ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel

30 Cockney Rhyming Slang Expressions Using Famous People.

Updated on February 16, 2014

Traditional Cockneys

Cockney Rhyming slang

Cockney rhyming slang is believed to have started in the early nineteenth century as a means for London dockworkers to bamboozle foreign workers. Foreign workers could not only communicate to each other in their own language but also speak English, having the advantage in getting work. So Cockney rhyming slang became a kind of code used by London working-class elements to hoodwink authorities and other nationalities and has evolved ever since, becoming endemic in the British language.

The more famous Cockney rhyming slang phrases are “apples and pears” (stairs) and “trouble and strife (wife).” Other expressions that all British people use is “I haven’t seen you in donkeys!” "Donkeys ears" meaning years. Or “Use your loaf!” People don’t often realise that this common expression has it’s roots in Cockney rhyming slang- “loaf of bread’ meaning “head.”

The formation of rhyming slang has also long been reliant on using the names of famous people. In the 1930’s the American jockey Tod Sloan, lent his moniker to Londoners who would use the expression “being on your Todd” as meaning being alone. Not exactly rhyming because the Cockney trend when using famous people’s names is to often just use the first name. So, “on your own” rhymes with Todd Sloan but only the first name is used.

Over the last twenty tears there have been many innovations in rhyming slang using the names of celebrities and politicians. Here are a few of these more recent inventions.

30 Cockney Rhyming Slang Expressions Using Famous People

1) Britney Spears- Beers. Context- “I’m just going down the pub for a few Britneys.”

2) Nelson Mandela-Stella. Stella Artois is a famous French brand of lager drank in the UK. Context- “Blimey, I had way too many Nelsons last night!”

3) Pete Tong-Wrong. Pete Tong is a famous rave music DJ in the UK but is an example of not using his first name only. It is more common to say, “It’s all gone a bit Pete Tong.”

4) Hank Marvin-Starving. Hank Marvin is a famous guitarist from British band “The Shadows.” Context- “Blimey, I’m bleeding Hank Marvin. I could murder a Giorgio!” See Giorgio Armani below.

5) Giorgio Armani. Famous Italian designer who has lent his name to “sarnie.” Just to confuse people further “sarnie” is another slang term for sandwich.

6) Alan Whicker- Knickers. Alan Whicker was a world famous globe-trotting TV journalist who will also be remembered for lending his name to women’s knickers. Context -“Alright love, calm down, keep your Alans on!”

7) Eartha Kitt or Brad Pitt- Shit. Unfortunately for these two stars, their names are interchangeable for a toilet function. Need I say more?

8) Richard the Third-Turd. The infamous English King and Shakespeare villain is also famous for describing a toilet function. Context- “Bleedin’ ’ell, the dog’s only left a Richard on next doors garden.”

9) Lionel Blair- Flares. Lionel Blair is veteran hoofer (he once performed with Sammy Davis Jnr) and his name is used to described flared trousers, often in a derogatory way. Context- “Blimey! Check out the Lionels on him.”

10) Ruby Murray- Curry. Ruby Murray was a famous Irish songbird in the 1950s, just preceding a time when Indian cuisine took Britain by storm. Context- “ I’m Hank Marvin (starving), do you fancy a Ruby (curry) and a few Britneys (beers)?”

Britney Spears means "Beers."

More Expressions...

11) James Blunt- C**t. This is most unfortunate for James, who probably wished he stuck with his real name of “Blount.” Context- “I ‘ate that geezer, he’s a right James (Blunt).”

12)Tom Cruise- Booze. Tom Cruise needs no explanation as a star but I bet he is teetotal, ironically. Not in London though. Context- “ I’m gonna nip down the offy (Off License- a retail outlet where alcohol is sold) and get some "Tom Cruise.”

13) Sue Lawley- Poorly. Sue Lawley was a very prim BBC newsreader from way back. Context- “Your Chevy (face) looks a bit pale. Do you feel a bit Sue Lawley, love?”

14) Chevy Chase- Face. Also known as “boat race.” Context- “I’m gonna smash your Chevy in.”

15) Bruce Lee- Pee. Martial arts legend is now synonmous with another toilet function. Context- “I’m off to the karsey (toilet) for a Bruce.”

16) Karsey Moilet- Toilet. Karsey Moilet did not really exist. It was just a fabricated name for a fabricated music-hall star. Why? The word "khazi" was foreign, it may have come from Kipling novels, or from the Zulu war, no-one really knows; but it is clear that when London Cockneys first heard the word "khazi" they embraced it and made it fit within their arcane rhyming scheme.

17) Gregory Peck- Neck. Context- “ ‘Ere I’ve got a right pain in my Gregory.”

18) Vera Lynn- Skins. Nice patriotic stalwart singer Vera Lynn, who rallied the troops and the morale of Great Britain during the Second World War, is probably horrified that her name has been lent to “skins”- the cigarette papers often used to smoke cannabis joints. Context- ‘I’ve got a bit of pie and mash (hash). Have you got any Veras?”

19)Danny La Rues- Shoes. Danny La Rue was a very famous drag queen in Britain for about 180 years and I think he is dead now. Context- “Wot d’ya fink of me new Dannys?”

20) Ayrton Senna- Tenner. The deceased Formula One racing chap has got off quite lightly in the world of Cockney rhyming slang and is used to describe a unit of currency, a ten pound note also known as a tenner. Context “ ‘Ere lend us an Ayrton will ya, I’m proper boracic.” Boracic lint meaning skint (very poor.)

"Do wanna hit me, right on the Chevy?"

And more...

21) Patrick Swayze- Lazy. Context- “He’s a bit bleeding Patrick Swayze, inne!”

22) Jane Fonda- Wander. The aerobics guru and actress’ name means to wander. Context- “I’m just going down the road for a bit of a Jane Fonda.”

23) Mariah Carey- Scary. According to some observers of the notorious diva star, this is quite an apt example of Cokney rhyming slang describing both the person and the expression. Context- “Blimey, check out that bird (woman), she’s a bit Mariah!”

24) Johnny Cash- Slash. Back to toilet functions. In Britain “slash’ means a pee. Context- “I’m bursting for a Johnny Cash”

25) Jimmy Cliff- Whiff. “Whiff” means to smell badly. Context- “He don’t half Jimmy Cliff!”

26) Dame Judy Dench- Stench. Again ‘stench” means to smell badly. “He don’t half Judi Dench!”

27) Vincent Van Gogh- cough. The famous impressionist painter has lent his moniker to a lung-related reaction. “I can’t talk much, I’ve got a really bad Vincent.”

28) Jimi Hendrix- Appendix. Another medical one. Context- “I’ve got a grumbling Jimi Hendrix.”

29) Shania Twain- Pain. Context-”That bird’s (woman) a right Shania!”

30) Calvin Klein- Wine. Context - “ Crack open the Calvin and a good old knees-up!” Knees-up meaning party or celebration. No, I don’t know why either.

Having a "Johnny Cash" means to urinate


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    No comments yet.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)