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A British argot associated especially with gay culture and the theatrical world, including words derived from a variety of sources such as Italian, Romani, Yiddish, and British rhyming slang.

[Polari, to speak, from Italian parlare; see parlando.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


(pəˈlɑːrɪ) or


(Languages) 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
[C19: from Italian parlare to speak]
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014
References in periodicals archive ?
COVELLI E gia, tu poi ti credi che io sono tanto stupida palare.
The first three years of his solo career dovetail seamlessly, with songs from his debut album - including Suedehead - included alongside the cheekier music-hall patter of Piccadilly Palare and Hairdresser On Fire.
The name Polari may even have come from the other half of the first question asked by traders in Lingua Franca when they met for the first time, "Sabir palare?" or "Do you know how to speak Lingua Franca?"