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Polari

[ puh-lahr-ee, paw- ]
/ pəˈlɑr i, pɔ- /
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noun

a distinctive English argot in use since at least the 18th century among groups of theatrical and circus performers and in certain gay and lesbian communities, derived largely from Italian, directly or through Lingua Franca.

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Also par·la·ry [puh-lahr-ee, par-], /pəˈlɑr i, par-/, par·lya·ree [puhl-yahr-ee, pahrl-] /pəlˈyɑr i, pɑrl-/ .

Origin of Polari

First recorded in 1845–50; ultimately from Italian parlare “to speak, talk”; see parle
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021

British Dictionary definitions for Polari

Polari

Parlyaree (pɑːˈljɑːrɪ)

/ (pəˈlɑːrɪ) /

noun

an English slang that is derived from the Lingua Franca of Mediterranean ports; brought to England by sailors from the 16th century onwards. A few words survive, esp in male homosexual slang

Word Origin for Polari

C19: from Italian parlare to speak
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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