We Are Gay UK

17 Polari words we need to start using again

Do you know what Polari is?

Wanna go just a little bit extra?

Polari was a form of slang in Britain used by actors, showmen, merchant navy sailors, sex workers was adopted by gay subculture.

It’s been around since at least the 19th century – some have found its origins as far back as the 16th century.

It’s had its ups and down, but it’s a rather Fantabulosa way of expressing yourself.

So we’ve dragged out our Polari dictionary to rediscover 14 words we need to start using again…

Aunt Nell danglers.

Earrings think subtle…

 

Basket.

The trouser bulge

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Corybungus.

Dan Osborne Naked

Your buttocks

 

Crimper.

 

Hairdresser

 

Fantabulosa.

 

via GIPHY

Fabulous/ Wonderful

 

Handbag.

 

via GIPHY

Money

 

HP (homy polone).

 

Effeminate gay man

Mangarie.

CREDIT: Rawpixel.com-bigstock
CREDIT: Rawpixel.com-bigstock

Food

Naff.

 

Awful, dull, hetero

So.

 

Homosexual… Is he so?

Tootsie trade.

 

Bottom to bottom – sex between two passive guys

Trade.

(C) BIGSTOCK

Sex- or a potential sexual partner.

Zhoosh / Tzsju.

 

Tart up your hair

 

Alamo!

 

via GIPHY

They’re attractive

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Bold

 

via GIPHY

Homo

Palare / polari pipe

 

via GIPHY

The telephone

Quongs

Testicles!

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