Language of the Irish travelers
hstahlke at WORLDNET.ATT.NET
Fri Sep 27 03:05:28 UTC 2002
The following is from an article on MSNBC.com today. The URL is
A few Irish Travelers emigrated to America during the Potato Famine of the
mid-19th century. Their 7,000-10,000 descendants still speak the secret
Traveler language, a dialect alternately known as Shelta, Gammon, or Cant,
which includes elements of Irish Gaelic, English, Greek, and Hebrew.
This has a bit of the ring of media misinformation about language. The
Ethnologue has the following:
SHELTA: a language of Ireland
Population 6,000 in Ireland. Population total all countries 86,000.
Region Also spoken in United Kingdom, USA.
Alternate names THE CANT, CANT, IRISH TRAVELER CANT, SHELDRU, GAMMON
Classification Indo-European, Celtic, Insular, Goidelic.
Comments The secret language, or cryptolect, of Travellers in the British
Isles. Based largely on Irish. Not Gypsies.
Anyone know the source of the msnbc ideas?
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