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Cockney Rhyming Slang

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Cockney Rhyming Slang

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Cockney Rhyming Slang

You’d better Adam and Eve (believe) it, it’s Anchor spreadable (incredible)! Ain’t that the babe Ruth (truth)?

Cockney rhyming slang has its origins in London’s East End. It’s said to have originated 200 years ago among the builders of the East London Docks and spread to the capital’s criminal underworld where it was used to hide conversations from the police, before spreading more generally.

Today, many of its expressions – like ‘I haven’t heard a dickie-bird’ (word) and ‘bread’ from the Cockney ‘bread and honey’ for money – are widely used across England. It’s also influenced language in America and Australia and the Aussies have their very own brand of rhyming slang.

Did you know the traditional nursery rhyme Pop goes the Weasel is based on cockney rhyming slang? Pop is slang for pawn and weasel comes from weasel and stoat, the rhyming slang for coat!


Your comments

Let's face it, we all use it. From 'Apples and Pears' to 'Plates of Meat', cockney rhyming slang is a national institution.

Jo O'Dell

A whole new language in itself
Russell Hougham

In spite of Williams Hughes Wiltshire's comment, Cockney Rhyming Slang is actually used by many people - although the majority are not aware that the slang expression they are using are CRS, so common have they become. "Look at that berk over there - sitting all on his tod" is a sentence that contains 2 items of CRS - though some might not realise it.
Richard English

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I nominate the English weather.