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Question
Posted by: Nelspruit | 2005/07/24

Own language

Hi expert, Thanks for this great forum. Many years ago when I was in Cape Town on holiday I was fascinated to hear some gay people speaking a strange language, or code, they'd developed for themselves, consisting of women's names. I recall that 'reeva' meant revolting, 'dora' meant drink and 'pricilla' meant police. 'Nancy' meant no and 'beaulah' meant beautiful. Some guys (predominantly from the Coloured community) could prattle away fluently, stringing these words together very rapidly, and it was apparent that they were understanding each other. Do some people still use this language or has it died out? Was it ever recorded or studied?

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Our expert says:
Expert ImageGay, lesbian and bisexual expert

Hi Nelspruit

You're referring to a language called 'Gayle', which has been studied by linguists and recorded. A dictionary of Gayle has also been published: "Gayle - the language of kinks and queens; a history and dictionary of gay language in South Africa", by Ken Cage, published in 2003 by Jacana. A fascinating and fun read.

We do hear Gayle, spoken predominantly by the gay community living in the Cape Flats.

For more info on Gayle you can contact the Gay & Lesbian Archives, based at Wits, on (011) 717 4239.

The information provided does not constitute a diagnosis of your condition. You should consult a medical practitioner or other appropriate health care professional for a physical exmanication, diagnosis and formal advice. Health24 and the expert accept no responsibility or liability for any damage or personal harm you may suffer resulting from making use of this content.

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Our users say:
Posted by: Deeply concerned about Nelspruit | 2005/07/25

Are there real gay men living in Nelspruit? Why, what are they doing there? Were you left behind by mistake? Do you want us to come rescue you from the straights? What's it like being there? Where do you SHOP?

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