Goodreads helps you keep track of books you want to read.
Start by marking “Fantabulosa: Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang” as Want to Read:
Fantabulosa: Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang
Enlarge cover
Rate this book
Clear rating
Open Preview

Fantabulosa: Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang

3.82  ·  Rating details ·  49 ratings  ·  6 reviews
Polari has been the secret language of gay men and women throughout the twentieth century. But more than a language, Polari is an attitude. From the prisons and music halls of Edwardian England to Kenneth Williams, American GIs in London, and the Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Polari has been used to laugh, bitch, gossip, and cruise. Like all slang, Polari is an ...more
Paperback, 242 pages
Published by Continuum Books (first published December 2002)
More Details... Edit Details

Friend Reviews

To see what your friends thought of this book, please sign up.

Reader Q&A

To ask other readers questions about Fantabulosa, please sign up.

Be the first to ask a question about Fantabulosa

Community Reviews

Showing 1-30
Average rating 3.82  · 
Rating details
 ·  49 ratings  ·  6 reviews

More filters
Sort order
Start your review of Fantabulosa: Dictionary of Polari and Gay Slang
Mark Ward
Nov 30, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: lgbt, my-bookshelf
Language - you never stop changing, do you? This is evident in both good and bad ways here.

The good: the dictionary of Polari, a mostly dead language used by gay men. Polari, being dead, is time-specific and this makes it good to collate (although it seems to be a little - not too much, but a little incomplete). A mix of Parlyaree, cockney rhyming slang, backwards slang and words cribbed from all over, this book features a good introduction to the the coded language made mainstream by the
Sarah Tipper
Jun 23, 2015 rated it really liked it
I heard about Polari while watching a programme about Kenneth Williams and it fascinated me that a secret language was used to talk about homosexuality on the radio. Over the years some of these words have become mainstream. One of my favourite words was Naff. If you ever need lots of synonyms for penis then this book will prove exceedingly useful. I read a lot of books about words and this is one of the best, funny and with just the right level of detail. ...more
Lesley Arrowsmith
Fascinating insight to a world that's almost gone, and very useful for the story I'm writing at the moment!
Finally, I found a book on Polari, the forgotten gay slang of the UK 60's! It's really interesting, and really funny. Did you know that when you say something is Naff, it comes from Not Available For Fucking? Yup!
Larry-bob Roberts
Oct 31, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: queer
The more "pop" of Paul Baker's two books on Polari (I haven't checked out the other one.) Interesting view of British gay slang. See also the audio recordings of the radio show "Round the Horne" which both popularized Polari and killed it through allowing everyone to understand it.
Jul 17, 2019 rated it liked it
Interesting investigation into the origin story and secret language of words
Kayla Greet
rated it liked it
May 03, 2018
rated it really liked it
Aug 26, 2016
Mona Dehghan
rated it it was amazing
Oct 25, 2011
rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2015
Robert Mealing
rated it it was amazing
Jul 05, 2018
Michael Harwood
rated it really liked it
Feb 04, 2015
Lizzie Mayer
rated it it was amazing
Mar 07, 2015
rated it liked it
Mar 11, 2018
rated it it was amazing
Apr 13, 2014
Victoria Adams
rated it liked it
Jun 25, 2014
Nicholas Jones
rated it it was amazing
Jan 11, 2015
rated it it was amazing
Apr 10, 2014
rated it really liked it
Aug 10, 2013
Roberto Carrasco
rated it it was amazing
Mar 24, 2014
rated it really liked it
Oct 02, 2007
rated it really liked it
Aug 04, 2014
rated it really liked it
Jan 07, 2019
rated it liked it
Nov 30, 2012
rated it liked it
Nov 26, 2007
Beth Rawson
rated it it was amazing
Aug 14, 2018
rated it liked it
May 04, 2017
Jason Keller
rated it it was ok
Jul 17, 2009
Will Man
rated it did not like it
Mar 19, 2017
rated it really liked it
Feb 10, 2012
« previous 1 next »
There are no discussion topics on this book yet. Be the first to start one »

Readers also enjoyed

  • The Grace Year
  • Because of Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #1)
  • Heart of Honor (Heart Trilogy, #1)
  • Little Darlings
  • Symptoms of a Heartbreak
  • Again the Magic (Wallflowers, #0.5)
  • Mine Till Midnight (The Hathaways, #1)
  • Past Perfect Life
  • The Perfect Date
  • Let Me Go (Archie Sheridan & Gretchen Lowell, #6)
  • Stranger in My Arms
  • California Dreamin'
  • Subversive Cross Stitch: 33 Designs for Your Surly Side
  • Subversive Cross Stitch: 50 F*cking Clever Designs for Your Sassy Side
  • The Secret Diaries of Miss Miranda Cheever (Bevelstoke, #1)
  • The Other Miss Bridgerton (Rokesbys, #3)
  • Femme Magnifique
  • Desperately seeking B**sky
See similar books…
Librarian Note: There are more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name.

Related Articles

Need another excuse to treat yourself to new book this week? We've got you covered with the buzziest new releases of the day. To create our lis...
42 likes · 10 comments