BONA PALARE



The secret language or slang of the Punch and Judy showman is a quaint mixture of Italian, Romany and street-seller's slang. It is still used today, to some degree.


bottle - the collection, collecting bag.
bottler - the collector.
bona palare - the Punch man's slang
bonar - good
buffer - live dog Toby.
busker - street performer.
business - the routine of Punch's interplay with properties and characters.
castello - the booth in which Punch performs.
Co and Co - the Punch man's partner.
chanting - Punch's drone - calling up the crowd.
charfering homa - talking man, ic: policeman.
drop - donate.
dona - woman
frame - as castello
facer-board - proscenium arch.
fiela - child
finchia - (Italian) swazzle gelt - money
homa - man
homy - man
hedge - audience.
Joey - clown (from Joseph Grimaldi)
Pipares - pipes
pratique - (French) swazzle
palone - girl
pivetta - (Italian) swazzle
playboard - the shelf over which Punch is performed
pitch - the site of the Punch show
pitch - actually performing
questa questa - alternative to Co and Co.
nark - complainer to the police
reign - perform undisturbed
roundings - draperies round the fit-up
scapar - be off, run away
shant a bivare - glass of beer
slumareys properties, puppets etc.
sleeve - puppet's costume
swazzle - the instrument or reed which makes Punch's voice
sifflet-pratique - (French) swazzle
silver reed - swazzle
slum - swazzle
sgherlo (Italian) swazzle
swatchel- swazzle
swatchel homy - performer using the swazzle
slanging - performing
snowing - raining money
talk - the patter
tabora - drum
Towzer - early name for Toby
tray - canvas shelf on which are placed puppets and properties.
ultray cateva slum - poor use of swazzle
varda - look
yeute munjare - no food
yeute lente - no bed
yeute bivare - no drink.

Listed with fond memories of Percy Press Senior and Bert Codman


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