Episode 37 (Polari: the Secret Language of Gay Men)

Paul Baker

For this month’s podcast, Paul discusses Polari, the secret language used predominantly by gay men in the United Kingdom in the 19th and 20th centuries. Paul’s guest is Paul Baker, professor of English Language at Lancaster University.

Baker has written 18 books, including Fabulosa: The Story of Polari (2019), Sexed Texts (2008), and, with Jo Stanley, Hello Sailor! (2003). He regularly gives talks and workshops about Polari and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Arts and a Fellow of the Academy of Social Sciences.

The clip from Around the Horne is copyright 1966 British Broadcasting Corporation, used under fair use.

(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)

Episode 27 (Secret Languages)

As we practice social distancing and schools transition to online learning during the coronavirus pandemic, Paul explores the power of the spoken word and the necessity of communication, specifically the importance of secret languages. In this month’s podcast, Paul discusses Polari, Ob, Pig-Latin, Efe, Pe, Verlan, and similar linguistic traditions.

(Bach’s Cello Suite #1 in G Major BMV 1007 Prelude (by Ivan Dolgunov) courtesy of Jamendo Licensing.)