The London Accent and Cockney Rhyming Slang

Cockney Rhyming slang – A type of slang in which a words are replaced by a words or phrases they rhyme with.

Apple and pears = stairs
To hide meaning from the law and/or to exclude outsiders
to have a butcher’s (hook) = a look
She’s brown bread = She’s dead
(Aunt) Joanna – piano
Boat race – face
North and South = mouth
Ruby Murray (popular singer in the 1950s born in Belfast) = curry
Rub-a-dub-dub = pub (public house)
pig’s ear = beer
George Raft = draught
Gregory Peck = neck
plates of meat = feet
Pen and Ink = stink
Porky = pork pie = lie, e.g. “He’s telling porkies!
jam jar = car
jugs (of beer) = ears
Adam and Eve = believe = as in “would you Adam and Eve it?”
dog and bone = phone
whistle (and flute) = suit
trouble (and strife) = wife
Tom and Dick = sick
china (plate) = mate
Tea leaf = thief
Rosie = Rosie Lee = tea e.g. “Have a cup of Rosie”
Brahms and Liszt = “pissed” = drunk

Would you Adam and Eve it, I was down the rub-a-dub-dub with the trouble having a couple of pigs when a tea leaf nicked my wallet!

There’s a bit of rhyming slang outside London in the UK, but it’s almost not known at all outside its own environment. For example:

corn beef = “deef” = deaf (‘mutton’ or ‘Mutt and Jeff’ = ‘deaf’ in cockney rhyming slang)

tatie bread = dead (tatie bread is potato bread)

mince pies = eyes

a wee duke = a quick look
a deek = a quick peek

Newtons = teeth (from “Newton Heath”, rhymes with “teeth”). In London they use ‘Hampstead Heath’ as rhyming slang for teeth.

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