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

T-rex: (UK) T-rex = text (SMS, send a message on a mobile phone- the final 't' is often not pronounced) T-rex- the name of a dinosaur and a 1970s pop group.

Taters in the mould: (UK) Taters in the mould = cold ('taters' = potatoes)

Tea caddy: (UK) Tea caddy = Paddy (Irish person)

Tea leaf: (UK) Tea leaf = thief This can also be used as a verb 'to tea leaf', meaning 'steal'.

Tear in a bucket: (UK) Tear in a bucket = Fuck it

Ted Ray: (UK) Ted Ray = gay

Ten eight: (UK) Ten eight = great

Terry Waite: (UK) Terry Waite = late Terry Waite was taken hostage in the Middle East.

Thomas Edison: (UK) Thomas Edison = medicine Thomas Edison was a famous inventor.

Thrupenny bits: (UK) Thrupenny bits = tits (breasts) [Thrupenny bits = old coin]

Tin bath: (UK) Tin bath = laugh (noun- have a tin bath- the Cockneys often pronounce an unvoiced 'th' as 'f' so it does rhyme)

Tin tack: (UK) Tin tack = the sack (to lose your job)

Titfer: (UK) Titfer = hat (derived from the expression 'tit for tat')

To and from: (AU) To and from = pom (slang term for someone British)

Tod Sloane: (UK) Tod Sloane = alone 'I'm on my tod'

Tom Cruise: (UK) Tom Cruise = booze (alcoholic drink)

Tom Hanks: (UK) Tom Hanks = thanks Tom Hanks is an actor.

Tom Thumb: (UK) Tom Thumb = rum Tom Thumb is a character in a children's book.

Tom tit: (UK) Tom tit = shit

Tony Blair: (UK) Tony Blair = hair Tony Blair = nightmare Tony Blair is a British politician

Top hat: (UK) Top hat = prat (fool, idiot)

Trombone: (UK) Trombone = phone

Trouble and strife: (UK) Trouble and strife = wife

Tufnell Park: (UK) Tufnell Park = lark (fun)

Twist and shout: (UK) Twist and shout = Kraut (a term for a German)

Two and eight: (UK) Two and eight = state (poor condition, mess) 'This house is in a right two and eight.'

Two by four: (UK) Two by four = draw (slang term for cannabis)

This is The List of Cockney Rhyming Slangs beginning with

Cockney Rhyming Slang Index

From Cockney Rhyming Slang to HOME PAGE

Additional Info