Lemon squeezy rhyming slang
Hello Ha, and everyone reading!
Ha, I’m glad you had a great birthday. Catching up with friends is a great way to spend your special day. We don’t really go in for karaoke much in the UK. I think we’re all a bit too self-conscious to stand up in front of people and sing. Usually, on our birthday we would go out for dinner or maybe go down the pub for a few drinks and a chinwag.
It’s Saturday today, which means we should do something fun. Today I’m going to tell you about Cockney Rhyming Slang.
As you may know, a ‘Cockney’ is someone who was born in the Eastern part of London. Specifically, a Cockney should be born within hearing-distance of the bells of the church of St Mary-le-Bow, in Cheapside.
As you may also know, ‘slang’ is informal language. You’ll hear slang a lot when people speak, or when people write informally.
So, Cockney Rhyming Slang is a special kind of informal language first used by people in the East End of London. This slang has spread, and now there are certain phrases that everyone in the UK understands and uses.
How does Cockney Rhyming Slang work? Well, take a word such as ‘feet’. The Cockneys then came up with a phrase where the second word rhymes with ‘feet’. For example:
original word: feet
phrase with second word rhyming: plates of meat
So, if you say ‘my plates of meat are killing me’, it means your feet hurt.
Also, in some very well-known slang phrases, the second word is omitted altogether, e.g.
Original word: look
Phrase with second word rhyming: butcher’s hook
Omit the second word from the phrase: butcher’s
So, the phrase ‘Come and have a butcher’s at this’ means ‘Come and have a look at this’.
Some other common examples of Cockney Rhyming Slang are:
apples and pears = stairs
trouble and strife = wife
china plate = mate
dog and bone = phone
New Cockney Rhyming Slang terms are being coined all the time. One of the newest is:
Pete Tong = wrong
(Pete Tong is the name of a famous DJ in the UK).
You’ll often hear younger Brits moaning that everything has ‘gone Pete Tong’.
So, shall we see whether you can work out what this little story means? I’ve been nasty and included a couple of slang terms that I haven’t explained to you. Can you rewrite this in standard English?
I rushed down the apples and pears. The dog and bone was ringing.
‘Hello?’ I asked.
‘Where are you, you idiot?’
It was the trouble and strife.
‘You were supposed to be at the church an hour ago!’
I’d forgotten about the wedding! Oops!
‘I don’t Adam and Eve it! For God’s sake, can’t you use your loaf for once? Put your whistle and flute on and get here straight away!’
My mince pies are sore from looking at the computer screen, so I’m finishing now.
Enjoy your weekends!
to catch up – to find out about someone’s news and what has been happening to them
to go in for – to be keen on something or interested in something
chinwag – a talk/a chat
come up with – invent
Answers to your comments
Naheed – I think you probably understand my personality very well. If you don’t expect too much, you’re usually pleasantly surprised when good things happen. I’m sure you’ll get the career (and man!) of your dreams. When is your exam?
Maria – a cake made with beer! That sounds like a great idea for a party!
Ana Paula – you can sometimes miss pronouns out, as long as it is the same pronoun that is being repeated, e.g.
I have finished work and (I) am going shopping.
But you couldn’t say:
I am going shopping and is coming with me.
(who is ‘coming with me’? We need to specify ‘he’ or ‘she’)
Stevieboy – you can say ‘historic’ or ‘historical’ – both are adjectives. ‘historic’ is more usual.
Sherzod – Salom! Yes, we do have a strange way of naming floors in Britain. The ‘ground floor’ is the floor at ground level, e.g. you would walk off the street straight into the ground floor of a shop. If you then went up one flight of stairs, you’d be on the first floor. Other countries like Canada though don’t bother with a ‘ground floor’. They start with a first floor.
Jai – the most important thing is to be happy now, right? If you want to say anything about the time before you were married, you can use the phrase ‘pre-marital’, i.e. ‘my parents don’t believe in pre-marital love’.
Thanks for all your contributions. This blog has now closed and can no longer accept new comments.