Since we’re heading to London with the new La Sardina Guvnor, we thought it best to try and blend in with the locals. And what better way to that than by communicating in the local slang? We warn you, it’s not easy. But it’s mighty fun!
What It Is
Cockney Rhyming Slang is a form of phrase construction especially common in dialectal English from the East End of London.
How It Works
Construct a sentence by replacing a common word with a rhyming phrase of two or three words and then omitting the secondary rhyming word. Confused?
The most frequent example involves the replacement of “stairs” with the rhyming phrase “apples and pears”. Following this pattern, “(and) pears” is dropped and “stairs” becomes “apples”. Therefore, the spoken phrase “I’m going up the apples” means “I’m going [‘up the stairs’/‘upstairs’]”.
Replace “telephone” with “dog” (= ‘dog-and-bone’); “wife” with “trouble” (= ‘trouble-and-strife’); “eyes” with “minces” (= ‘mince pies’); “wig” with “syrup” (= ‘syrup of figs’) and “feet” with “plates” (= ‘plates of meat’). You’d then have something like: “It nearly knocked me off me plates—he was wearing a syrup! So I got straight on the dog to me trouble and said I couldn’t believe me minces.”
Got it? Try one out for yourself and post it below as a comment. It’s bound to crack us all up!
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