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In this episode: The London Accent and Cockney Rhyming Slang
Listener Feedback: Audio feedback Juan, Colombia: The Cockney accent a “bottle of beer”. “Got to get a lot of it.”
Listen to the Eastenders TV series for examples of the London cockney accent:
Cockney Rhyming slang – A type of slang in which a words are replaced by a words or phrases they rhyme with.
Apple and pears = stairs
To hide meaning from the law and/or to exclude outsiders
Lists of Cockney rhyming slang:
to have a butcher’s (hook) = a look
She’s brown bread = She’s dead
(Aunt) Joanna – piano
Boat race – face
North and South = mouth
Ruby Murray (popular singer in the 1950s born in Belfast) = curry
Rub-a-dub-dub = pub (public house)
pig’s ear = beer
George Raft = draught
Gregory Peck = neck
plates of meat = feet
Pen and Ink = stink
Porky = pork pie = lie, e.g. “He’s telling porkies!
jam jar = car
jugs (of beer) = ears
Adam and Eve = believe = as in “would you Adam and Eve it?”
dog and bone = phone
whistle (and flute) = suit
trouble (and strife) = wife
Tom and Dick = sick
china (plate) = mate
Tea leaf = thief
Rosie = Rosie Lee = tea e.g. “Have a cup of Rosie”
Brahms and Liszt = “pissed” = drunk
Would you Adam and Eve it, I was down the rub-a-dub-dub with the trouble having a couple of pigs when a tea leaf nicked my wallet!
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There’s a bit of rhyming slang outside London in the UK, but it’s almost not known at all outside its own environment. For example:
corn beef = “deef” = deaf (‘mutton’ or ‘Mutt and Jeff’ = ‘deaf’ in cockney rhyming slang)
tatie bread = dead (tatie bread is potato bread)
mince pies = eyes
a wee duke = a quick look
a deek = a quick peek
Newtons = teeth (from “Newton Heath”, rhymes with “teeth”). In London they use ‘Hampstead Heath’ as rhyming slang for teeth.
…and now it’s your turn to practise your English. Do you have a question for us or an idea for a future episode?
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On next week’s episode: Engineering
The music in this podcast is by Pitx. The track is called ‘See You Later’