COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG

Cockney rhyming slang originally developed in London. 

A true Cockney is said to have been born within the sounds of Bow Bells, which is the Church of St Mary Le Bow in Cheapside.

Much of Cockney slang relates to the names of famous people, often contemporary and then lost in time, hence the connection between the two can lose its inference. An example would be (Gin---Vera Lyn) a once famous singer, but hardly known to this generation, as opposed to (Stairs--- Apples and Pears) which will stand the test of time.

Some Cockney Slang has been adopted from other minorities such as the Gypsy colloquial. An example is "Dandy Hound" meaning a well dressed slick/crafty type of character such as a salesman or politician. It is of-course the Weasel, described as having the most elegant appearance and being the quickest snake dressed in fur, yet it is a clever and ruthless predator far outclassing the tamed ferret used by Gypsies to hunt rabbits.

George Eliot wrote: Correct English is the slang of prigs who write history and essays. And the strongest slang of all is that of poets.

John Moore in "You English Words" wrote: Slang is a poor man's poetry.

Myself a Cockney; These are my favorites, both old and new; yet still used and understood.

You have likely come to this page because you are researching Cockney Rhyming Slang, or have an interest. Help to update this list by sending your favorite for inclusion on this page.


Monkey -- £500
Pony -- £25
Score (Bobby Moore) -- £20
Cockle (cockle and hen) -- £10
Lady Godiva -- (£5 a fiver)

A bad day -- Bird of Prey
Alone ---Tod (on my tod) and (on my Jack Jones)
Army --- Daft and Barmy
Arse -- Khyber Pass
Bad -- Sorry and Sad 
Balls -- Niagara Falls
Bank -- Sherman Tank
Beer -- Pigs Ear
Believe -- Adam and Eve
Belly -- Auntie Nelly
Blonde -- Magic Wand
Boots -- Daisy Roots
Bottle -- Aristotle 
Bouncing Check -- Rubber Gregory
Braces -- Airs and Graces
Bread -- Uncle Fred or Brown Bread
Breath -- King Death
Cash -- Sausage and Mash
Chilver --- Silver
Chin -- Ghunga Dhin (or: Biscuit Tin)
Clock -- Tick-Tock
Coat -- Quaker Oat
Coffee -- Sticky Toffee
Cook -- Babbling Brook
Crap -- Pony and Trap
Curry -- Ruby Murray
Curtains -- Richard Burton
Daft -- Fore and Aft
Dance -- Kick and Prance
Daughter -- Bricks and Mortar
Dead -- Brown Bread
Deaf -- Mutton and Jeff
Dole (Out of Work) --- Jam Roll 
Drunk --- Elephant's Trunk
Easy -- Easy Peasy Lemon Squeezy
Eyes -- Mince Pies
Egg -- Clothes Peg
Face -- Boat Race
Facts -- Brass Tacks
Fair Enough -- Hairy Muff
Feet -- Plates of Meat
Flowers -- April Showers
Flu (swine) -- Pork Stew
Gin -- Vera Lyn
Gloves -- Turtle Doves
Girl -- Mother of Pearl
Gravy -- Army and Navy
Hair -- Barnet Fair
Haddock -- Fanny Craddock
Hands -- German Band
Hat --- Tit for Tat
Head -- Loaf of Bread (use your loaf)
Heart -- Jam Tart
Heaven -- Cloud seven
Hemorrhoids -- Asteroids
Hide -- Duck and Dive
Honest 'Gem of a Man' --- Diamond Geezer
House --- Cat and Mouse
Itsy Bitsy -- Teeny Weeny  (see ** at end of this page)
Jalapeno --- Al Pacino
Jeans -- Dixie Deans
Jewellery -- Tomfoolery
Kids -- Dustbin lids
Knackered -- Cream Crackered (worn out)
Knickers -- Alan Wicker
Laugh --- Giraffe
Lies --- Pork Pies (porkies)
Lodger -- Artful Dodger
Look -- Butchers Hook (have a butchers at this)
Legs -- Ham and Eggs
Luck -- Donald Duck
Mad -- Mum and Dad, Mate or China Plate
Male Genitalia -- Family or Crown Jewels
Memory -- Dick Emery
Money -- Bread and Honey
Mouth -- North and South
Parcel -- Elephant and Castle
Phone -- Dog and Bone
Piddle -- Jimmy Riddle
Piles --- (Medical) Four Minute Mile
Pinch -- Half-inch (thieving)
Pissed -- Brahms and Liszt
Pocket --- Sky-Rocket
Public house (pub) (boozer) -- Battle Cruiser
Psychiatrist -- Trick Cyclist
Salesman Politician ---- Dandy Hound
Sauce -- Rocking Horse
Scotch -- Gold Watch
Shirt -- Dickey Dirt
Shoes -- Rhythm And Blues
Shop -- Lollipop
Sick -- Moby Dick
Sister -- Skin and Blister
Sleep -- Bo-Peep
Slippers -- Kippers
Smart "Fashion wise" Genuine -- Pukka
Sneeze -- Bread and Cheese
Socks -- Almond Rocks or Mint Rocks
Stairs -- Apples and Pears
Starving --- Hank Marvin
Stink -- Pen and Ink
Suit -- Whistle and Flute
Sun -- Current Bun
Sweetheart -- Treacle Tart
Talk -- Rabbit and Pork (rabbit)
Tea -- Rosie Lee
Thief -- Tea Leaf
Thirst -- Geoff Hurst
Throat -- Nanny Goat
Toast -- Holy Ghost
Tramp -- Paraffin Lamp
True -- Danny La Rue *  
Trunks -- Chipmunks
Umbrella -- Auntie Ella
Underpants -- Beetles and Ants
Undies -- Red Trunkies
Vest -- East and West
Voice -- Rolls Royce
Vomit -- Wallace and Grommet
Windy -- Mork and Mindy
Yank -- Septic Tank
Years -- Donkey's Ears
Wander --- Jane Fonda
Wife -- Trouble and Strife
Wife --- Bag for Life
Word -- Dicky Bird
Wrist -- Oliver Twist 
**
*Danny La Rue was a famous UK entertainer. 

Cockney expressions

“I like it, but it didn't get up and give me a kiss.”   This is a traditional cockney slang quote that means you are reasonably impressed but not ecstatic.

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Ratner ----  Almighty verbal blunder.
This one word quote was adopted (but now rarely used) following the disastrous after dinner speech by Gerald Ratner that ended his career.  
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Itsy Bitsy
An expression that indicates something is not complete; there are gaps; such as a news report, gossip, or presumption based on only some of the facts. i.e. “This is only half the story, it’s all itsy bitsy”

Teeny Weeny
Term used to describe anything that is very, or much smaller than normal such as a tiny car, animal, portion. It is also used to reduce the impact of stronger statements. i.e. “It was only a teeny weeny lie”   
The expression “Itsy Bitsy Teeny Weeny” is rarely used. In the pop song (Yellow Polka Dot Bikini) the itsy-bitsy refers to an incomplete swimming costume and the teeny-weeny refers to its size.

Sunny Side Up
This refers to when ordering a meal that includes fried eggs; that you want your eggs to be fried with the yellow yolk remaining soft and facing upwards. In a crude sense "Sunny Side" is used to describe a persons bottom (posterior) and the "Up" that it is facing upwards such as when sunbathing or other act.

Slang Quotes

Dialect tempered with slang is an admirable medium of communication between persons who have nothing to say and persons who would not care for anything properly said. Thomas Bailey Aldrich

Slang is a language that rolls up its sleeves, spits on its hands and goes to work. Carl Sandburg 

The sea speaks a language polite people never repeat. It is the colossal scavenger slang and has no respect. Carl Sandburg

Man is a creature who lives not upon bread alone, but principally by catchwords. Robert Louis Stevenson


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