Cockney Rhyming Slang



Cockney Rhyming Slang is a specialised form of slang used in the East of London. It is a kind of antilanguage where words are replaced by phrases that rhyme (sound the same): North and south = mouth Adam and Eve = believe Sometimes, the last word is dropped.

Why is Cockney Rhyming Slang called so?

A Cockney is a Londoner; the original definition was someone born near enough to hear the bells of Bow, which meant people in the east of the city. The word Cockney means the egg of a cockerel (male hen) and was meant as an insult, implying dishonesty in business deals by trying to sell non-existent or low quality goods, or so the story goes. The term is now used happily and proudly by the people of the east and north of London, who regard themselves as the 'real' Londoners in a very cosmopolitan city where a lot of the population have come in from other areas of the country or abroad.

As well as having a distinctive pronunciation and many grammatical features, the language of London is most notable for its Rhyming Slang. This consists of using a phrase that rhymes, sounds the same, as the word you want to say, so 'telephone' becomes 'dog and bone'. Unfortunately, many of the phrases then lose the second word, making it very hard for the outsider to guess the original meaning; 'rabbit' for 'talk' comes from the phrase 'rabbit and pork', but few would be able to guess it.

A lot of the original rhyming slang appeared among the market traders in the east end of London in the 19th century, but it is still used and new words and phrases are being invented all the time. At the moment, it is very fashionable to use famous people's names, so the DJ Pete Tong is used meaning 'wrong'- 'thing's have gone Pete Tong'.

Here is The List of Cockney Rhyming Slangs beginning with A.


Abraham Lincoln: (UK) Abraham Lincoln = stinking


Ace of Spades: (UK) Ace of spades = AIDS


Acid trip: (UK) Acid trip = rip


Acker Bilk: (UK) Acker Bilk = milkAcker Bilk is a clarinetist.


Adam and Eve: (UK) Adam and Eve = believe Often used in questions 'Would you Adam'n'Eve it?'


After eight: (UK) After eight = date (romantic meeting) After Eight is a chocolate.


Air force: (UK) Air force = sauce


Air gunner: (UK) Air gunner = stunner (attractive woman)


Al Capone: (UK) Al Capone = phone Al Capone was a famous gangster


Alan Whickers: (UK) Alan Whickers = knickers (underwear) Often shortened to 'Alans' Alan Whicker was a British TV interviewer


Alexei Sayle: (UK) Alexei Sayle = email Alexei Sayle used to be a comedian in the UK.


Alf Garnett: (UK) Alf Garnett = hair (the rhyme is with barnet, which comes from Barnet fair = hair) Alf Garnett was a character in a British TV comedy.


Almond rocks: (UK) Almond rocks = socks


Angel's kiss: (AU) Angel's kiss = piss (noun)


Anthea Turner: (UK) Anthea Turner= earner (job that pays well) Anthea Turner was a TV presenter.


Apples and pears: (UK) Apples and pears = stairs


Aris: (UK) Aris = arse (derived from Aristotle, which is 'bottle' and the first word of 'bottle and glass' = arse)


Aristotle: (UK) Aristotle = bottle


Armitage Shank: (UK) Armitage Shank = bank (Armitage Shank is a company making bathroom fixtures in the UK)


Arthur Conan Doyle: (UK) Arthur Conan Doyle = boil Arthur Conan Doyle was the author of the Sherlock Holmes books.


Ascot Heath: (UK) Ascot Heath = teeth


Austin Power: (UK) Austin Power = shower


Ayrton Senna: (UK) Ayrton Senna = tenner (ten-pound note) Ayrton Senna was a Formula 1 racing driver.

Cockney Rhyming Slang Index




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