Cockney rhyming slang

Cockney rhyming slang (slang words) is believed to have originated in the mid-19th century in the East End of London which is a combination of the word 'Secret Language'  that was shortened to slang words, 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.


Whatever the origins – there are many fun turns of phrases and we’ve put together the Top 100 Words and Phrases that we could find for your reading pleasure. 




  1. Adam and Eve - Believe
  2. Alan Whickers – knickers
  3. apples and pears – stairs
  4. Artful Dodger – lodger
  5. Ascot Races – braces
  6. Aunt Joanna – piano
  7. Baked Bean – Queen
  8. Baker’s Dozen – Cousin
  9. Ball and Chalk – Walk
  10. Barnaby Rudge – Judge
  11. Barnet Fair – hair
  12. Barney Rubble – trouble
  13. Battlecruiser – boozer
  14. bees and honey – money
  15. bird lime – time (in prison)
  16. Boat Race – face
  17. Bob Hope – soap
  18. bottle and glass – arse
  19. Brahms and Liszt – pissed (drunk)
  20. Brass Tacks – facts
  21. Bread and Cheese – sneeze
  22. Bread and Honey – money
  23. Bricks and Mortar – daughter
  24. Bristol City – breasts
  25. Brown Bread – dead
  26. Bubble and Squeak – Greek
  27. Bubble Bath – Laugh
  28. butcher’s hook – a look
  29. Chalfont St. Giles – piles
  30. Chalk Farm – arm
  31. china plate – mate (friend)
  32. Cock and Hen – ten
  33. Cows and Kisses – Missus (wife)
  34. currant bun – sun (also The Sun, a British newspaper)
  35. custard and jelly – telly (television)
  36. Daisy Roots – boots
  37. Darby and Joan – moan
  38. Dicky bird – word
  39. Dicky Dirt – shirt
  40. Dinky Doos – shoes
  41. dog and bone – phone
  42. dog’s meat – feet [from early 20th c.]
  43. Duck and Dive – skive
  44. Duke of Kent – rent
  45. dustbin lid – kid
  46. Elephant’s Trunk – drunk
  47. Fireman’s Hose – nose
  48. Flowery Dell – cell
  49. Frog and Toad – road
  50. Gypsy kiss -Piss

 

  1. half-inch – pinch (to steal)
  2. Horse and Cart - Fart
  3. Hank Marvin – starving
  4. irish pig – wig
  5. Isle of Wight – tights
  6. jam-jar – car
  7. Jayme Gibbs
  8. Jimmy Riddle – piddle
  9. joanna – piano (pronounced ‘pianna’ in Cockney)
  10. Khyber Pass – arse
  11. Kick and Prance – dance
  12. Lady Godiva – fiver
  13. Laugh n a joke – smoke
  14. Lionel Blairs – flares
  15. Loaf of Bread – head
  16. loop the loop – soup
  17. Mickey Bliss – piss
  18. Mince Pies – eyes
  19. Mork and Mindy – windy’
  20. north and south – mouth
  21. Orchestra stalls – balls
  22. Pat and Mick – sick
  23. Peckham Rye – tie
  24. plates of meat – feet
  25. Pony and Trap – crap
  26. raspberry ripple – nipple
  27. raspberry tart – fart
  28. Roast Pork – fork
  29. Rosy Lee – tea (drink)
  30. Round the Houses – trousers
  31. Rub-a-Dub – pub
  32. Ruby Murray – curry
  33. Sausage Roll – goal
  34. septic tank – Yank
  35. sherbert (short for sherbert dab) – cab (taxi)
  36. Skin and Blister – sister
  37. Sky Rocket – pocket
  38. Sweeney Todd – flying squad
  39. syrup of figs – wig (sic)
  40. tables and chairs – stairs
  41. tea leaf – thief
  42. Todd Sloane – alone
  43. Tom and Dick – sick
  44. tom tit – shit
  45. tomfoolery – jewellery
  46. Tommy Trinder – window
  47. trouble and strife – wife
  48. two and eight – state (of upset)
  49. Vera Lynn – gin
  50. whistle and flute – suit (of clothes)