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

Saddam Hussein: (UK) Saddam Hussein = pain, used in the sense of an 'annoying person'- he's a right Saddam Hussein.

Salmon and trout: (UK) Salmon and trout = snout (a prison term for tobacco), used meaning 'cigarette' Salmon and trout = stout (a type of beer) Salmon and trout = gout (an illness caused by excess uric acid)

Sandy bay: (UK) Sandy bay = gay

Saucepan lid: (UK) Saucepan lid = kid It is often shortened to 'saucepan', but the full phrase is commonly used.

Scarper: (UK) Scarper = go (from Scapa Flow)

Schindler's List: (UK) Schindler's List = pissed (drunk- the use of 'pissed' for drunk is British English. In American English 'pissed' means angry, which is 'pissed off' in British English)

Scooby Doo: (UK) Scooby Doo = clue

Scotch eggs: (UK) Scotch eggs = legs

Sean Ryder: (UK) Sean Ryder = cider Sean Ryder is a British singer.

Seb Coes: (UK) Seb Coes = ToesSeb Coe was an athlete.

Second-hand Merc: (UK) Second-hand Merc = Turk (Merc is a shortened form of Mercedes)

Septic tank: (UK) Septic tank = Yank (American)

Sharon Stone: (UK) Sharon Stone = phoneSharon Stone is an actress.

Sherbet dab: (UK) Sherbet dab = cab or taxi cab.

Sherman tank: (UK) Sherman tank = Yank (American)

Ship's anchor: (UK) Ship's anchor = wanker (an idiot- literally, someone who masturbates)

Sieg Heils: (UK) Sieg Heils = piles (haemorrhoids/hemorrhoids)

Sigourney Weaver: (UK) Sigourney Weaver = beaver (vagina)

Simon Schamas: (UK) Simon Schamas= pyjamas Simon Schama is a historian.

Skin 'n' blister: (UK) Skin 'n' blister = sister

Sky rocket: (UK) Sky rocket = pocket ('I have it in my sky')

Son and Daughter'd: (UK) Son and Daughter'd = slaughtered (very drunk, or exhausted)

Sorry and sad: (UK) Sorry and sad = bad

Sri Lanka: (UK) Sri Lanka = 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.)

Steam tug: (UK) Steam tug = mug (fool, person easily deceived)

Stephen Byers: (UK) Stephen Byers - liars- 'All politicians are Stephens.' Stephen Byers was a British minister, regarded by some as falling short of the required standards of honesty.

Steve McQueens: (UK) Steve McQueens = baked beans

Stewart Granger: (UK) Stewart Granger = danger Stewart Granger was an actor.

Stick of glue: (UK) Stick of glue = Jew

Stirling Moss: (UK) Stirling Moss = toss (I couldn't give a toss = I don't care) Stirling Moss was a Formula One racing driver.

Stoke on Trent: (UK) Stoke on Trent = bent (gay) Stoke on Trent = bent (criminal or dishonest)

Sue Lawley: (UK) Sue Lawley = poorly (ill) Sue Lawley is a British TV personality.

Sunny dancer: (UK) Sunny dancer = cancer

Sweaty Sock: (UK) Sweaty Sock = Jock (Scottish person)

Sweeney Todd: (UK) Sweeney Todd = Flying Squad (part of the police force) Sweeney Todd was a murderer in the Nineteenth Century.

Syrup of figs: (UK) Syrup of figs = wig

Cockney Rhyming Slang Index

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