Definition of Shelta in English:

Shelta

Line breaks: Shelta
Pronunciation: /ˈʃɛltə
 
/

noun

[mass noun]
  • An ancient secret language used by Irish and Welsh Travellers and Gypsies, and based largely on altered Irish or Gaelic words.
    More example sentences
    • 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.

Origin

late 19th century: of unknown origin.

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