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

Updated on November 24, 2017
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A - Z List of Original Cockney Rhyming Slang. Translations. Dictionary.

Introduction

If you knew East London well, you're first thought's would be the Pearly Kings and Queens (pearlies) in their button suits. Market stall holders. Pie n mash. Jellied eels, and of course, cockney rhyming slang.

Table of contents

Cockney Rhyming Slang Origin.
How does Cockney Rhyming Slang Work?
A to Z of Original Cockney Rhyming Slang.
A - B.
Video: Walthamstow Market, East London.
Cockney Slang Words For Money.
C - D - E - F.
Video: Cockney Gangsters.
Celebrity Cockney Names.
G - H - I - J.
Common Cockney Sayings.
K - L - M - N - O - P - Q.
R - S - T - U - V - W - X - Y - Z.
Video: The Cockney Sparrow.
Why not invent your own slang.

Cockney Rhyming Slang Origin

Cockney Rhyming Slang is a traditional and fun extension to the English language which originated in the East end of London and is still being used today by many of the young and older East-end residents. These residents are known as Cockneys.

Other parts of London and the UK have also adopted this language and It soon caught on throughout the world. Other styles of slang have been invented which are still being used today to conceal conversations.

A cockney refers 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 name of the bells of St Mary le Bow church in Cheap-side in London City, England.

St Mary le Bow Church

Bow Bells
Bow Bells

How does Cockney Rhyming Slang Work?

It is impossible to understand what cockney people are saying at times, especially for the tourists. Even watching a British gangster film, TV soap or series it can make following a story impossible. With this handy guide, you'll soon have a Scooby Doo what's being said. Scooby Doo = Clue - Idea.

Back in Time: Busy East London Market.
Back in Time: Busy East London Market.

If you were to say the following cockney rhyming slang phrases as they appear, you'll only sound weird, and not like a true cockney at all. Have a "Butchers" below and see if you or a friend can guess which sentences mean what.

A - Z List of Original Cockney Rhyming Slang. Translations. Dictionary

A - B

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. Nerves, to Chicken out.
Artful Dodger = Lodger. Don't let the artful dodger know about that.
Ascot Races = Braces. She's wearing Ascot races.
Aunt Joanna = Piano. She plays a nice tune on the Joanna.
Ayrton Senna = Tenner. I'll give you an Ayrton Senna. 10 pounds.
Bag of Sand = Grand. I'm picking up three bags of sand..
Bakers Dozen = Cousin. I'm going to see my baker's 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 battlecruiser.
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 / Marijuana. I'm trying to get hold of Bob Hope.
Bob Marley = Charlie (Cocaine). The Bob Marley's really good if you need.
Brown Bread = Dead. He's Brown Bread when I get my hands on him.
Brahms and Liszt = Pissed. I'm totally Brahms. Pissed means drunk/angry.
Brass Tacks = Facts. Those are the Brass tacks.
Bread and Honey = Money. He owes me a lot of bread.
Bristol City = Tit##y = Bre@sts. Check out the Bristol's on her.
Bricks and Mortar = Daughter. She's my bricks n mortar.
Bromley by Bows = Toes. He had it on his Bromley's.
Bubble and Squeak = Greek. He's a Bubble.
Bubble Bath = Laugh. There are three ways of saying laugh. You're having a Giraffe. You're having a Turkish, Turkish bath. You're having a bubble, bubble bath.
Butchers Hook = Look. Lets have a butchers.

Video: Walthamstow Market, East London - 1990s

Cockney Slang Words For Money

Shrapnel Is small change - either 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 25p 50p or pound coin. 50p. An edge. 1 pound coin. A nicker. A nugget. 5 pounds note. Bluey. Lady Godiva. Jacks. 10-pound note. Brownie. Speckled Hen. Cockle and Hen. Nigel Ben. Ayrton Senna (tenner). Pavarotti (Tenor). 25 pounds. A Pony. 30 pounds. Dirty Birtie. 50-pound note. Red. Hawaii five 0. A Bullseye. Nifty. 100 pounds. A Ton. A one-er. A long-en. 500 pounds. A Monkey. 1000 pounds. A Grand. 1K.

English currency.
English currency.

C - D - E - F

Chalk Farm = Arm. I'll break your chalk farm if you don't stop messing around.
Chevy Chase = Face. She's got a beautiful chevy.
Chicken Oriental = Mental. You're Chicken oriental.
China plate = Mate. Hello me old China.
Cockle & Hen = Ten. He owes me a cockle.
Cream Crackered = Knackered. I'm cream crackered. Very tired and exhausted.
Current Bun = Sun. I'm gonna chill out in the current bun.
Daisy Roots = Boots. She's 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 = Hide. You need to duck and dive mate.
Duck and Dive = Skive. I'm skiving off work. Not going. Lazy.
Duke of Kent = Rent. He's behind on his Duke n rent.
Farmer Giles = Piles. My farmers are playing up today.
Frog and Toad = Road. I'm just going down the frog and toad.

Video: Gangster film - Lock Stock and Two Smoking Barrels

Celebrity Cockney Names: Old & New

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

G - H - I - J

Ginger Beer = Que#er. He's a right ginger. Que#r is a h@mos*xual.
Goosy Gander = Gander means to look. Have a goosy gander at that
Gregory Peck = Neck. Quick, get that drink down your gregory.
Haddock and Bloater = Motor. I'll give you a lift in my bloater.
Hampstead Heath = Teeth. She's got a nice set of Hampstead Heath.
Hampton Wick = Pric#. What a Hampton wick. pric#.
Harry Monk = Skunk. (Cannabis). Where can I get some Harry Monk?
Harry Monk = #punk. (Sp*rm) you've got no Harry mate.
Horse and Tram = Pram. That's a nice horse and tram.
Huckleberry Finn = Pin. I've lost my Huckleberry Finn. Bank pin number.
Jack and Danny = F#nny. what a load of 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 Cliff = Spliff (marijuana joint). I need to see Jimmy.
Jimmy Riddle = Piddle (pee) I'm going for a Jimmy. To urinate.
Joe Daki = Paki. A derogatory term to describe Asians. P@ki = Pakistani.

Bow Bells Pub. Bow Rd, East London.
Bow Bells Pub. Bow Rd, East London.

Common Cockney Sayings

Cushtie = to feel very good /sweet. I'm feeling cushtie. I'm Hammered = being very drunk / wasted. Knuckle Sandwich is a closed fist and what you'd give to someone via a punch to the face. Lovely Jubilee is an expression of something you like or approve of. Off Your Trolley means 'you must be crazy' or, you're very drunk / wasted. On your Bike = Get the hell out of here / Go fuc# yourself / No way. Plank means someone who's an idiot. He's a right plank.

K - L - M - N - O - P - Q

Kane and Able = Table. Let's sit at that Kane and Able.
Kettle and Hob = Fob. A fob pocket was used to carry a watch.
Kyber Pass = @ss. Ill give you a good kick up the Kyber.
Laurel and Hardy = Bacardi. Don't forget to bring the Laurel.
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.
Merchant Banker = W@nker. He's a right merchant banker.
Mickey Mouse = House. Meet me at my Mickey Mouse.
Mince Pies = Eyes. (Mince / Mincers) Get your mincers off my bird. Bird/Girlfriend.
Moby Dick = Sick. He's feeling well Moby Dick today.
Mork and Mindy = Windy. Its well Mork and Mindy today.
Mutt n Jeff = Deaf. Are you mutton?.
Nigel Ben = Ten. He owes me a Nigel. Ten pounds.
North and South = Mouth. He's gotta big north n south.
Oily Rag = Fag. Have you got any oily's? Fag = cigarette. Fag = gay.
One's and Two's = Shoes. I like your ones and two's.
Peckham Rye = Tie. I like your new Peckham & Rye.
Pen and Ink = Stink. You pen and ink mate. Stink. to have a bad smell.
Pie and Mash = Cash. Have you got any pie and mash on you?.
Pigs Ear = Beer. I'm dying for a Pigs Ear.
Plaster of Paris = Arris. I'll give you a right kick up your Arris.
Plates of Meat = Feet. Look how big her plates of meat are.
Pony and Trap = Crap. You're talking a lot of Pony mate. Crap means shi# / Poo.
Pork Pies = Lies. Stop telling porkies.

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

Rabbit and Pork = talk = He doesn't half Rabbit on means he talks too 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 Sh%t.
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?
Salt = Good-looking female. She's a salt. not slang, but cockney.
Sausage and Mash = Cash. Have you got any sausage and mash on you?.
Septic Tank = Yank. He's a septic Tank / American.
Scooby Doo = Clue. I don't have a Scooby Doo. (Clue/Idea.
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.
Sweeney Todd = The Flying Squad.(Police) The Sweeney Todd is 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. I'll 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. He's in a right 2 n 8 means he's in a really bad way/state.
Whistle and Flute = Suit. Nice whistle mate.

Video: The Cockney Sparrow

Cockney Sparrow - The House Sparrow - Passer Domesticus

Cockney sparrows are birds widely seen and heard in and around London, but unfortunately, now in decline.

All-right me-old cockney! A cockney sparrow is also a term used to describe the remaining old school traditional East Londoners who are also in decline because of the large amount of migrants who have moved in, and the cockneys moving out.

Any words or phrases 'not' listed here may not be truly original cockney rhyming slang = Mockney.

Why not invent your own slang.

I'm off down the frog and toad (road). I have bread n honey (money) in my sky rocket (pocket) to clear my Duke of Kent (rent). Then I'm off down the battle cruiser (boozer) to get Brahms and Liszt (pissed/drunk) before I give what's left to my trouble and strife, (wife).

© 2008 Compu-Smart

What's your favourite Cockney Slang?

Submit a Comment

  • compu-smart profile image
    Author

    Compu-Smart 2 years ago from London UK

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

  • alancaster149 profile image

    Alan R Lancaster 2 years 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.

  • profile image

    2212327 3 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
    Author

    Compu-Smart 3 years ago from London UK

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

  • profile image

    gale583 4 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

    Jayme Kinsey 4 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!

  • profile image

    XRumerTest 4 years ago

    Hello. And Bye.

  • compu-smart profile image
    Author

    Compu-Smart 5 years ago from London UK

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

  • profile image

    P Dignan 5 years ago

    what is sherbet lemon rhyming slang for

  • profile image

    Mariah 5 years ago

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

  • profile image

    Just Sid 5 years ago

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

  • profile image

    me the awesome 6 years ago

    i need some bees for some ruby

  • zanin profile image

    zanin 6 years ago from London, England

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

  • profile image

    Cockney John 6 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.

  • profile image

    Chloe 6 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

    Michael Murchie 7 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

    Peter Freeman 7 years ago from Pen-Bre, Cymru/Wales

    '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 7 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.

  • profile image

    NLP Life Coach 7 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!:):):)

  • profile image

    David R 8 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

    Kari Poulsen 8 years ago from Ohio

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

  • Raven King profile image

    Raven King 8 years ago from Cabin Fever

    What a fun hub compu-smart!

  • profile image

    DiamondGeeza 8 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!!! =)

  • profile image

    UKStudent 9 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 9 years ago from London

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

  • einron profile image

    einron 9 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 9 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

    Roberta Kyle 9 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

    Ashok Rajagopalan 9 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 9 years ago from Philadelphia Pa

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

  • Constant Walker profile image

    Constant Walker 9 years ago from Springfield, Oregon

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

  • Uninvited Writer profile image

    Susan Keeping 9 years ago from Kitchener, Ontario

    Excellent hub...

  • Patty Inglish, MS profile image

    Patty Inglish 9 years ago from USA. Member of Asgardia, the first space nation, since October 2016

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

  • LondonDuchess profile image

    LondonDuchess 9 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 9 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!

  • profile image

    Amy_Roberts 9 years ago

    hehe, great collection of cockney slang :D thanks

  • William F. Torpey profile image

    William F Torpey 9 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

    Roberta Kyle 9 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 9 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 9 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' )