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


half-inch – pinch (to steal)

Horse and Cart - Fart

Hank Marvin – starving

irish pig – wig

Isle of Wight – tights

jam-jar – car

Jayme Gibbs

Jimmy Riddle – piddle

joanna – piano (pronounced ‘pianna’ in Cockney)

Khyber Pass – arse

Kick and Prance – dance

Lady Godiva – fiver

Laugh n a joke – smoke

Lionel Blairs – flares

Loaf of Bread – head

loop the loop – soup

Mickey Bliss – piss

Mince Pies – eyes

Mork and Mindy – windy’

north and south – mouth

Orchestra stalls – balls

Pat and Mick – sick

Peckham Rye – tie

plates of meat – feet

Pony and Trap – crap

raspberry ripple – nipple

raspberry tart – fart

Roast Pork – fork

Rosy Lee – tea (drink)

Round the Houses – trousers

Rub-a-Dub – pub

Ruby Murray – curry

Sausage Roll – goal

septic tank – Yank

sherbert (short for sherbert dab) – cab (taxi)

Skin and Blister – sister

Sky Rocket – pocket

Sweeney Todd – flying squad

syrup of figs – wig (sic)

tables and chairs – stairs

tea leaf – thief

Todd Sloane – alone

Tom and Dick – sick

tom tit – shit

tomfoolery – jewellery

Tommy Trinder – window

trouble and strife – wife

two and eight – state (of upset)

Vera Lynn – gin

whistle and flute – suit (of clothes)


The secret slang words & cockney rhyming slang