Cockney Rhyming Slang

Cockney rhyming slang is a form of phrase construction.  The construction involves replacing a common word with a rhyming phrase of two or three words and then, in almost all cases, omitting the secondary rhyming word (which is thereafter implied), in a process called hemiteleia,making the origin and meaning of the phrase elusive to listeners not in the know. Translation: slang spoken to exclude others.  This is prevalent in the East End of London.  But you will hear it all over Great Britain.  There are TONS. Here are a few.

lies=pork pies.  Or you would say, I think you are telling pork pies/porkies. You are basically calling someone a liar. Yikes

mate=China plate (so you say ‘china plate’ when you mean to say ‘mate’)

look=butcher’s hook

telephone=dog and bone

stairs=apples and pears (this is pretty common and I hear it on the daily)

wife=trouble and strife (hmmm…I wonder which sex came up with this one?)

face=boat race

deaf=mutton jeff (‘are you mutton jeff?’ seems more polite than saying ‘are ya deaf?’

tea=Ruby Lee

Like I said, there are tons more but these seem to be the most common.  Try slipping them in your everyday convo and see what happens!

Cheers Y’all

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