Cockney Rhyming Slang From A to Z: What Does It All Mean?
Origins of Cockney Rhyming Slang
Cockney rhyming slang is a traditional and fun extension to the English language. It originated from in the East End of London and was created to conceal what they were saying in public.
Cockney rhyming slang is still being used today by many of the East End residents, young and old. These residents are known as Cockneys.
A Cockney refers to the working-class Londoner, particularly those living in the East End. A true Cockney is someone who is born within earshot of the Bow Bells, the name of the bells of "St. Mary Le Bow" church in Cheapside in London, England.
Other parts of London and the UK also adopted this language, and it soon caught on throughout the world. Other styles of slang have been invented, which are still being used today to conceal conversations.
Cockney slang's popularity was slowly declining over the years because the majority of the East End locals have moved out of the area, and new immigrants have settled in. However, Cockney rhyming slang is becoming very popular throughout the world and is widely used in many British television shows.
How Does Rhyming Slang Work?
It is impossible to understand what cockney people are saying at times, especially for the tourists. Even watching a British gangster film or TV soap or series, it can make following a story impossible. With this handy guide, you'll soon have a Scooby of what's being said (Scooby-Doo = "clue").
Note: The rhyming word is often (but not always) completely omitted by the rhymer, so you would say “I’m just going up the apples” instead of "I'm just going up the apples 'and' pears".
Also: "cockney slang" and "cockney rhyming slang" are two different things. The UK, as well as the world all have their own slang words!
Have a "Butchers" below and see if you or a friend can guess what they mean.
A - Z List of Original Cockney Slang
A - B
- Adam and Eve = Believe. I don't Adam and Eve it.
- Alan Wickers = Knickers. Don't get your Alan wickers in a twist.
- Albert Hall = Ball. (testicles) He kicked him right in the Alberts (Albert Halls).
- Apples and Pears = Stairs. She's up the Apple's.
- April Showers = Flowers. I gave her a bunch of Aprils.
- Army and Navy = Gravy. Where's the Army & Navy?
- Aristotle = Bottle. You've lost your Aristotle mate. Nerves, to Chicken out.
- Artful Dodger = Lodger. Don't let the artful dodger know about that.
- Ascot Races = Braces. She's wearing Ascots.
- Aunt Joanna = Piano. She plays a nice tune on the Joanna.
- Ayrton Senna = Tenner. I'll give you an Ayrton Senna. 10 pounds.
- Bag of Sand = Grand. I'm picking up three bags of sand.
- Bakers Dozen = Cousin. I'm going to see my baker's dozen.
- Bangers and Mash = Cash. I'm out of Bangers and Mash.
- Barnet Fair = Hair. Check out his Barnet.
- Barney Owl = Row. We had a right Barney last night.
- Barney Rubble = Trouble. I'm in a right Barney Rubble.
- Basin of Gravy = Baby. It's not my basin of gravy.
- Battle Cruiser = Boozer (pub). Meet me in the battle cruiser.
- Bees and Honey. Money. I ain't got no bees and honey today.
- Behind with the rent = Bent (not straight) He's behind with the rent. (gay).
- Berkshire Hunt = cu*t. He's a right berk. (Swear word)
- Bird-Lime = Time. (prison time) He's doing bird.
- Birds Nest = Chest. He's got problems with his birds nest.
- Boat Race = Face. Nice legs, shame about her boat.
- Bob Hope = Dope / Marijuana. I'm trying to get hold of Bob Hope.
- Bob Marley = Charlie (Cocaine). The Bob Marley's really good if you need.
- Bottle and Glass = @ss. He's always sitting on his bottle.
- Bottle Stopper = Copper. I had to leave when I saw the bottle stopper.
- Box of Toys = Noise. Why missus is always making box of toys.
- Brown Bread = Dead. He's Brown Bread when I get my hands on him.
- Brahms and Liszt = Pissed. I'm totally Brahms. Pissed means drunk/angry.
- Boracic (brassic) Lint = Skint. I am brassic. Skint. Broke. Penniless.
- Brass Tacks = Facts. Those are the Brass tacks.
- Bread and Honey = Money. He owes me a lot of bread.
- Bristol City = Tit##y = Breasts. Check out the Bristol's on her.
- Bricks and Mortar = Daughter. She's my bricks n mortar.
- Bromley by Bows = Toes. He had it on his Bromley's.
- Bunny Rabbit - Rabbit and Pork = Talk. He likes to rabbit.
- Bubble and Squeak = Greek. He's a Bubble.
- Bubble Bath = Laugh. You're having a Giraffe. You're having a Turkish, Turkish bath. You're having a bubble (bubble bath).
- Butchers Hook = Look. Let's have a butchers.
Cockney Slang Words For Money
- Shrapnel Is small change - either 1p, 2p, 5p, 10p, 25p 50p or pound coin.
- 50p. An edge.
- 1 pound coin. A nicker. A nugget.
- 5 pounds note. Bluey. Lady Godiva. Jacks.
- 10-pound note. Brownie. Speckled Hen. Cockle and Hen. Nigel Ben. Ayrton Senna (tenner). Pavarotti (Tenor).
- 25 pounds. A Pony.
- 30 pounds. Dirty Birtie.
- 50-pound note. Red. Hawaii five 0. A Bullseye. Nifty.
- 100 pounds. A Ton. A one-er. A long-en.
- 500 pounds. A Monkey.
- 1000 pounds. A Grand. 1K.
- Callard and bowsers = Trousers. I need a new pair of Callard's.
- Cat and Mouse = House. Meet me at my Mickey.
- Chalk Farm = Arm. I'll break your chalk farm if you don't stop messing around.
- Chevy Chase = Face. She's got a beautiful chevy.
- Chicken Oriental = Mental. You're Chicken oriental.
- China plate = Mate. Hello me old China.
- Cockle & Hen = Ten. He owes me a cockle.
- Collar and Cuff = Puff. (cigs) Have you got any collar and cuff.
- Cream Crackered = Knackered. I'm cream crackered. Very tired and exhausted.
- Current Bun = Sun. I'm gonna chill out in the current bun.
- Custard & Jelly. Telly. (television) Do you want to buy a cheap custard & jelly?
- Cut and Carried = Married. No point in getting cut and carried.
- Daisy Roots = Boots. She's got some nice daisies on.
- Derry Toms = Bombs. Those derry toms almost hit my house (Mickey Mouse)
- Dicky Bird = Word. I want a little dicky with you.
- Dicky Dirt = Shirt. Nice dicky.
- Didgeridoo = Clue. I ain't got a didgeridoo what he's saying.
- Dog and Bone = Phone. One minute, I'm on the dog n bone.
- Donkeys Ears = Years. I have not seen her in Donkey's.
- Drum and Base = Place/home. I'll meet you at my drum.
- Duck and Dive = Hide. You need to duck and dive mate.
- Duck and Dive = Skive. I'm skiving off work. Not going. Lazy.
- Duke of Kent = Rent. He's behind on his Duke n rent.
- Dustbin Lids = Kids. She has two dustbin lids.
- Eartha Kitt = sh!t. I'm dying for an Eartha.
- Eyelash = Slash. (to urinate). I need an eye -lash.
- Farmer Giles = Piles. My farmers are playing up today.
- Fawlty Tower = Shower. You need a faulty tower.
- Frog and Toad = Road. I'm just going down the frog and toad.
Celebrity Cockney Names: Old & New
- Barry McGuigan = Big-un.
- Billy Piper's = Windscreen wipers.
- Britney Spears = Beers.
- Catherine Zeta-Jones = Moans.
- Captain Kirk = Work.
- Claire Rayner's = Trainers.
- Dame Edna Everage = Beverage.
- Damen Duff = Rough.
- Danny Dyer = Trier.
- Dolly Parton = Carton.
- Ewan McGregor = Beggar.
- Fatboy Slim = Gym.
- Gary Glitter = Shi##er.
- George Michael = Menstrual Cycle.
- Gloria Gaynor's = Trainers.
- Hank Marvin = Starving.
- Judi Dench = Stench.
- Lee Marvin = Starving.
- Myleene Class = @ss.
- Ricky Gervais = Face.
- Ron Weasley = Easily.
- Simon Cowell = Towel.
- Tom Hanks = Thanks.
- Veera Lynn = Gin.
- Vera Lynns = Skins/Rizla's.
- Ginger Beer = Queer. He's a right ginger. Queer is a homosexual.
- Goosy Gander = Gander means to look. Have a goosy gander at that.
- Grasshopper = copper. Someone who will grass/snitch on you to a copper/policeman.
- Gregory Peck = Neck. Quick, get that drink down your Gregory.
- Haddock and Bloater = Motor. I'll give you a lift in my bloater.
- Hampstead Heath = Teeth. She's got a nice set of Hampstead Heath.
- Hampton Wick = Pric#. What a Hampton wick. pric#.
- Harry Monk = Skunk. (Cannabis). Where can I get some Harry Monk?
- Harry Monk = #punk. (Sp+rm) you've got no Harry mate. No guts.
- Helter Skelter = Air-raid shelter. All get to the helter-skelter.
- Horse and Tram = Pram. That's a nice horse and tram.
- Huckleberry Finn = Pin. I've lost my Huckleberry Finn. Bank pin number.
- Jack and Danny = F#nny. What a load of Jack and Danny.
- Jack Jones = Own. I'm on my Jack Jones. I'm alone.
- Jackson Pollocks = Bo!!ocks. He got kicked right in the Jacksons.
- Jacobs Crackers = Knackers. (testicles) Mess with me and I'll cut your Jacobs off.
- James Blunt = Cun#. What a James Blunt.
- Jimmy Boyle - Foil. Tin foil used for smoking heroin.
- Jimmy Flint = Skint. I'm Jimmy Flint. Skint means to have no money.
- Jimmy Cliff = Spliff (marijuana joint). I need to see Jimmy.
- Jimmy Riddle = Piddle (pee) I'm going for a Jimmy. To urinate.
- Joe Daki = Paki. A derogatory term to describe Asians. P@ki = Pakistani.
Cockney Slang Words
- Bird = Good looking female or girlfriend. or she's a nice looking bird.
- Cushtie = to feel very good /sweet. I'm feeling cushtie.
- I'm Hammered = being very drunk / wasted.
- Knuckle Sandwich is a closed fist and what you'd give to someone via a punch to the face.
- Lovely Jubilee is an expression of something you like or approve of.
- Off Your Trolley means 'you must be crazy' or, you're very drunk/wasted.
- On your Bike = Get the hell out of here / Go fuc# yourself / No way.
- Plank means someone who's an idiot. He's a right plank.
- Kane and Able = Table. Let's sit at that Kane and Able.
- Kettle and Hob = Fob (fob is a chain attached to a watch) Nice kettle mate.
- Kyber Pass = @ss. Ill give you a good kick up the Kyber.
- Laurel and Hardy = Bacardi. Don't forget to bring the Laurel.
- Lemon Tart = Smart. Don't get lemon with me.
- Lemon and Lime = Time. What's the Lemon?.
- Lemon Squeezer = Geezer. Geezer is slang for a guy/bloke.
- Loaf of Bread = Head. Use your loaf.
- Light and Dark = Park. Meet me at the light and dark.
- Lionel Blair's = Flairs. Look at the size of the Lionel's on him.
- Lump of Ice = Advice. I gave him some lump of ice.
- Mars Bar = Scar. Where did you get that Mars Bar?
- Merchant Banker = W@nker. He's a right merchant banker.
- Mickey Bliss = Piss. He's taking the Mickey (piss) out of me.
- Mince Pies = Eyes. (Mince / Mincers) Get your mincers off my bird. Bird/Girlfriend.
- Moby Dick = Sick. He's feeling well Moby Dick today.
- Mork and Mindy = Windy. Its well Mork and Mindy today.
- Mutt n Jeff. Mutton n Jeff = Deaf. Are you mutton?.
- Nelson Eddy's = Readies. (money) Have you got any readies?.
- New Dheli - Belly. I've got a pain in my New Dheli.
- Nigel Ben = Ten. He owes me a Nigel. Ten pounds.
- North and South = Mouth. He's gotta big north n south.
- Oily Rag = Fag. Have you got any oily's? Fag = cigarette. Fag = gay.
- On the Floor = Poor. I'm on the floor mate.
- One's and Two's = Shoes. I like your ones and two's.
- Peckham Rye = Tie. I like your new Peckham & Rye.
- Pen and Ink = Stink. You pen and ink mate. Stink. to have a bad smell.
- Pie and Mash = Cash. Have you got any pie and mash on you?.
- Pigs Ear = Beer. I'm dying for a Pigs Ear.
- Pimple and Bloch = Scotch. I've got a case of pimple and botch.
- Plaster of Paris = Arris. I'll give you a right kick up your Arris.
- Plates of Meat = Feet. Look how big her plates of meat are.
- Pony and Trap = Crap. You're talking a lot of Pony mate. Crap means shi# / Poo.
- Pork Pies = Lies. Stop telling porkies.
- Rabbit and Pork = talk = He doesn't half Rabbit on means he talks too much.
- Radio Rental = Mental. That geezer (bloke/man) is radio rental.
- Raspberry Ripple = Nipple. Did you see her raspberry ripples?
- Raspberry Ripple = Cripple. I'll beat him so bad, he'll end up a raspberry.
- Rattle and Clank = Bank. Have you checked out the location of the rattle and tank.
- Rats and Mice = Dice (gambling) He always wins at rats and mice
- Richard the 3rd = Turd. He smells like Richard the 3rd. Turd means Sh!t.
- Roger Moore = Door. Who left the Roger open.
- Rosy Lee = Tea. Would you like a Rosy Lee?. Tea is a hot drink/beverage.
- Rub And Dub = Pub. I'll meet you at the rub-a-dub.
- Ruby Murry = Curry. Fancy a Ruby tonight?.
- Salmon and trout = Snout. (Cigarettes). Have you got any salmon?
- Salt = a good-looking female. She's a salt. Not slang, cockney.
- Sausage and Mash = Cash. Have you got any sausage and mash on you?.
- Septic Tank = Yank. He's a septic Tank / American.
- Scooby-Doo = Clue. I don't have a Scooby-Doo. (Clue/Idea).
- Scotch Mist = Pissed (drunk). He's scotch and mist!
- Sherbet Dab = Cab. (taxi) I'm taking a sherbet.
- Skin and Blister = Sister. I'm going to see my skin n blister.
- Skyrocket = Pocket. Look in your sky rocket.
- Stand to Attention = Pension. No work, no chance of standing to attention.
- Sweeney Todd = The Flying Squad.(Police) The Sweeney Todd is on my case.
- Syrup of Figs = Wig. Look at that guys, you can tell he's wearing a syrup.
- Tit For Tat = Hat. It's freezing outside. Where's my titfer?.
- Tea Leaf = Thief. He's a right tea-leaf.
- Threepenny Bits = Tits (female breasts). What lovely threepenny bits.
- Toby Jugs = Lug holes/Ears. Don't forget to clean behind your lugs.
- Treacle Tart = Sweetheart. Alright treacle?
- Trouble and Strife = Wife. I'll be at my trouble and strife's.
- Tom Tit = Shi#. I'm dying for a Tom tit. Shi#.
- Tom Foolery = Jewellery. You got some nice Tom on mate.
- Tommy Tank = Wan@. Go and have a Tommy Tank. Wan# is to masturbate.
- Two and Eight = State. He's in a right 2 n 8 means he's in a bad way/state.
- West Ham Reserves = Nerves. You're getting on my West Hams.
- Whistle and Flute = Suit. Nice whistle mate.
The Cockney Sparrow
Cockney sparrows are birds widely seen and heard in and around London, but unfortunately, now in decline. A cockney sparrow is also a term used to describe the remaining old school traditional East Londoners who are also in decline.
Any words or phrases not listed here may not be truly original cockney rhyming slang (Mockney).
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