Entry from British & World English dictionary
(also Palari or Palare)
A form of theatrical slang incorporating Italianate words, rhyming slang, and Romany, used especially by homosexuals.
- I was first introduced to the gay slang language of Polari (sometimes spelt Palare) by listening to Beyond Our Ken and Round the Horne in the sixties as a child.
- It is variously called Palare, Palyaree, Palary or Polari from its own word for ‘talk’ or ‘speech’.
- Although similar languages have precedents - eg Lingua Franca, Polari - it wouldn't surprise me if Fo had coined the term ‘Grammelot’.
Mid 19th century: from Italian parlare 'to speak'.
For editors and proofreaders
Line breaks: Po¦lari
What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?
Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.