.  Or that the meaning of other words has died out and the understanding of these lost when there was no longer a danger for those who used it.  May have been more of a secret code to the elite few over a language...

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Thanks for the comment, Sharon

E301 is the Art of English and looks at creativity and English.

Yes, you are right about the social contexts that leads to the development of different varieties of language.  The language developed in a period when homosexuality was illegal and so the development of a kind of code was important for the community.  There is quite a lot of literature on this topic.  I will try to expand the original post with some reference to the literature in the future.

Sharon Hartles - Zemiologist - because ALL HARM MATTERS

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Oh - okay thanks,

I will stay well away from that module then.

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It's a very interesting one, Sharon.


Sharon Hartles - Zemiologist - because ALL HARM MATTERS

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Unfortunately, if I were to study this I fear I would be one of those 'failing students' and it would not be because I didn't try - it just did and still does not come easy to me.

It has to be my weakest subject.On saying that - that is probably why I should study it - self improvement.

I studied AA100 - although I found it interesting - my interest and the fact that I tried so hard - was never reflected in my grades or feedback.

I finish DD208; Welfare, crime and society in September and start DD308; Making Social Worlds in October - working towards a degree in the social sciences.