Allusionist 99. Polari

When there were no safe spaces to be gay, Polari allowed gay men to identify and communicate with each other, and to keep things secret from outsiders.

Professor Paul Baker, author of the Polari dictionary and the upcoming book Fabulosa! The Story of Polari, Britain’s Secret Gay Language, explains how Polari emerged from criminal cant and London’s theatres and docks to be used a code language for gay men in the oppressive 1950s - and then, not long after, it entered the slang lexicons of the general public, via popular sketch comedy and the mouth of an annoyed princess.

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Allusionist 22: Vocables

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La la la, dum di di dum, a wop bop a loo bop a wop bom bom - why are songs riddled with non-words masquerading as words?

Hrishikesh Hirway from Radiotopisibling Song Exploder and songwriter Tony Hazzard explain.

WOAH WOAH WAH-OH, DO BE DOO DOO, HERE'S SOME READING MATTER:

Still haven't donated to Radiotopia yet? Here's that link again for you. Slack have offered a further $25,000 provided we get 5,000 donors by Monday 26th October, so don't dawdle.

GAVIN'S RANDOMLY SELECTED WORD FROM THE DICTIONARY:
occiput

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Email your donation receipts to allusionistshow@gmail.com for the chance to be the randomly selected Radiotopia donor.

CREDITS:

Ella Fitzgerald - ‘One Note Samba’
The Spice Girls - ‘Spice Up Your Life’
Theme from The Old Grey Whistle Test - ‘Stone Fox Chase’
Little Richard - 'Tutti Frutti'
The Crystals - ‘Da Do Ron Ron’
Black Lace - ‘Agadoo’
JLS - 'She Make Me Wanna'
Betty Wright - ‘Shoorah Shoorah’
Brokeback - ‘In the Reeds’

Come back in a week's time for the next Radiotopial special edition of the Allusionist. I promise not to sing.

- HZ

The Allusionist is a proud member of Radiotopia from PRX, which is supported by Mailchimp, the Knight Foundation, and listeners like you.