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 Lillie Law

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ComicMonster
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PostSubject: Lillie Law   Thu 28 Dec 2017, 16:20

Hi there!

I wonder if my interpretation of what "Lillie Law" might be is correct.

It's in Ackroyd's book on queerness:

Quote :
Places of assignation were as well frequented as ever, but the new arrivals in London had some diffculty in finding them. A little club in High Street Kensington, a little pub in Hampstead were slim pickings. Soho and Earls Court raised the temperature, but London was lukewarm and always vulnerable to the attentions of what was known as ‘Lillie Law’.
‘Lillie Law’ knew all the old haunts. The White Bear, beneath the ‘circus’ of Piccadilly, was one of the survivors.

I find in Wikipedia that "Emilie Charlotte Langtry (née Le Breton; October 13, 1853 – February 12, 1929), known as Lillie (or Lily) Langtry and nicknamed "The Jersey Lily", was a British-American socialite, actress and producer". She seems to have earned, reasonably or not, a reputation of philanderer —among other things for her relations with the future Edward VII.

Now, in the Urban Dictionary I find the following:
[url=https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lillie langtry][/url]
Quote :
[url=https://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=lillie langtry]lillie langtry[/url]: usually blonde haired a lillie Langtry is a common vlut/slut and will sleep with you whoever you are".



So, this is what I gather: Lillie Law may be the fact of having casual sex with no real committment and/or semi-clandestinely. Am I correct?

Thanks a zillion for your help and support,

CM
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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Thu 28 Dec 2017, 22:04

Lillie Law, or Lily Law, is slang - particularly mid-20th century London gay slang (polari) - for a policeman, or the police generally. I'm not sure where or what it derived from ... but I suspect it may just be mockingly camp, like referring to a male police officer as 'she', or giving him a mocking female name. Jennifer Justice, Hilda Handcuffs and Betty Bracelets (ie handcuffs), were similar mocking names for (male) policemen.

So in your quote, it is: "... the police knew all the old haunts", that is the haunts for illicit assignations - such things then of course still being very much illegal in Britain.
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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 07:03

Hi, Meles meles,

Yes, you are right, I was "cutting the hair in four" (so to say). It's probably Cockney (Lillie Law, I mean).


Quote :
Jennifer Justice, Hilda Handcuffs and Betty Bracelets

I find those quite funny Wink 

Thanks a lot.
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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 09:41

More likely to be polari than cockney
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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 10:26

Definitely Polari (although of course Polari borrowed many words from cockney rhyming slang). Here's a short film with two guys speaking polari. At 4:14 the one with the cigarette says about a mutual acquaintence, "She had a run in with the Lillie Law ...", got arrested, and ended up in court before 'the beak' ie a judge/magistrate.

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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 11:07

Probably worth CM finding one of the many online Polari dictionaries.
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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 11:16

There again maybe some of the explicit details of the sexual encounters described in that short film are better left somewhat obscure.  Embarassed
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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 14:11

Or listen to Jules and Sandy (who tell how they have rewritten Shakespeare in Polari).


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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 15:47

Hi Gilgamesh of Uruk,



I have found at least one interesting Polari dictionary. Thanks a lot. That would help a heap. It's very specific for that job.
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PostSubject: Re: Lillie Law   Fri 29 Dec 2017, 16:44

Remember the Julian & Sandy sketch where one of them extolled the other's touch on the Cottage Upright (ostensibly speaking of him as a pianist)? I've often wondered if the BBC hierarchy were quite as naive as they appeared to be - in this case and also the Goons. Any ex-service person would have cottoned on to Hugh Jampton straight away, for example.
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