Back-slang and rhyming slang was omni-present for me growing up in the 70’s / 80’s. TV programmes like The Sweeney, Only Fools... Filthy, Rich & Catflap, you’d often hear of a ‘blag’ or that something was ‘bona’. I also worked on a market in Islington, where many of these words were used... and I found them hilarious. Like most slang though, they were formed as a ‘code’ or ‘smoke screen’ to use between those in the know, and as is often the case, will over time, work their way into common parlance.

I always liked Morrissey’s album ‘Bona Drag’ - not knowing that it was littered with Polari - I had no idea what the track ‘Picadilly Polare’ was about or even that many of these words I’d heard as a kid belonged to some kind of ‘language’. It was years later I found out where they came from after hearing a language documentary.

A window to celebrate the cant slang ‘Polari’ and the vocabulary’s assimilation into mainstream language. 

My work often has hidden meanings and code. Feels like a bona fit.

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