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Cant (language)

From Academic Kids

Cant is a term generally used to describe secret languages (cryptolects) used by gypsies, thieves, and others who have a need to communicate freely without necessarily conveying their meaning to a wider audience.

In particular, "Cant" is a term used sometimes specifically to refer to Shelta (alternatively known as Sheldru, Gammon, or The Cant), the cryptolectic language of Irish Travellers based on Irish Gaelic and English. The word itself comes from the Gaelic word caint, meaning speaking.

An example of a cant language which has been introduced widely into the mainstream is the homosexual Polari language which was used extensively in the BBC radio series Round the Horne during the 1960s.

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