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 O.

Obi-Wan Kenobi: (UK) Obi-Wan Kenobi = mobi (mobile phone/cellphone)Obi-Wan Kenobi was a character in Star Wars

Oil tanker: (UK) Oil tanker = wanker ('wanker' is a British English term whose dictionary meaning is a person who masturbates, but generally just implies a low opinion of that person.)

Oily rag: (UK) Oily rag = fag (cigarette- in British English, 'fag' isn't used as a a slang term for a gay man)

Oliver Twist: (UK) Oliver Twist = pissed (drunk) Oliver Twist was a character in a novel by Charles Dickens.

On your knees: (UK) On your knees = peas

Orange peel: (UK) Orange peel = feel

Orchestra stalls: (UK) Orchestra stalls = balls (testicles)

Ornamental: (UK) Ornamental- Oriental (someone from Asia)

Otis Redding: (UK) Otis Redding = wedding Otis Redding was a singer.

Oven mitt: (UK) Oven mitt = tit (mitt = glove tit = breast)

Cockney Rhyming Slang Index

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