Guys Hey, Freya Here!
Today, I thought it would be fun to talk to you guys about Cockney Rhyming Slang.
In England, a lot of crazy words and phrases are used to describe completely unrelated situations … all because they rhyme! I wonder if you have heard of any before?
Firstly, I thought it would be helpful to discuss the history of Cockney Rhyming Slang.
The term ‘cockney’ is typically used to describe the people native to east london, especially noted because of their particular accent. The Rhyming Slang was first used in the 1840s -. A quick bit of research shows that it most likely used by street sellers, petty criminals and beggars to disguise what it was they were talking about due to the rise in television and radio in the 20th century, Cockney Rhyming Slang expanded to regions outside of london, gaining a widget usage.
How to use Cockney Rhyming Slang
The idea of Cockney Rhyming Slang is that you use an expression which rhymes with a word you want to use but you use the expression instead of the word It makes the expressions quicker and easier to use in a sentence.
Probably best to show you some examples!
Apples and Pears – Stairs
‘Apples and Pears’ is probably one of the most widely known cockney slang but also probably the least used because it is now a cliche.
Here, ‘pears’ rhymes with ‘stairs’.
You could use it simply by saying ‘ go up the apples and pears!‘
meaning ‘go up the stairs!’
As you can see, you don’t say the word you intend – stairs – but use the expression to show your intending meaning.
Bubble bath – Laugh
‘Bubble bath‘ is an example where you don’t have to use the whole expression.
The common way to use this phrase is
‘Are you having a bubble (bath)?’
which means ‘Are you having a laugh?’
As you can see, the expression is still used to replace the intended word, but also, the rhymed word ‘bath’ could be dropped!
Butcher’s hook -Look
‘I’m just having a butchers‘.
Again, as with the previous, this one has been shortened when used in a sentence.
‘Hook‘ and ‘look‘ are the words that rhyme but that word isn’t in the expression. It simply means you are having a look at something.
Porky-pie – Lie
‘You’re telling a porky-pie!’ or ‘That is such a porky!’
‘Pie‘ is the word that rhymes here with the intended word ‘lie‘.
It simply means that what you said is definitely not true. Again though, you can drop the rhyme ‘pie‘ so just say ‘porky‘.
These are just some of many, many Cockney Rhyming Slang!
I hope you enjoyed reading about them. See if you can sneak some into a conversation and see the response you get!
They are rhyming expressions that derive from East London which can be incorporated into everyday language.
They have rhymed with the intended word you want to use but you only use the rhyme!
I live and work in the UK and have a degree in English Language and Literature. When I am not on Fruitful, I work as a teaching assistant at a school. I am passionate about the environment and love to travel and read.