Cockney Rhyming Slang; What Does It All Mean? A - Z

Have you got a Scooby Do? Scooby Do, clue.

Cockney Rhyming Slang Dictionary
Cockney Rhyming Slang Dictionary

St Mary & Holy Trinity, Bow road, London.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary-le-Bow
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/St_Mary-le-Bow

Cockney Rhyming Slang is a traditional and fun extension to the English language which originated in the East End of London, South of England and is still being used today by many of the young and older East end residents.

These residents are are known as Cockneys. Other parts of London and the UK have also adopted this language. I grew up in South London and was very knowledgeable of it although it was mainly used by criminals who wanted to talk without being understood as-well as non criminals for the same reasons. It soon caught on throughout London and most of the world.

This slang has become so popular and commercial that many other styles of slang have been invented that are still used to conceal conversations.

The The original term of a true Cockney referred to the working class Londoner, particularly those living in the East End. A "true" Cockney is someone who is born within 'earshot' of the Bow Bells, the bells of St Mary le Bow church in Cheapside in London City, England.

It can be very hard to understand what cockney people are saying especially when you're watching a British gangster film, soap or series. With this handy guide, you'll soon have a Scooby Doo what's being said.

How does it work? It works by choosing a two or three word phrase that rhymes with a word you want to hide, then just substitute the word to be hidden with the first word in the phrase. An early and example is the well known phrase "apples and pears" which is used for stairs, so instead of saying, "She's up stairs", you'd say, She's up the apples". Have a "Butchers" below and see if you or a friend can guess which sentences means what.

Video: Cockney's chatting in cockney rhyming slang

Original Cockney Rhyming Slang Colloquialisms, Translations & Dictionary.

A

  • Adam and Eve = Believe. I don't Adam and Eve it.
  • Alan Wickers = Knickers. Don't get your Alan wickers in a twist.?
  • Apples and Pears = Stairs. She's up the Apple and Pears.
  • Army and Navy = Gravy. Do you want some Army & Navy.
  • Aristotle = Bottle. You've lost your Aristotle mate.! Bottle means Nerves, to Chickened out.
  • Artful Dodger = Lodger. Don't let the artful dodger know about that.
  • Ascot Races = Braces. She's very pretty, even though she she wears Ascot races.? Braces for to straighten teeth.
  • Aunt Joanna = Piano. She plays a nice tune on the Joanna.
  • Ayrton Senner = Tenner. I'll give you an Ayrton Senner. A tenner is 10 pounds.

Cockney slang for money

Shrapnel. Is small change - either 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 25p 50p or a pound coin.

50p. An edge.

1 pound coin. A nicker. A nuggot.

5 pounds note. Bluey. Lady Gadiva. Jacks.

10 pound note. Brownie. Speckled Hen. Cockle and Hen. Nigel Ben.

25 pounds. A Pony.

30 pounds. Dirty Birty.

50 pound note. Red. Hawaii five 0. A Bullseye. Nifty.

100 pounds. A Ton. A one-er. A longen.

500 pounds. A Monkey.

1000 pounds. A Grand. 1K.

B

  • Bakers Dozen = Cousin. I'm going to see my bakers dozen.
  • Bangers and Mash = Cash. I'm out of Bangers and Mash.
  • Barnet Fair = Hair. Check out his Barney.
  • Barney Owl = Row. We had a right Barney last night.
  • Barney Rubble = Trouble. I'm in a right Barney Rubble.
  • Battle Cruiser = Boozer (pub). Meet me in the battle cruiser.
  • Bees and Honey. Money. I ain't got no Bees and Honey today.
  • Boat Race = Face. Nice legs, shame about her boat.
  • Bob Hope = Dope =is Marijuna. I'm trying to get hold of some Bob Hope.
  • Bob Marley = Charley (Cocaine). The Bob Marley's really good.
  • Brown Bread = Dead. Hes Brown Bread when I get my hands on him.
  • Brahms and Liszt = Pissed. I'm totally Brahms. Pissed means drunk as well as angry.
  • Brass Tacks = Facts. Those are the Brass tacts.
  • Bread and Honey = Money...He owes me a lot of bread.
  • Bristol City = Titt# (Bre@sts). Check out the Bristol's on her.
  • Bricks and Mortar = Daughter. Shes my Bricks n Mortar.
  • Bubble and Squeak = Greek. Hes a Bubble.
  • Bubble Bath = Laugh. Your having a right bubble.
  • Butchers Hook = Look. Lets have a butchers.

Video: Cockney chat from the classic London gangster film "Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels"

Modern slang phrases

  • What's the Apple = Apple Core - Score means 'whats going on'? or ''whats going down,'?, what's the score', 'whats the decision', etc.
  • There are 3 ways of saying Laugh. 1. You're having a Giraffe. 2, You're having a Turkish, Turkish Bath and 3, You're having a Bubble, bubble bath.
  • When pronouncing the phrase "Having a laugh" Cockney's will just say it like this, "avin a larf" and the same for other phrases like "Have you seen her Alan wickers", you would pronounce it as, "av you seen er Alan Wickers". Note; If you pronounce these phrases as they appear, you'll only sound posh and not like a true cockney at all.

C - D - E

  • Chalk Farm = Arm. Ill break your chalk farm if you don't stop messing around.
  • Chevy Chase = Face. She's got a beautiful chevy.
  • Chicken Oriental = Mental. That geezer (bloke=man/woman) is radio rental. OR something that's crazy.
  • China plate = Mate. Hello me old China.
  • Cream Crackered = Knackered. I'm totally cream crackered. Crackered means very tired and exhausted.
  • Current Bun = Sun. I'm gonna chill out in the Current Bun.
  • Daisy Roots = Boots. Shes got some nice Daisies on.
  • Dicky Bird = Word. I want a little Dicky with you.
  • Dicky Dirt = Shirt. Nice Dicky.
  • Didgeridoo = Clue. I ain't got a didgeridoo what he's saying..
  • Dog and Bone = Phone. One minute, I'm on the Dog n Bone.
  • Duck and Dive = Skive. He's always trying to Duck n dive. Skive means to get out of doing things/chores/work.
  • Duke of Kent = Rent. Hes behind on his Duke n Rent.

Video: Oranges & Lemons Nursery Rhyme - About London's Famous Church Bells

Celebrity Names: Old & New

Billy Piper's = Windscreen wipers. Britney Spears = Beers. Catherine Zeta Jones = Moans. Captain Kirk = Work. Clair Rayner's =Trainers. Dame Edna Everage = Beverage. Damen Duff = Rough. Danny Dyers = Pliers. Dolly Parton = Carton. Ewan McGregor = Begger. Fatboy Slim = Gym. Gary Glitter = Shi##er. George Michael = Menstrual Cycle. Hank Marving = Starving. Lee Marvin = Starving. Mylene Class = @ss. Ricky Gervais = Face. Ron Weasley = Easily. Simon Cowell = Towel. Tom Hanks = Thanks. Veera Lynn = Gin.

F - G - H - I - J

  • Frog and Toad = Road. I'm just going down the Frog and Toad.
  • Ginger Beer = Que#er. He's a right Ginger. Que#r is a h@mos*xual.
  • Gregory Peck = Neck. Quick, get that drink down your Gregory.
  • Hamstead Heath = Teeth. She's got a nice set of Hamstead Heath.
  • Hampton Wick = Pric#. What a Hampton Wick. pric# means peni#.
  • Harry Monk = Skunk. (Cannabis). Where can I get some Harry Monk?
  • Harry Monk = #punk. (Sp*rm) you've got Harry Monk all in your hair!
  • Huckleberry finn = Pin. I've lost my huckleberry finn. Pin is your credit card pin number.
  • Jack and Danny = F#nny. We have dated for 3 months and Ive not seen her Jack and Danny.
  • Jack Jones = Own. I'm on my Jack Jones. I'm alone.
  • James Blunt = Cun#. What a James Blunt.
  • Jimmy Flint = Skint. I'm Jimmy Flint. Skint means to have no money.
  • Jimmy Riddle = Piddle (wee/pee) I'm going for a Jimmy. (Wee/pee means to urinate).
  • Joe Daki = Paki. A derogatory term to describe Asians. P@ki = Pakistani.

Talk like a real Cockney

Common cockney sayings

Cushtie means to feel very good/ok. I'm feeling cushtie.

I'm Hammered means being being very drunk/wasted.

Knuckle Sandwich is a closed fist and what you'd give to someone via a punch to the face!.

Lovely Jubiliee is an expression of something you like or approve of.

Off your/my Trolley means 'you must be crazy' or, you're very drunk/wasted.

On your Bike means 'Get the hell out of here'. Go fuc# yourself.

Plank means someone whose is an idiot. He's a right plank.

K - L - M - N - O

  • Kane and Able = Table. Let's sit at that Kane and Able.
  • Kettle and Hob = Fob. This is not exactly rhyming slang. A fob pocket was used to carry the watch around back in the day.
  • Kyber Pass = @ss. Ill give you a good kick up the Kyber if you carry on annoying me..
  • Lady Gadiva = Fiver. A five pound note. He owes me a Lady Gadiva.
  • Lemon and Lime = Time. What's the Lemon.
  • Lemon Squeezer = Geezer. Geezer is slang for a guy/bloke.
  • Loaf of Bread = Head. Use your loaf.
  • Lionel Blair's = Flairs. Look at the size of the Lionel's on him.! Huge bell ends at the bottom of trousers and jeans.
  • Merchant Banker = W@nker. Hes a right merchant Banker.! W@nker means to J*rk off.
  • Mickey Mouse = House. Meet me at my Mickey Mouse.
  • Mince Pies = Eyes. (mince & Mincers) Get your mincers off my bird. Bird means girlfriend.
  • Moby Dick = Sick. Hes feeling well Moby Dick today. Sick = unwell. Although the new meaning of Sick is something that is amazing, awesome etc.
  • Mork and Mindy = Windy. Its well Mork n Mindy today.
  • Mutt n Jeff = Deaf. Are you Mutton.
  • Nigel Ben = Ten Pounds. He owes me out a Nigel.
  • North and South = Mouth. Hes gotta big North n south.
  • Oily Rag = Fag. Have you got any oily's on you? Fag is a Cigarette. Fag also means someone who is gay.
  • One's and Two's = Shoes. I like your one's and two's.

Cockney sing-a-long

P - Q - R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z

  • Peckham Rye = Tie. I like your new Peckham & Rye.
  • Pen and Ink = Stink. You pen and ink mate.! Stink means too have a bad smell/aroma.
  • Pie and Mash = Cash. Have you got any Pie and Mash on you.
  • Pigs Ear = Beer. I'm dying for a Pigs Ear.
  • Plates of Meat = Feet.. Look how big her plates of meat are.
  • Pony and Trap = Crap. Your talking a lot of Pony mate.! Crap means shi# / Poo.
  • Pork Pies = Lies. Stop telling porkies, stop telling porkie pies!
  • Rabbit and Pork = talk = He don't half Rabbit on means he talks to much.
  • Radio Rental = Mental. That geezer (bloke/man) is Radio Rental.
  • Raspberry Ripple = Nipple. Did you see her Raspberry Ripples?
  • Richard the 3rd = Turd. He smells like Richard the 3rd.! Turd means Shit.
  • Roger Moore = Door. Who left the Roger open.
  • Rosy Lee = Tea. Would you like a Rosy Lee.? Tea is a hot drink/beverage.
  • Rub And Dub = Pub. I'll meet you at the rub a dub.
  • Ruby Murry = Curry. Fancy a Ruby tonight?.
  • Salmon and trout = Snout. (Cigarettes). Have you got any Salmon?
  • Sausage and Mash = Cash. Have you got any Sausage and Mash on you?.
  • Septic Tank = Yank.
  • Scooby Doo = Clue. I don't have a Scooby Doo! Have you got a Scooby Do? (Clue).
  • Sherbet Dip = Kip. I'm having a Sherbet! I'm going to sleep.
  • Skin and Blister = Sister. I'm going to see my Skin n Blister.
  • Skyrocket = Pocket. Look in your Sky Rocket.
  • Sweeny Todd = The Flying Squad.(Police) The Sweeny Todd are on my case.
  • Syrup of Figs = Wig.Look at that guys, you can tell he's wearing a Syrup.
  • Tit For Tat = Hat. It's freezing outside. Where's my Titfer.
  • Tea Leaf = Thief. He's a right tea leaf.
  • Toby Jugs = Lug holes/Ears. Don't forget to clean behind your lugs..
  • Trouble and Strife = Wife. Ill be at my Trouble and Strife's.
  • Tom Tit = Shi#. I'm dying for a tom tit. Shi#.
  • Tom Foolery = Jewellery. You got some nice Tom on mate.
  • Tommy Tank = Wan@. Go and have a Tommy Tank. Wan# is to masturbate.
  • Two and Eight = State. Hes in a right 2 n 8 means he's in a really bad way-state.
  • Whistle and Flute = Suit. Nice whistle mate.

Some words or phrases that are not listed here may not be true original cockney rhyming slang?. If you want any words or phrases deciphered that are not listed here, just ask below and ill answer it for you.

Why not invent your own slang!

You should know have a Scooby Do (clue) what the Apple is (Apple Core = Score) with all this Cockney rhyming slang. Now I'm off down the Frog and Toad (road). I have Bread n Honey (money) in my Sky Rocket (pocket) to pay my Duke of Kent (Rent), then I'm going down the Battle Cruiser (boozer) to get Brahms and Liszt before I give what's left to my Trouble and Strife, (wife)... Fun Huh!?

© 2008 compu-smart

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Please comment, rate or vote this page if you found it useful 40 comments

compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 18 months ago from London UK Author

Hey alancaster149, thanks for your enlightening contribution... It sounds like you're no Iron Hoof! :)


alancaster149 profile image

alancaster149 18 months ago from Forest Gate, London E7, U K (ex-pat Yorkshire)

Interesting stuff Tony. Mind you, half the expressions you've got here were coined in the last fifty years, mostly on the box ('Only Fools & Horses', 'Till Death Do Part' etc).

You qualify to be a Cockney if you were born within 3 miles of the sound of Bow Bells, and that includes Bermondsey (where Maurice Micklewhite - aka Michael Caine - grew up, not a lot of people know that) and EC1/EC4 in the west, Shoreditch to the north.

In the late 60's the TELGRAPH Colour Supplement carried a discourse between Terence Stamp, David Bailey and Michael Caine in 'proper' CRS, where they each put their own local flavouring into the mix. Before Liverpool Street Station was rebuilt there was a pub at the back of Platform 15 called 'The Apples & Pears' (sited at the foot of the stairs that lead up to the Great Eastern Hotel and the upper walkway).

I never met my father-in-law (he was dead before I met his daughter), but I'm told he talked in rhyming slang. He came from Bethnal Green, near the Roman Road, where my wife was born and lived much of her life before meeting me. Unfortunately she doesn't know a lot of it.

Know what 'Iron hoof' means? I remember somebody accusing me of being one. These days he'd get taken to the cleaners for that, even though I wasn't/aren't one.


2212327 2 years ago

Veera Lynn = Gin.

Also SKIN- as in cigarette papers used to roll a mortice (+tennon) of 'arry (monk).

Got any Veera? Shamen


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 2 years ago from London UK Author

PS.. It not original cockney slang, more made up modern style.


gale583 3 years ago

I've always been facinated by rhyming slang ever since I saw it used in the remake of Ocean's 11 (the Brit talkes about being in Barney, and when they don't understand him goes through the explanation of Barny Rubble = trouble). As an actor accents and dialects in general also interest me since they're a huge help to my career. I'll have to really study up on this to get it down though! Thanks for posting this interesting and informative hub!


Sharkye11 profile image

Sharkye11 3 years ago from Oklahoma

Incredibly fun to read! I love listening to it on shows and movies, but I am not very fast at picking it up. Will be fun to practice it though to use as a "secret code". I doubt many in Oklahoma will understand! Voting up!


XRumerTest 3 years ago

Hello. And Bye.


compu-smart profile image

compu-smart 4 years ago from London UK Author

A Sherbet Lemon is not cockney rhyming slang. It comes from the harry Potter film and is something to do with a secret password.


P Dignan 4 years ago

what is sherbet lemon rhyming slang for


Mariah 4 years ago

I don't understand a god damn thing you people are saying.


Just Sid 4 years ago

Thumbs up for all this information. I like to learn new things.


me the awesome 5 years ago

i need some bees for some ruby


zanin profile image

zanin 5 years ago from London, England

OMG-Bristol City - tittys (Boobs)...Check out the Bristol's on her.! Great hub. lol. Nina


Cockney John 5 years ago

A lot of these words are still used today. Many are also made up or changed over the time. Here are a few that I use:

Saucepan Lid (kid) "Whose the saucepan"

Richard the Third (Bird) as in the opposite sex

Current Bun (The Sun)"I am reading the Current Bun"

Loaf of Bread (Head) "Use your loaf"

You need to be in a group of cockneys to really speak it a lot otherwise no one would understand what your saying which sometimes can be useful. Originally it was code to avoid the long arm of the law - now it merely a remnant from a bygone era but still fun.


Chloe 5 years ago

I was quite amazed at the amount of people saying they don't hear this much anymore. The men in my family are very cockney and use a LOT of this in regular conversation, I forgot that it isn't actual English. Aha.


Zakmoonbeam profile image

Zakmoonbeam 6 years ago from Parts Unknown

Brilliant and fun hub! My nan, granddad and mum were all born under the sound of the Bow Bells, alas I was not...

Still, I grew up around this language and wanted to say thank you for helping me remember them and their fantastic use of language.


iantoPF profile image

iantoPF 6 years ago from Sunny California

'Allo china; well i was walkin down the kermit when I sees this geezer 'avin' a bull and cow wiv 'is trouble. i mean she 'ad a norf an' souf like ya wouldn adam 'n' eve, seems like 'e was on the hey diddle diddle an' the bill cottoned on.

It's been more than twenty years since I spoke rhymey but some things you never forget.


Eileen Hughes profile image

Eileen Hughes 6 years ago from Northam Western Australia

I have never heard of this and my dad was supposed to be a dinky di cockney. thanks for that it was great.


NLP Life Coach 6 years ago

This RULES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Finally a comprehensive and excellently written "dictionary" of this very interesting quirk of the English English! I've been looking for THIS for all my 16 years of having lived in the UK! Well, patience is a virtue...

Well done, mate!:):):)


David R 7 years ago

How about Loaf of Bread = Head

My mother was always telling me to 'Use your loaf'. In other words "Think, David, Think!"


k@ri profile image

k@ri 7 years ago from Sunny Southern California

Thanks for the brass tacks. I had a bubble bath, china plate! Happy Father's Day!


Raven King profile image

Raven King 7 years ago from Cabin Fever

What a fun hub compu-smart!


DiamondGeeza 7 years ago

Some egg yokers aint got a bleeding scooby when it comes to cockney rabbit n pork, tho it's 'am n cheesey once ya know 'ow, ya just gotta catch the right dickey birds then you'll being 'avin a jimmy giraffe! drop in an eastend cabin cruiser n top hat to an ol' pot n pan n maybe if ya buy 'im a ship full sail, 'e'll teach ya!

decode this n i'll give you an apple core!!! =)


UKStudent 8 years ago

Great post. Being a cockney geezer myself I especially love it. No pork pies neither bruv, don't watch dat.


moonbun profile image

moonbun 8 years ago from London

I have to admit that I use 'syrup' in derogatory conversation. No figs though, just syrup :)


einron profile image

einron 8 years ago from Toronto, Ontario, CANADA

I couldn't understand Cockney and I still do not. However, when I read about your article, it reminds me of the time when I was liviing in Highgate, London. The mention of Portobello conjures up a picture of four of us, me, my brother, and two friends picking our way through the lane lined with stalls. I remember that I brought two huge sized cotton made dolls for my two younger sisters when I return home after I completed my study in London. How I loved London!


KelleyMari profile image

KelleyMari 8 years ago from Ohio

This is so great! My son played the lead in the musical "Me and My Girl" about four years ago and had to study this for his character. It was so fun to learn - I sure wish we had had this list available to us then! Good work -


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Now I;ve got it! I'm going down the frog and toad to cash a Gregory Peck because Im Jimmy Flint <I'm clapping my hands and dancing around the room> More compusmart--give us more!


Kenny Wordsmith profile image

Kenny Wordsmith 8 years ago from Chennai

Thanks, will bookmark this hub. BTW, how did 'soup and fish' come to mean 'suit?' Always puzzled me.

Thanks, Compu!


funnebone profile image

funnebone 8 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

Ha I found your hub to be deadwood..did I do that right?


Constant Walker profile image

Constant Walker 8 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

Very funny. This is going to require some curious buddy.


Uninvited Writer profile image

Uninvited Writer 8 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

Excellent hub...


Patty Inglish, MS profile image

Patty Inglish, MS 8 years ago from North America

I like these a lot. I must make myself some flash cards! :)


LondonDuchess profile image

LondonDuchess 8 years ago from Farnborough, Hampshire, England

Lol -  my family don`t really use much slang .... but I do sometimes say butchers ... as in "give us a butchers" or "gis a butchers" and you know what when I do ..... I don`t even think about it as being different from my normal "give me a look" or "let me see".  It is just somehow gets said. Left over from the past when my parents and grandparents etc said it all the time. Before reading your post I would have said I don`t ever .... but come to think of it, I often tell my children to get the "dog and bone" (never shorten it to bone, though) .... reading HubPages certainly makes you stop and think (about the strangest things !) LOL

And while we are on the subject Comp, does it make you stop and do a double take when someone says Portobello Road instead of "Portabella" - or Notting Hill instead of  "Not-in-`ill"  ....


rmr profile image

rmr 8 years ago from Livonia, MI

Love it! I never hear this dialect around here, but I do know many of these due to prolonged exposure to Monty Python. Excellent refresher course!


Amy_Roberts 8 years ago

hehe, great collection of cockney slang :D thanks


William F. Torpey profile image

William F. Torpey 8 years ago from South Valley Stream, N.Y.

This is pure genius, compu-smart. I not only thoroughly enjoyed reading this piece, but I learned a great deal. I never understood exactly what Cockney was all about, but I always enjoy it when I hear it. When I think of Cockney, I always think of Bing Crosby's 1940 recording of "A Nightingale Sang in Berkeley Square," which I love to hear. I'll be coming back to this hub frequently -- for the pure joy of it.


robie2 profile image

robie2 8 years ago from Central New Jersey

Years ago someone tried to teach me all this and the only one I could remember until your hub refreshed my memory was " He's a real Richard the Third" LOL shows you how my mind works eh? Iloved this CS. Thanks.


Shirley Anderson profile image

Shirley Anderson 8 years ago from Ontario, Canada

I wanted to post a really witty Cockney reply, but I'm gonna need a great deal of practice first! It took me awhile just to catch on to pig Latin.

This is a really great, original hub, Compu-Smart. Thx.


solarshingles profile image

solarshingles 8 years ago from london

Very, very interesting. I truly like loud and broad cockney. Not many people these days still use this dialect. Maybe some builders and fruit stall merchants. It is disappearing very fast. Bow had been my home for some time and I still love the church, there. The whole area has been changing very, very fast due to tens of $billions of new redevelopments. The largest financial center in Europe has been built near by in Docklands - Canary Wharf. I miss the old times very much.

p.s.

(It was a very rough language for a very rough time: To do the person 'IN' in Cockney means 'to kill' )

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