Language: Top 100 Cockney Rhyming Slang Words and Phrases

Hot on the heels of our success with our Top 100 Best British Slang Phrases, we thought we’d explore the beauty of Cockney Rhyming Slang next.

Rhyming slang is believed to have originated in the mid-19th century in the East End of London, with sources suggesting some time in the 1840s. It dates from around 1840 among the predominantly Cockney population of the East End of London who are well-known for having a characteristic accent and speech patterns.

It remains a matter of speculation whether rhyming slang was a linguistic accident, a game, or a cryptolect developed intentionally to confuse non-locals. If deliberate, it may also have been used to maintain a sense of community. It is possible that it was used in the marketplace to allow vendors to talk amongst themselves in order to facilitate collusion, without customers knowing what they were saying. Another suggestion is that it may have been used by criminals (see thieves’ cant) to confuse the police.

THIS ARTICLE HAS MOVED TO LONDONTOPIA

CLICK HERE TO READ OUR TOP 100 COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG WORDS AND PHRASES.

Comments

  1. avatarBarbara Alexander says

    Hello–I’m a dedicated Anglophile–I LOVE you guys and I LOVE your website. Keep on keeping on—Cheers, Barbara

  2. avatarNatalie says

    Hiya, a resident Eastender here!

    I just need to make you aware that a lot of rhyming slang in current use will only have half the whole “rhyming slang” in it. eg:

    “Doing bird” = Doing time
    “Are you having a bubble?” = Are you having a laugh? (trans: “Are you taking the piss?”
    “This pub’s pony” = This pub’s crap (don’t say it in said pub!)
    “Check out the syrup on that!” = Oh my, what a godawful wig!
    “I am absolutely Marvin, I fancy a Ruby!” etc

    You get the idea ;)

  3. avatarBen Ashford says

    You also have;
    Cream crackered meaning knackered (an English term for tired)
    A Jimmy Floyd (the the old football player, Jimmy Floyd Hasselbank) meaning having a wank

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