Definition of Shelta in English:
An ancient secret language used by Irish and Welsh Travellers and Gypsies, and based largely on altered Irish or Gaelic words.
- Words from Romany (originally an Indian dialect), Shelta (the cant of the Irish tinkers), Yiddish, back slang, rhyming slang and other non-standard English are interspersed with words of Italian origin.
- Their 7,000-10,000 descendants still speak the secret Traveler language, a dialect alternately known as Shelta, Gammon, or Cant, which includes elements of Irish Gaelic, English, Greek, and Hebrew.
- American Travellers' Cant was originally also Shelta but is now largely Anglicized.
late 19th century: of unknown origin.
Definition of Shelta in:
- US English dictionary
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