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#3336 - 06/05/00 03:03 AM Cockney Rhyming Slang
David108 Offline

Registered: 05/09/00
Posts: 112
Loc: Auckland, New Zealand
A post by Meta4 (good moniker, Meta) under Q&A, regarding Rhyming slang, reminded me that I was exposed to the fun of this dialect from an early age.

I remember "plates", "butcher's" and many others. For our friends in the Colonies, it might be appropriate to explain that the slang uses phrases that rhyme with the word, and then shortens the phrase - thus "plates" would mean "feet" - (plates of meat), and to "have a butcher's" would mean to inspect - (look = butcher's hook).

A man's spouse would be the "trouble" (and strife), and he would go to the pub with his "China" (plate).

Anybody in earshot of Bow Bells or anywhere else on the Isles care to add some more? - the list could be endless...

#3337 - 06/05/00 02:42 PM Re: Cockney Rhyming Slang
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky

Do I understand correctly that this began as code phrases in prisons?
A fashion (??) that is very popular in the U.S now began in
prisons: boys/men wearing shorts/jeans several sizes too large, so that they are in real danger of falling. My law
enforcement husband says this was a way that inmates would
signify that they were accepting of "sexual favors". Ick.

#3338 - 06/05/00 05:41 PM Re: Cockney Rhyming Slang
jmh Offline

Registered: 03/22/00
Posts: 1981
I wish I were an expert on Cockney rhyming slang but I’m not. My mother-in-law lived in the East End of London for much of her life and my husband is a genuine Cockney, having been born within the sound of Bow Bells. My daughter is pretty close to being a Cockney but she was born opposite Big Ben which is a couple of miles too far to the West (and is currently nurturing a Scottish accent, so might not yet be ready to admit her roots in the heartland of the auld enemy).

Films like the (cringingly awful in my opinion) “Carry On” films were full of Cockney rhyming slang – Sid James was particularly expert. Its come back into fashion as part of the “new lad” culture.

Here’s a few that I would recognise:
Apples (Apples and pears) – Stairs
Brahms (Brahms and Liszt) – Tired and emotional
Cream Crackered – rather tired
Dog & Bone – Phone
Loaf (Loaf of bread), “use your loaf” – head
[“use your loaf”= “think about it”]
Mutt and Jeff – Deaf
Natter – Chatter
Nifty - Fifty
North and South – Mouth
Old Joanna – Pian(a) (piano)
Pig’s Ear – Beer
Plates (Plates of Meat) – Feet
Pony (I don’t know why) – Twenty Five
Porkies (Pork Pies) – Lies
Tea Leaf – Thief
Tick Tock – Clock
Titfer (Tit for Tat) – Hat
Trouble and Strife – Wife

They are still being invented, they have always used names from people in the public eye and today is no different.

Here’s a site with a pretty comprehensive listing (including many I’d never heard)

Look up the following(if you dare):
Sherman Tank
Bob Hope
Brad Pitt
British Rail
Dudley Moore’s
Eartha Kitt
Nat King Cole
Ricki Lake
Tony Blair

#3339 - 06/08/00 07:55 PM Re: Cockney Rhyming Slang
Jackie Offline

Carpal Tunnel

Registered: 03/15/00
Posts: 11613
Loc: Louisville, Kentucky
I did look 'em up, Jo! Wild, esp. the "itts"!
I adore British rail!
With love from the Sherman tank. (does that shorten to
Sherman, or maybe just sherm?)


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