Shelta to English Lexicon

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English to Shelta

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The asterisked entries in the Shelta column are in place of contemporary Irish Traveller Cant words that have been erased in this public listing, in deference to the Irish Travellers' desire for privacy. Since this list is primarily for their use to expand the Cant if they wish, and since they already know and use those omitted words, I feel that this is the best compromise presently possible between the conflicting goals of secrecy, preservation and/or restoration. The complete version is only available to selected Irish Travellers for personal use.

The old Shelta words were derived largely from the 1937 edition of R.A. Stewart Macalister's "The Secret Languages Of Ireland." There's a pronunciation guide at the bottom of the list. Since these pronunciations were natural to Gaelic speakers, but not to those whose first language is English, I do not expect these phonetics to survive actual usage intact for very long. But, hopefully, they will provide a starting point.

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Pronunciation Guide




ayn 1 Shelta only, * Cx and Shelta
odd 2 Leland's O.McD. used do (the Irish)
sheeka 3  
shaaka 4 Cx similar to sharker
shooka 5 coogh or kyud, Cx * = $5.00
shay 6  
sheltoo 7  
okht 8 similar to German, "acht"
ayen 9 also nee
chal gyetcha 10 * Cx
gyetcha 20  
odd gyetcha 40  
shooka gyetcha 100 * Cx keid = $100.00
* 1000 CX
a and  
a in  
a ? question prefix, as in A tcherpu hoo, "Will you cook?"
a of  
a-sathu drowned  
abistha parish  
aburth at all  
aga possession  
agetool afraid  
agraysh back, backward torin agreesh, "coming back"
* butter CX & Shelta
airpa another also aila which is really Irish
* close CX
akh uh-oh!, oh yeah? Macalister uses "Oh!" "alas! and "indeed!"
akharam tomorrow sroidean akharam= "tomorrow morning"
akhayr last night  
akhim out, outside  
akhiver before, ever  
akhonshk today, this day's Macalister has akhonshk= "tonight?"; not quite right with olomi
ala another  
* milk  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
analth wash, clean  
ar on, after  
arark similarly, same  
* return, come back CX & Shelta See also * Cx
areerth again  
ashirth down  
asturth in, into both a position preposition and a motion preposition
aswurth on, upon  
atawp alive  
athoamier moreover, further related to thoam="great" or "large"
* town stress on first syllable. CX & Shelta See also *Cx
* town stress on first syllable. CX & Shelta See also * Cx
awarth 1 one of a number of alternate words for "1"
awasth away  
* father CX
ayeerth again  
* milk CX & Gaelic
bageil take, catch, catch(tak)ing  
been fine, great  
bilsag lips, mouth  
* little CX & Shelta
blaanoag cow  
bladunk prison  
bleiki pot  
blinkam candle  
blinkee window  
blinklum light  
Bloarna Protestant  
blyantakh shirt  
blyhunka horse  
* find, get, learn CX & Shelta
bonar good possibly from French
* rain CX
boreens side roads  
borer drill, gimlet  
braas food, sustinence  
braasi feed, dine  
* corn CX & Shelta
* brother CX & Gaelic
* brother CX (from Gaelic)
* idiot, crazy, go crazy accent on last syllable CX
brikler bowl, cup  
* shoes CX
brogees short pants  
brouen grain, corn  
* non-Traveller CX & Shelta See also * Cx
* leave, esp.suddenly CX
* give  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
bulla note, letter  
bulscur wire  
* great, fine CX & Shelta See also * Cx 
buriakht goodness Might be buryath instead?
burik table Leland's O.McD. said bord, which is Irish
bwikad hold, contain bwikads= "pincers"
byaig steal, take  
byanag hairdo  
byinniyan little, bit noun
byinniyath smallness noun
* little, small CX & Shelta See also * Cx
* woman CX,Cx and Shelta *)
* old woman CX (see karb)
chaidi cap  
* garment CX & Shelta See also * Cx 
chal half  
chaldroch knife Leland's O.McD.uses it, but it's a Romany loan word
* fire CX & Shelta
* get mad, grow irate CX
* lie CX
* thing, tax CX
* steal CX
cherpyra liar, imposter, con-man  
* fat, obese CX
* stick CX & Shelta
* sicken CX
* clothes, suit CX
* lie, inform on CX & Shelta verb and noun, (lyesk chirps = "tell fortunes")
* big lie, whopper CX
* license plates CX
* non-Traveller CX adj. (used with Cant words for woman, man, people, etc.)
Daalyon God  
* crazy, whacky CX loaned from Scot.Cant? derived from Romany doddi doddi ?
daynoch lose  
* door CX
djanadair hammerer Carpenter? or just somebody using a hammer?
djarp true, real, excellent really Irish more than Shelta or Cant
* leave, go from CX
* self CX and Shelta
djerri bread Leland's O.McD pronounces it this way
djigger door  
djima stick, rod, dowel Leland's O.McD pronounces it chimma
djima thira match  
djokh this ? guess based on Leland's O.McD usage
djonawdu go  
djooka beggar, tramp definitely not a Traveller
djookh clothes  
djorker tin  
* hear, listen CX
djumik swear to take an oath
Djumnik Sunday  
do your  
dodjeel's your (shift apostrophe for plural)
dolimi dark of night  
Dolsk Protestant  
* tell fortunes CX Romany loan word?
dorahoag twilight, evening  
dreeper bottle  
* lace CX
* lock CX verb and noun
* you CX & Shelta See also * Cx
dunik cow  
* bread  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
elum town  
* do CX
* butter CX & Shelta
* lazy CX
* meat fay-ya blanog= "beef" CX & Shelta
faychairp pan  
* face CX
* tooth CX
feechir sweep noun
* man CX & Shelta See also * Cx
* people CX Cx May be pronounced *
* meat CX
* date CX
foargaree tobacco  
foaros fair (on fairground) not really Shelta, borrowed from Romany
* old man CX
* laugh CX
* soft, gullible, easy CX
* lame, crippled CX
* father CX
* alcohol, drink, beer  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
gafa lame  
galapa fern  
* prostitute CX
* bad CX and Shelta
* bad luck CX
* extortion CX
* badness, evil CX and Shelta
* counterfeit money CX,Cx see * *
* bad CX,Cx and Shelta (prob. stand-alone vers. of *, i.e. "It is bad.")
garo bull  
gasal donkey  
* afraid, frightened CX
gaverog goat  
* child CX
gawp kiss noun and verb
* curse CX noun and verb
gawtcha color  
gawth young  
gawthena young person  
gawthrin child  
* ask CX
* beggar close to CX using Cant pronunciation instead of initial g'
* gasoline CX
gesthi judge noun
getcha forgive  
getchal forgiveness  
geth hot  
geth leave off, stop, wait  
getool fear, tremble, shake  
* socialize, dance, play cards CX , also (s) stands for the cards themselves
giligopa teapot  
gita fear  
* swindle  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
glask grass  
glodakh dirt, dirty  
* man  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
* money, wealth CX
glootug wool  
gloral listening  
gloree hear, listen to  
glowroag ear  
glyawg nit  
glyeeth mountain  
* kiss CX
* pocket CX & Shelta
goapan umbrella  
goathi give  
goikhera infant, baby  
goikhil all, every more Irish than Shelta
gokhi put, place, leave verb
gokhyi leave, put, place Leland's O.McD. pronounces it goyhe
goo-op cold using O.McD.'s pronunciation
gooth black adjective
goothena smith, blacksmith Leland's O.McD. says "policeman"
gop poor  
gopa (2) furnace, smithy Leland's O.McD. provides this meaning
gopa (1) pot  
gored money  
* laugh CX
gori put, give  
goro bull  
goshta plenty, many  
* ritz, airs, as in "put on airs" CX
goveli cow  
Graadni Saturday  
graafsha cursed, haunted  
graag street, city  
graaltcha welcome  
* candy CX
graansha stranger noun
graanye ring noun
graarch field, acreage  
graarnog flea  
* fodder CX
gradum soul, life, spirit  
gragh street  
grakht quench, put out  
grakhton week  
grakhu hurry  
grakhul towards  
grala shoulder  
gramail like, as  
* tent, shelter? CX
* camping place, ground CX
* camp CX verb
granail knowledge  
* know CX
* want CX (1)&(2) obviously this has changed since 1878 or so
* fraud CX
granko turkey the animal, not the insult
granlesk green  
granlum (1) brass  
granlum (2) neighbor  
granlum (3) sauce, condiment  
granta aunt  
granya nail verb
granyen pregnant it's possible O.McD. was playing a joke on Leland
graro foal  
grasal ass, donkey  
Grasano Scot, Englishman  
grashano mason  
graskal open verb
gratch place noun
* watch, (look) verb CX & Shelta
* afraid, nervous, watchful CX
grath smoke  
gratha (1) hat  
gratha (2) choke see grath
graura summer  
graw (1) love  
graw (2) luck  
grawbaltha able  
grawd sod unfortunate person, not grass
grawder solder  
grawkin boy, naif overtones of naivety, even stupidity
grawser saucer  
grawsi please verb
grawsta satisfied  
grawth gold, golden  
gray (2) rise, arise, raise all three verbs
gray (1) tea  
graydan face noun
* make, do CX & Shelta
graydj hair  
grayed bridge  
grayer hay  
graykhol tooth  
graypul chapel  
graysh back, returned from  
graysol beard  
graysub pan  
graytcheen bird, chicken  
gree-ed silk  
greeltchoor miller  
greenlesk flax  
greentchoor dinner  
greentha, -us fair, market  
greenthala friends  
greerse hair  
greesh heart  
greesk straw  
greeson news  
greetch sick, ill  
greetchi dinner ?? I have the feeling McD. was a wise guy.
greetchyath sickness, illness  
greetho wind, breeze  
greewa sweep verb
greewog fairy, pixie  
greisk thread  
grentcha quick  
gresco voice noun
grespan show, exhibit  
* dress CX
grifi female animal, mare  
* coat CX & Shelta
grimleoar chimney  
grimsher time, month, season ext'd but indef. period; could mean year or weather
grinyoag window  
grinysheg foolish female  
gripa supper  
gris (1) fortune, charm gris b.="fortune-telling woman"
gris (2) soul  
griso tell fortunes verb
grisoag beard  
grisool watch noun
gritchair dinner  
* onion  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
grokhta snow grokhta-nap = "snow-white"
grolan noise  
grolsa lazy  
grolsinyath laziness  
groodj (3) tea  
groodj (2) feather  
* hair CX
* sugar CX & Shelta See also * Cx
groola apple  
groona gown, dress  
grooskal awaken  
grooskill punch noun and verb
groosku while  
grooth new  
groothi shut  
* shop  
* fur (fake) CX
* know, understand CX
growda soda  
growkin lad, boy, naif  
growmug egg  
growpa soap  
* work, job noun and verb, CX and Shelta
* store CX
grugyim curds, cottage cheese  
grukh (2) shoot verb
grukh (1) frost, ice  
grunim oat-meal  
grunkel uncle  
grunsa barrel hoop  
grup wisp, trace  
grupawn cup  
gruska tinsmith's box perhaps "budget" (see lampoag)
gruskal open verb and adjective
* hat CX
gruvog market fair  
* mouth CX
* work CX
* boot, shoe CX & Shelta
guris watch noun
* sit down CX & Shelta
gushook kettle  
gushu saddle  
gushul bowl porringer
gut wire  
* black man CX
gweesh hay, straw  
gwilyi lie down  
gyal yellow  
gyay with using long "e" alternative
gyetchum gate  
gyilikhon book, bible fairly soft g, almost "j"
gyoar penis ignoring palatalized r
gyofag sow, female pig  
gyofan horse  
gyoochra beggar  
* man CX and Shelta ("old man")
* monkey, bent old man close to CX
haalor cap  
haavari home  
hal across  
* fake fur CX
* non-Travellers CX
* tough guy, stubborn man CX
hawrum morning  
* run away CX
helm town  
hoo you singular only?
* policeman CX
horsk across, over  
* pay CX
* thing CX and Shelta
* there, over there, here CX and Shelta
* itself CX
* lame, crippled CX
* excrement, shit CX
kadjoag stone  
kam son  
kamag hen  
kameir mother  
* campsite CX
kamreilidj quarrel, fight  
* dog Shelta and CX,Cx *
* buy CX
kant gill, fluid wt.(4 oz.)  
kar where  
kara canoe  
* violently hurt, injure verb CX and Shelta
* injured, enraged past tense of verb and condition CX and Shelta
karb old woman, grandmother  
karbu market  
kari buy, pay verb
* sucker, fool, mark CX
karmush shirt  
karnaan dungheap, shitpile  
karnag undershorts  
karnish meat  
kasin cheese  
kawb cabbage  
* negro, black man CX Romanichal?
kawlra knife  
kawmpa camp English loan word, no doubt
* face CX
kay where see kar
* cry, lament, wail(ing) CX
* house CX
* cry, lament, wail CX
* house CX
* hundred CX
keihed chair  
keinee ears  
kena house ignoring palatalized k
* okay, alright CX
kesig mare  
khureen can  
* Romany CX
* slob, (dirty) CX and Gammon, noun when plain, adjective with (ty)
* dirty CX
* trousers CX & Shelta
kleetug sheep  
* fence CX & Shelta
kleithon wall, ditch, barrier possible tawn kleithon ladu = "Tinker's dam?"
* break, broken, smash(ed) verb and condition CX & Shelta
* mouth CX
* loudmouth CX
kloodj feather  
klootcha wool  
klush easy  
koali foot  
koari leg  
koarig vulva  
* foot CX
kogi turnip  
koi pincers see bwikads
koldni bud probably only Irish
kom clergyman  
* realize, know, understand CX
* swamp CX
* fool CX
* priest CX & Shelta
kootchi piece, bit, little (a) noun
korib warm verb
kouvi testacle  
* stop, cease, wait kradji duilsha's pee = "Shut your mouth!" CX & Shelta
* shoes CX
* chicken CX
kradjee(s) live(s), occupy(ies)  
kran farm  
kreemoom sheep  
kreepukh cat  
kreepyin stool  
krees saddle  
krimashth clergyman  
* old CX and Shelta
krishena oldster, eldest  
* doctor CX This has to be from English slang, "croaker."
* hunger CX & Shelta
kroo smith  
krouder string  
kroudug hen, layer  
krush clear out, run away Gammon
kuldrum asleep, sleep condition and intr. verb
* idiot CX
* sleep CX
* motel CX
* potato CX & Shelta
* feces, shit, solid waste CX
* horse, donkey CX & Shelta
kurlim close verb
* beautiful CX
* foot CX
kutcher cat  
* jail, prison CX
* five dollars, pound CX
* five CX
* tell CX & Shelta
* exchange, swap CX & Shelta
laabi hide verb
* sucker, mark, victim CX
* girl CX and Shelta
laakoon stool  
laakr tailor  
laask (2) stool  
laask (1) light, ignite  
laasoon great- used with gaater and nadjram, like thoam but use limited to lineage
* dirty CX
labairth exchange, swap verb
laburth curse noun and verb
* shame(d), embarass(ed) CX
ladjnyakh daughter  
ladjram soap English loan word "lather"
* dirt, earth, clay  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
lag lead, conduct, manage  
lagoon bowl with handle porringer
lagprath fish noun
lampa bag lampa muntches = "tobacco-pouch" lampa gored = "purse"
lampayid blanket  
* budget of tools, materials CX & Shelta See also * Cx
lanach highway  
laproag a fowl  
lashool nice, pretty, flower, fine  
* salt CX & Shelta See also * Cx
lasp taste noun and/or verb?
lathrum butter ?from English "slather?"
* look, peer CX
laydoag lady  
lee (2) another, different  
* bed CX and Shelta
lee (1) fresh  
lee (3) queer, different  
leespa dish, basin  
* tell, teach CX
liba blood  
ligi church  
linska name noun, see munik
* wit, sense, intelligence CX
* crazy CX
* story, excuse, sales-pitch CX and Irish
* mare CX
* car, automobile CX and Shelta (originally = "cart")
* tent, cabin CX & Shelta See also * Cx 
lod white, shiny? would tend to assign "shiny" here and "milk-white" to nap
* mud, soot, dirt (as in dirty) CX & Shelta See also * Cx 
loo-oag meal as in "oatmeal" or "ground meal"
loobeen loaf (of bread)  
look corner noun
* eye CX & Shelta See also * Cx 
loorkoag ocular, eye-related loorkoag slunya = "glasses", "spectacles"
loorp flour  
loot porridge, cereal  
losk stool How many words for "stool" did they have?
* bastard  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
lowber hit, strike, beat see mish
* marry CX and Shelta
* married CX & Shelta
* married close to CX
lub hole  
lub a koarig vagina  
* anus, asshole part CX
* tent  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
* word CX & Shelta
lud blind  
ludjra north  
ludus light  
* lousy CX
* deaf CX
lugil cry out, cry aloud weep noisily Cx * lugil = "banshee" (bean sidhe)
* ears CX
lumee tent cover, tarpaulin  
* legs CX
lurhan shoes  
* strong beer CX and Shelta
* consume heartily, eat CX and Shelta
luskaan herring sardine, too?
luskan hoop, ribbed rim (of a can)  
lutram prostitute  
lyag lose, forget, pawn  
lyagun loss  
lyart mind  
lye white  
lyeema louse  
lyeeman (1) mile  
lyeeman (2) year context tells the difference, I suppose.
lyeerk wit, sense, intelligence  
lyeerko witty  
lyesko story similar to Cx * (Gaelic loan word)
lyibis sweet  
lyim side, edge, beside noun and preposition
lyishgad skillet Cx * & getch = "hot food" perhaps?
lyitchen people used only by Leland's O.McD.
lyivin mill, factory  
lyogakh small boy  
lyoor money  
madel tail  
* knife, dagger CX
makhal church also makher
makhon cup  
maksthi cat Romany loan word
mamyrum room  
* understand CX loan word from Scottish Travellers
* talk verb , CX too close to word below in Scottish Cant
mankers handkerchief  
manthri soup, broth  
mark bone  
marro if Macalister says "if there were. . ."
masheen goose "turkey" by extension?
mashoor hammer noun
* place CX
* hand, arm, handle CX and Shelta
* mother CX
* arrested, taken CX and Shelta
* feeling, taking, handling CX and Shelta
mayri stairs  
medel black  
medjri carry  
meeder devil see ree-meeder
meederal deviltry  
* louse, (lice) CX
* shirt CX & Shelta
meersroon shawl  
meeshoag tongue  
meeshur scissors meeshur thoam = shears, snips
* myself CX
* mule CX
menthroh friend  
merhgin tinker's box see gruska
mhic shame?  
midjokh bit, small thing Macalister has mid'og = "shilling"
milesh remain, stay  
milk bit, piece  
* tinker, tinsmith CX & Shelta See also * Cx
minyurth now talosk minyurth = "today"
mish hit verb
* go CX
* come CX
mishoor dresser, chest, cupboard  
misla rain, drizzle misla-in = "raining"
misler doctor  
* go, walk, quick close to Cant (CX) verb and adjective
* vagrant, nomad CX & Shelta See also * Cx
misli-in going to an aid in defining the future tense, as in "going to move on soon."
mithni policeman  
mo my also mosa
mong fool  
mongas tongs  
* non-Travellers CX
mooreen cow  
mooskoag spoon  
moothoag sock, stocking  
morg-hen rabbit  
moshona goose "turkey" by extension?
mugathath folly, stupidity, inanity  
mugathawn fool omathon-agon reversed
mugel apple would "potato" be mugel a-ladu as in French?
mukinye dwelling, abode, living verb and noun
mul woman  
mundjari lunch from French?
muni start, encourage muni tchera = "light a fire"
munika name English "moniker"
* country Grooth Monkeri = "America" CX & Shelta
muntches tobacco  
* good, well CX,Cx * * = "tasty" * * = "pretty"
* good, well close to CX
* goodness close to CX
muskro policeman from Romany. Musker = "policeman" in English Cant
mwaynya last, behind, ago  
mweel I  
mweelsha me  
mwik west  
mwog pig  
myali sweet  
myena yesterday  
myiskon woman's breast  
myounes decent  
myour fat  
myouso dance, dancer verb and noun
na (2) in  
na (1) of, of the  
naak stitch, shred of clothing  
* mother CX & Shelta
nagat donkey  
naker tinker Gammon has naker as "ruffian"
nap (2) take off, doff  
nap (1) white  
nap (3) milk verb
naper (2) spade  
naper (1) meddle  
nasdjaish here, with  
* trailer, shelter CX soft "th," almost a "v" sound
* clean, wash CX & Shelta
nawp give  
* nervous CX
* person, fellow, (some)one CX & Shelta
* no, (do) not, nothing CX
* people CX
neep yellow  
* night CX
* penis CX
ngloo nail  
ngyaka tin, can  
niba pin niba loork = "needle" niba shlyukh = "pen"
nimpa pint  
nimpeen pin  
noabyri bog, swamp  
nokh ?, is that not...? interrog.prefix Nokh hoo? ="Is that 'not' you?" ('not' is guess)
nolsk near  
* gun CX & Shelta
* urinate CX
noos help, blessing used in noos a Daalyon = "God's grace" or "God willing"
noospoag spoon  
* place, home CX
nulsk when  
* pound, money weight or money, pound or $5.00 CX & Shelta
nup back, behind  
nutha hat  
nyaak (1) lack verb and noun
nyaak (2) rogue, rascal close to Gammon's naker
* bucket  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
nyaakish roguish, rascally  
nyaifin shame  
nyairp smell, odor verb and noun
nyakul tie, bind verb and noun
* steal CX
nyedas place, lodging, house  
nyochlur chain  
nyok wish, want  
nyokul candle  
nyukal bridle, halter  
nyugi pound money
* head, one, penny CX and Shelta
nyuklyoar match  
nyurth now  
od(h) to, too, two English back-formed, you think?? Actually Irish for all 3 = do
oid butter  
oid tcherpu(d) cheese Macalister has t'erpu (tcherpu) ="cooked." k'erp (cherp)??
olomi night  
olsk over, past, after  
* idiot CX
* damned idiot, super idiot CX (almost identical with the Irish usage?)
opagrow shop see gropa
oura town  
* ourselves CX
paani (2) hare, rabbit, bunny after all this work, I figure I'm allowed these extensions.
paani (1) water probably Romani. See skei
* sell, trade, sellers, traders CX and Gammon and Shelta
* white-skinned CX
Palanthus England, English noun and adjective
* child CX
* mouth CX
* announcer(s), msg. relay(s) CX
pek bread  
* louse CX
* innocent, naif, simpleton CX
* kiss CX (from the Gaelic)
Pokkonus magistrate, J.P. Romanichal
pornuk Protestant see Bloarna
* five dollars CX
* potato CX and Irish
prask fart, break (or pass) wind,  
raag car, 4-wheeled vehicle raag tchera = locomotive
* crazy CX
raagli garden  
raaks without  
raark way, means, manner a-raark = "similarly." that raark = "in that case" or "then."
* coat, blanket CX
rabaid cap  
rabista parish  
rablyeen sheet, bedsheet  
radam war  
* crazy CX
* out of mind CX
* counterfeit money CX
raib hay  
raiglan iron thing, hammer "iron" as in "tire iron," possibly even "pressing iron?"
raiglum iron adjective
* laugh  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
rawnyal beer dubious etymology
ree king from Irish righe
ree-meeder chief devil  
reek comb noun
reelye intoxicating see riloo
* prostitute CX & Shelta See also * Cx
* pair, pant(s), double(s) CX and Shelta
reesbath basket  
* jail, prison CX and Shelta
reesk razor  
* lowlifes, goons, punks CX
ribad hat Wow! Lot's of words for caps and hats.
ridyu pregnant  
Rilanthu Irish  
Rilanthus Ireland, Roman Catholic  
* mad, crazy, demented CX & Shelta
riltoag quilt, sheet nyedas riltoag = "camp" riltoag reglum = "sheet iron"
* mad, crazy, demented CX & Shelta
rinshkal sieve (or colander) maker It might still be useful as a metaphor.
risp christen  
rispu christening Talosk Rispu = "Christmas Day"
robikin rain  
* door  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
roikha card, playing card  
* egg CX & Shelta See also * Cx
rooski basket  
* bathroom CX
ruboag box, bag (as in suitcase?)  
rudju sweetheart, woo, court verb and noun
rudju-yath courtship probable formal courtship.
ruket bucket rhymes with the English
ruspaan purse  
* alcohol, drink alcohol CX
* drunk CX
* priest CX
* field  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
sakaanta quiet  
sakel demolish  
sakerente gentleman, respectable m.  
saltha belt noun
sathu drown  
* take, get CX verb
* taken, arrested CX
* cheap CX
* sit, sit down CX
seiher chair  
sess luck also Irish (Cess)
sgrubal tail  
sgyibowl barn  
sha emphatic suffix esp. for pronouns, like: modjeel -sha = "myself especially"
shaakr (2) four  
shaakr (1) brother  
shaark clever, sharp? "sharp" seems likely
* policeman close to CX
shako sin verb and noun
shaluwa dumb, speechless, silent "l" followed by schwa sound more than palatalized
* boy, lad CX & Shelta See also * Cx
* love, like CX
shang think, understand  
shangar snake, eel  
shant pint they must have loved their Guinness
sharag kiss noun
sharagi soldier  
* irk, madden, vex CX & Shelta
shark cut, slice verb and noun
* four, 4, quart CX & Shelta
* quarter, twenty-five cents CX
sharker cutter, axe, scissors od sharker = balance scale brouen sharker = scythe
sharog red, red-haired Macalister has = "vexed." Seems a simple extension
sharpog boy  
sharu quarter  
shay six  
* policeman CX
shaykar sister with Cant for "woman," b. shaykar = "nun"
shchiblyeen barn  
shedi (1) stand, mend, cover? verb
shedi (2) on, upon, over? preposition
shee-u sow seed  
* policeman, soldier close to CX, possibly talking about "Black & Tan"
sheeka three  
sheerk grass  
sheert down, downward, under?  
Sheldroo Shelta, old Cant Leland wrote it down wrong, apparently, but Shelta is here to stay.
* sell, peddle close to CX
Shelta Irish Traveller lang.(1875) Shelta
sheltu seven  
sherkoo daughter sherkoo na slee = "daughter-in-law"
shib call, name, nominate  
shingomei newspaper from Leland's O.McD. only
Shisher Irish  
* sit, sit down CX sounds like the Cockney slag word for "excrement?"
* drink verb close to CX
* drunk adjective close to CX
* drunkard, boozer, alcoholic noun close to CX
shkrawkh tree  
shlaaka cloak  
* alcohol, esp. beer CX
* bar-room CX
* big CX, Cx probably * *
shlee-a leather  
shloahya ashes  
shlug (2) slow, weak, slowly, failing adjective and adverb. Macalister has also verb "to fall?"
shlug (1) bell  
shlyaim leap verb
shlyaima frog Oh, come on!
* ale close to CX
shlyee-ukh read, reading glokh shlyee-ukh = "teacher"
shlyee-ukhther scholar see skolyami
shlyukh rain  
shlyukhu wet  
* dullard, idiot CX
shooka five  
* walk CX
shorik key see shrokhar and srothar. shorikin-lub = "keyhole"
shorknes cursing verb and/or noun?
shoru wake, funeral  
shrish basin, sink?  
shrish basin  
shrittel kettle  
shrokhar key  
shrug jug  
shrugu spotted, speckled, pied skaiv shrugu = "trout"
* dollar CX
shtcheema pipe see stcheema
shtcheemon neck, windpipe?  
shudjail bottle  
shukhar key see shorik, etc.
* sell, peddle CX
shum own, possess Leland's O.McD. only source again
shural running, speedy  
shuri run verb
shuri-er runner  
shushei rabbit Romani
sibleen boy related to Cx and Shelta *
sik some, part, share  
sikdoor doctor  
simi broth Romanichal
sinawl beer see rawnyal
sinta pint  
siskaar sister  
skaiv fish noun
skawfer silver  
* water, sea, sail, liquid CX & Shelta, noun Cx * myour-a = "fat liquid" = "oil"
*-tchelpi boiled water, tea Cx
* sailor CX
* whiskey CX
skeit transported  
skipsy basket Romanichal
sklawtakh tea  
skoabug ship noun
skoap open noun?? verb??
skoich button Leland's O.McD. adds the "ch"
skok water What makes this water different from skei?
skolya know  
skolyami scholar, savant "good scholar" obviously not meant as "student"
skrakho tree, bush  
skrawl decent  
skreen counterfeit verb
skrubol well (hole in ground) Cx * skrubol = "water well"
skudal herring  
skukar five  
skurik coin, farthing  
skurlum burn  
slaahog rat byinni slaahog = "mouse"
slaask lock noun
slaaska belt noun chastity belt with lock ?? (:>D)
slaasker locksmith  
slaatha plate, dish  
slang chain  
* identification, driver's lic. CX
slee law  
slesker farmer  
slim beat, thrash, whip verb
slokha rotten  
sloofa wood adjective?
Sloon Monday  
sloopen watch, timepiece  
slooya soot, lampblack, carbon  
slosk kitchen  
slug fall, drop?, fall down  
slukhul greenwood, copse, grove  
slunya glass  
smakh spit verb
* nose CX and Shelta
smawlkera wooden spoon  
smentena cream Romany
smugal anvil  
snail (2) rush snailee = "bundle of rushes"
snail (1) needle noun
* little brother, boy, fellow diminutive form too close to CX
* brother, friend, fellow, boy Shelta from Macalister too close to CX
* brother, friend, fellow, boy CX and Shelta (using Leland's O.McD.'s pronunciation)
* eye(s) CX
soolya around  
* see, look CX and Shelta
soopla few, couple, several  
soork hair  
sori burial  
sorm blue  
sorsh resin  
* tobacco CX
spurk flirt, neck, pet, have sex very elastic verb, disapproving everything
spurkera fornicator, lover  
sraakh cake  
sraapa string also saapa
sragaasta breakfast  
sragon cloth adjective
sraik done, finished over  
sramal rob, steal  
sramaler robber  
sraskeen dish  
srat gate  
sreedja wine  
sreedug kingdom, reign  
sreego king Cx * sreego = queen
sreek done, finished over  
sreelik wheel  
sreentul friend  
sreepa button  
sreesh week  
sreikha shop-clerk, bookkeeper  
srenth rave, rant, bellow  
sringan drink  
srittel kettle  
sroapa string sroapa raiglum = "chain" (says Macalaster; "wire rope?" says I)
sroidjan morning  
srothar key  
srowmaid minute  
srug jug  
srunta pint  
srurd table  
staal stop, cease  
staan tin  
stafa long, far, late stafa thoaber = "long road" thoaber stafa = "main road"
* yes, sure, okay CX and Shelta
* this is, that is, here is CX and Shelta
stall lodgings, motel room  
stamera spit verb
stchaimon rat  
stcheema(r) pipe, bagpipe, smoking p.  
stcheemera piper  
stcheemon neck, windpipe  
stedi stand verb
* store CX
* stay CX
sthafara prayer, blessing  
sthafaris blessings, prayers  
* letter, paper close to CX
* paper money close to CX
stiff paper, writing paper Gammon
stokha soft  
streepukh harlot see reepukh
streihmed year  
stretch year Gammon
strides trousers Romanichal?
strumble straw  
sturth in, into, inner see asturth
suba babble  
subakh boar  
suboal bottle, flask  
sudj mix verb
sudjata company  
sugadj educated, professional? glokh sugadj = "doctor"
sugoo (2) sly, fun, witty  
sugoo (1) war, battle verb and/or noun?
sugoon bacon  
* doctor CX
sulyan baby  
sumadj minute, moment  
sumoal robber, rob verb and noun
sup few  
surdu trade verb and/or noun?
surgon bargain  
surgu (1) thorn  
surgu (3) market  
surgu (2) sea  
surk hang  
surkha tired  
surthul plow  
sushgad small pot  
* scam, con game CX
swudal gentle, refined, noble Daalyon Swuda = "Almighty God"
swurk sing  
swurkera singer  
swurkin song, melody  
swurth on, upon, up, above  
* ugly CX
talosk day talosk airpa = "another day," stafa talosk = "long day" = "spring"
taryin rope  
tashi read from Leland's O.McD. Macalister says doubtful.
* bad, worthless, temptation? CX
* nice, very nice CX
tawn (1) full  
tawn tiny, small  
tawn (2) day I think not "daylight day," but calendar "day"
tchairp cook, boil  
tchairpin digit (finger or toe)  
tchait thing similar to Cx *
tchelp boil verb
tcherpa cook  
tchini flame?, fire  
tcholi follow verb
tchookh clothes, garments, raiment  
* thing CX, obviously Cx "the" *
thaadjir strong, hard  
thaadjirath strength  
* talk, speech, language noun close to CX
* talk, speak verb close to CX
* speaker noun close to CX
* talking, speech, speaking noun close to CX
* theirselves, themselves CX
* belly, abdomen CX and Shelta
* name CX noun
tharpoan porridge  
* die, dead, death verb, noun, adjective. Close to CX. Oldest Shelta word known.
* die, dead, death CX
* day, morning CX
thawpa alive, living  
* people CX (may be pronounced feenee)
thera fire, fuel? noun
* fight, brawl CX
* feisty, violent CX
thirpa rag  
* road CX & Shelta
* arrested CX
* big, great, many CX & Shelta
thoam-gaater grandfather  
thoamaan much, great, a lot  
thomiath bigness, great size  
thoo you, thou  
* ass, backside, behind CX and Shelta
thoork up  
* loud, boisterous CX
thopa brave, fine, macho?  
threep sip, drop, bit (to drink) noun
threepus fight verb and noun
thribli clan, extended family  
* worth, value, cost, price  CX & Shelta
tirpoag rag  
* come  CX & Shelta See also * Cx
toarog tramp  
toork time  
* aware, on to, connected CX
* cloth in bolts CX
* shawl? close to CX
turan loaf of bread  
* Romany CX
ugum to (at) my side  
ukh need, requirement  
umpi away?, linger?, loiter?  
vonger money Romanichal for "coals?"
waddler duck too easy!
warth one see awarth
wedj money  
* little CX and Irish?
* tea CX
wobbler goat  
* campground CX
yaidug lady, gentlewoman  
yeerth again  
yergan tin  
yoarum milk see alamakh
yoor clock Yiddish or Romany root probably
* yourself CX
* penis CX, see gyoar and Cx *

Phonetic Shelta Pronunciation Guide


a, pan aa, far aw, paw
ai, pain ay, pay  
b, bank by, be-autiful  
c, candy ch, chat  
d, dog dj, judge  
e, pen ee, peen ei, nein (Ger.)
f, fair    
g, gate gy, "man" in Cant  
h, hang    
i, pin    
k, king kh, ach (Ger.)  
l, long ly, lieu  
m, man my, like 'ny'  
n, noon ny, nyet (Rus.)  
o, odd oa, goal oi, hoist
oo, mood ou, mouse ow, owe
p, pie    
r, rag rh, rhythm  
s, sorry sh, shoot  
t, tank tch, itch th, path, thank
u, pun    
v, very    
w, weed    
y, yet    
z, zebra (soft "z") zh, Jean (in French)  


English to Shelta

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