Cockney Rhyming Slang
is a slang
most commonly used by British thieves
. Its origin
is uncertain, but is thought to come from 19th century London thieves
. However, some people believe that it comes directly from East London
thieves, who didn't wish to be overheard by the police
. With most sentences sounding like gibberish
to the casual listener
, the code
would be rather effective.
The problem in locating its origin
, lies in the fact that it is mainly a spoken language
. One theory on this lies in the idea that the fewer written logs, the harder the slang
will be to break.
Now, some sources claim that it originally used to be a form of Pigdin English
. These same sources also say that these days youngsters use the slang
more as a joke.
" is a derogatory slang
word for working class
Londoners, and the other two words form the name of the slang
quite accuratly. The idea behind the slang
is to use a word to rhyme
with the word they actually mean. Now this is often taken to greater lengths by taking a popular name such as Brad Pitt
, and having the word you want to use rhyme
. Then when talking in Cockney Rhyming Slang, simply use the first name, Brad
. This oughtta confuse those blokes
You go to your dentist's and he says:
"Let's have a butcher's at that north of yours, china."
Don't worry, all he's saying is:
"Let's have a look at that mouth of yours, mate."
Of course, I still wouldn't trust a dentist that talks to me in Cockney Rhyming Slang.. so.. RUN!
The example's words were chosen from the writeup at the very top.
If you'd like to hear this slang
spoken rather convincingly, I recommend renting the movies Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
and The Limey
. Lock, Stock, and Two Smoking Barrels
has one scene with subtitles for the reason that the characters are speaking Cockney Rhyming Slang. The DVD
for the movie, also contains a small tutorial
on the slang. In The Limey
, Terence Stamp
, speaks the slang
in almost throughout the film, but you can still somehow understand what he means.
BBC Online - h2g2 - Cockney Rhyming Slang. http://www.bbc.co.uk/h2g2/guide/A649
Cockney Rhyming Slang. http://www.ac.wwu.edu/~morrelr/cockney.html
History of Cockney Rhyming Slang. http://www.fun-with-words.com/crs_history.html