Fabulosa!: The Story of Polari, Britain's Secret Gay Language (Hardback)Paul Baker (author)
Hardback 328 Pages / Published: 01/07/2019
- Save £3.00
- In stock online
Polari was a language used chiefly by gay men in the first half of the twentieth century. At a time when being gay could result in criminal prosecution - or worse - Polari offered its speakers a degree of public camouflage, a way of expressing humour, and a means of identification and of establishing a community. Its roots are colourful and varied - from eighteenth-century Cant to Lingua Franca to prostitutes' slang - and in the mid-1960s it was thrust into the limelight by the characters Julian and Sandy, voiced by Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Williams, on the BBC radio show Round the Horne. (`Oh Mr Horne, how bona to vada your dolly old eke!') Paul Baker recounts the story of Polari with skill, erudition and tenderness. He traces its historical origins and describes its linguistic nuts and bolts, explores the ways and the environments in which it was spoken, explains the reasons for its decline, and tells of its unlikely re-emergence in the twenty-first century. With a cast of drag queens and sailors, Dilly boys and macho clones, Fabulosa! is both an essential document of recent history and a fascinating and fantastically readable account of this funny, filthy and ingenious language.
Publisher: Reaktion Books
Number of pages: 328
Dimensions: 216 x 138 mm
You may also be interested in...
Simply reserve online and pay at the counter when you collect. Available in shop from just two hours, subject to availability.
Thank you for your reservation
Your order is now being processed and we have sent a confirmation email to you at
When will my order be ready to collect?
Following the initial email, you will be contacted by the shop to confirm that your item is available for collection.
Call us on or send us an email at
Unfortunately there has been a problem with your order
Please try again or alternatively you can contact your chosen shop on or send us an email at