It’s National Cockney Day Today!

Posted on March 3rd, 2023

Image: A big thank you to Pearly Queen of Rotherhithe, Michelle Thorpe, for her great sense of fun during a fundraising day with Pearly King of Camberwell & Bermondsey, Jimmy Jukes MBE,  at Arments for the charity UKHomes4Heroes.


Cockney Rhyming Slang

Rhyming slang is a form of phrase construction in the English language used by the people from the East End of London, hence the name Cockney rhyming slang.  A true Cockney is someone born within the sound of Bow Bells (St Mary-le-bow Church in Cheapside, London).   The term Cockney is now loosely applied to many born outside this area as long as they have a Cockney accent or a Cockney heritage.


The construction involves replacing a common word with a rhyming phrase, or two or three words, and then in almost all cases, omitting the secondary rhyming word, making the meaning of the phrase elusive to listeners not in the know.


It is thought that rhyming slang was possibly developed intentionally as a game or to confuse the locals.  In the market place it could have been used to allow market traders to talk amongst themselves without their customers knowing what they were saying.


I was on the dog to me old china, telling him to get on his plates up the frog to Arment’s ‘cos they sell the best pie ‘n’ mash and and you get change out of a Lady Godiva.  Would you Adam and Eve it!


I was on the phone to my mate, telling him to get on his feet up the road to Arment’s because they sell the best pie and mash and you get change out of £5. Would you believe it!

In recent years, additional modern words have joined the cockney language.


A list of Cockney Language

Adam and Eve- Believe

Apples and pears – Stairs

Apple Peeling – Feeling

Apple Tart – Heart

Ayrton/Ayrton Senna – Tenner  (£10)

Barnet/Barnet Fair – Hair

Boat/Boat Race – Face

Borassic/Borassic Lint – Skint

Brahms/Brahms and Liszt – Drunk

Bread/Bread and Honey – Money

Britneys /Britney Spears – Beers

Bo Peep – Sleep

Brown Bread – Dead

(Have a) Butchers/Butcher’s Hook – Look

(My old) China/China Plate – Mate

Crackered/Cream Crackered – Tired/Knackered

Current Bun – Sun

Daisy Roots/Daisy’s -Boots

Dog/Dog and Bone – Phone

Frog/Frog and Toad – Road

Gregory/Gregory Peck – Neck

Hampsteads/Hampstead Heath – Teeth

On your Jack/Jack Jones – Alone

Lady Godiva/Lady – Fiver (£5)

Loaf/Loaf of Bread – Head

Lionels/Lionel Blairs – Flares

Tonys/Tony Blairs – Flares

Mincies/Mince Pies – Eyes

Mutton/Mutt and Jeff – Deaf

North and South – Mouth

Peckham/Peckham Rye – Tie

Pen and Ink – Stink

It’s all gone Pete Tong – Gone Wrong

Plates/Plates of Meat – Feet

Taters/Potatoes in the mould – Cold

Rabbit/Rabbit and Pork – Talk

Rosie/Rosie Lee – Tea

Syrup/Syrup of Figs – Wig

Tea Leaf – Thief

Titfer/Tit for tat – Hat

On your Tod/Tod Sloan – Alone

Trouble and Strife – Wife

Weasel/Weasel and Stoat – coat

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