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Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?

Related threads:
Lyr Req: cockney rhyming slang songs (87)
Lyr Req: song in rhyming slang (32)
BS: Scots Rhyming Slang??? (66)
Folklore: What is a 'furtive Jodrell'? (33)


clueless don 14 Apr 03 - 12:37 PM
mack/misophist 14 Apr 03 - 01:08 PM
Micca 14 Apr 03 - 01:25 PM
McGrath of Harlow 14 Apr 03 - 01:45 PM
The Shambles 14 Apr 03 - 01:56 PM
GUEST,Bagpuss 14 Apr 03 - 02:08 PM
Allan C. 14 Apr 03 - 02:51 PM
Jeanie 14 Apr 03 - 03:21 PM
The Walrus 14 Apr 03 - 04:36 PM
Gareth 15 Apr 03 - 06:26 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 15 Apr 03 - 06:41 AM
GUEST,Bagpuss 15 Apr 03 - 06:50 AM
GUEST,Bystander 15 Apr 03 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,LFF at work 15 Apr 03 - 07:40 AM
Felipa 15 Apr 03 - 07:00 PM
CraigS 15 Apr 03 - 07:45 PM
McGrath of Harlow 15 Apr 03 - 07:51 PM
The Walrus 15 Apr 03 - 08:33 PM
Mr Red 16 Apr 03 - 09:44 AM
bill\sables 16 Apr 03 - 01:09 PM
Mrs.Duck 16 Apr 03 - 01:37 PM
McGrath of Harlow 16 Apr 03 - 01:54 PM
Mrrzy 16 Apr 03 - 08:34 PM
GUEST,Mr Red 17 Apr 03 - 08:12 AM
Celtaddict 17 Apr 03 - 11:22 PM
Nigel Parsons 18 Apr 03 - 04:38 AM
McGrath of Harlow 18 Apr 03 - 07:04 AM
Micca 18 Apr 03 - 09:52 AM
Peg 18 Apr 03 - 01:06 PM
GUEST,celtaddict 18 Apr 03 - 03:59 PM
robomatic 18 Apr 03 - 05:21 PM
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robinia 19 Apr 03 - 04:13 PM
GUEST,Eliza 26 Jan 12 - 05:56 AM
GUEST,Mike Yates 26 Jan 12 - 06:59 AM
Vic Smith 26 Jan 12 - 07:03 AM
Bert 26 Jan 12 - 11:50 AM
pavane 26 Jan 12 - 02:17 PM
GUEST,Grishka 28 Jan 12 - 06:17 PM
mayomick 29 Jan 12 - 06:56 AM
GUEST,henryp 07 Feb 12 - 05:40 AM
ChrisJBrady 07 Feb 12 - 06:26 AM
Les from Hull 07 Feb 12 - 09:13 AM
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Subject: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: clueless don
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 12:37 PM

My wife asked me this question the other day, and MUDCAT seems like the place to ask! I presume that she meant "Cockney Rhyming Slang", though offshoots might also be of interest. For example, is it still used by Cockneys? I mean used in everyday life, as opposed to occurring in old song lyrics.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: mack/misophist
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 01:08 PM

Englishmen in the US have told me it was still used 5 years ago. Further deponent knoweth not.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Micca
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 01:25 PM

For an up-to-date (ish) picture try here It will at least give you a laugh, even if some of the references seem obscure to non-UKers!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 01:45 PM

More times than not people using rhyming slang don't even think of it as being rhyming slang, because the rhyming word isn't used. "Bristols" for breasts for example (short for "Bristol City"); "berk", short for for "Berkshire Hunt".

Rhyming slang with the full rhyme is rare, but I suspect it always was, in daily speech, because it interferes with the original point, which was to be a bit impenetrable.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: The Shambles
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 01:56 PM

Its use is so common, that many people are not even aware that they do use it every day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 02:08 PM

My original post seems to have fallen into a black hole, but I justy wanted to mention that rhyming slang is also common in other parts of the country. Here's an article about its use in Scotland - which has very different rhymes that wouldn't work with an english accent.

Bagpuss


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Allan C.
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 02:51 PM

Like some other Americans, I first became aware of this slang by way of the film, "Mr. Lucky" (1943) in which Carey Grant's character mixed a bit of it into his dialogs with Lorraine Day.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Jeanie
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 03:21 PM

Wotcha, me ol china ! Take a butchers at this, make sure you got yer 'ampsteads in first, mind, an soon yer'll be rabbitin away with the best of 'em... Would I tell porkies ?

Blimey! Would yer Adam n Eve it ?!

Expressions like "telling porkies" (pork pie = lie) and "rabbiting on" (rabbit and pork = talk) have certainly been absorbed into standard modern English. The nearer the East End you go, or to the places where East Enders moved out to after the war, the more rhyming slang you will hear, and nearly always with the second (rhyming) half missed out.

For anyone who loves this sort of thing, I thoroughly recommend "The Bible in Cockney" written by Mike Coles, Head of Religious Education at Sir John Cass School in Stepney, East London. (ISBN 1 84101 217 3) As a 'for instance' - The heading for Matthew 9:18-26 reads: "A geezer called Jairus and his bottle-of-water and some woman what touches Jesus' weasel".

Cheers !
- jeanie


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: The Walrus
Date: 14 Apr 03 - 04:36 PM

It is still in use, although the rhymes do change, I've heard 'Sexton' ('Sexton Blake'- the fictional detective - used for both 'cake' and 'fake', depending on the user); and some pass into common usage and become obscured.

How many people use phrases like "Use your loaf" without thinking Loaf-of-bread=head ?

By the bye, rhyming slang has been recorded from Australia to the West Coast of the USA (travelling the long way) so WHY does everyone insist on calling it 'Cockney' rhyming slang?

I was once slagged off by a woman at work who objected to my language (she objected to 'sexual references') because I'd used the terms 'a cock-up' (a printers' term <1>) and going 'balls-out' (an engineering term<2>) she commented that it gets on her wick' - difficult since she didn't have one (Hampton Wick = I'll let you lot supply the rhyme).

Some terms are based on an already extant slang term, the old sixpence piece was a tanner = 'tanner and skin'= a 'thin (a Victorian term for sixpence.

Walrus

<1> Cock Up - one letter in a 'movable type' bed which is higher than the rest and spoils the page.
<2> Go balls out - To go at full speed, such that the ball weights on the governor of the engine are at their maximum arc diameter and the engine is working at full capacity


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Gareth
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 06:26 AM

No difficulties on how Lundun rhyming slang spread to OZ - them Conckneys were sent away, in the Transports, "Bound for Van Deimens Land etc....."

Me, I am bilingual, I speak perfect SWelsh, and Sarf Lundun.

Gareth


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 06:41 AM

The phrase cock-up seems to be given a different derivation with every new person that mentions it. I had always been told it was a military term to do with cocking a gun, but a quick search found this explanation on a couple of sites.

"A cock-up is a mistake. This is the same usage as a fuck-up or foul-up, although apparently its origins are from beer making. If the batch went bad, they turned the cock (ie tap, or faucet) up to drain the barrel."

I had never heard the theory that it came from a printing term before now.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Bagpuss
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 06:50 AM

I meant to put in this link - to the h2g2 site with a page on common British swear words and cockney rhyming slang.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Bystander
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 07:37 AM

As others have mentioned, many people use rhyming slang without being aware of it. We also get rhyming slang on rhyming slang. Take for example "Shift your arris", short for 'Aristotle' ryming with 'bottle'. Bottle (Bottle and Glass)in turn rymes with 'arse'. There is also a lot of contrived rhyming slang originating in TV programmes. In 'Minder' for example, Terry and Arthur always called the telephone the 'Dog and Bone'. All the time I lived in East London the 'phone was 'The Blower' or if someone wanted you to 'phone them it would be "give us a bell" Years ago our local library had a huge volume on ryming slang which went into great detail on the dates a word was used, where in the world it was used, etc. Does anyone know of this book and it's title.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,LFF at work
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 07:40 AM

Then there's Norfolk rhymeless slang (courtesy of The Kipper Family - who else?)

Apples and Pears - Fruit
Plates of Meat - Sunday Dinner

and so on.

LFF


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Felipa
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 07:00 PM

I hear rhyming slang used occasionally in everyday conversation here in the north of Ireland. Some of it appears to be imported Cockney that has become well-known elsewhere.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: CraigS
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 07:45 PM

Nobody mentioned Polari? Get yer nadgers round that!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 07:51 PM

"Apple and wombats" - "combats" I think that was one of Dud and Pete's.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: The Walrus
Date: 15 Apr 03 - 08:33 PM

Bystander,

My last post seems to have disappeared into the ether.

Could the book you were thinking of have been:
"Slang: Today and Yesterday" by Eric Partridge?

Walrus


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Mr Red
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 09:44 AM

Just call me a fol de rol (troll) but is there rhyming slang for "rhyming slang"

or suggestions.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: bill\sables
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 01:09 PM

One of the latest examples is " A pair of Tony's" which is a pair of flared jeans. Flares - Tony Blairs


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Mrs.Duck
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 01:37 PM

Always the problem too that the rhyme often only works if you are a Londoner to start with as in "round the houses" ="trousers" but usually pronounced trousies by East Londoners.
Just an aside but I get really fed up when people ask if something is the correct pronounciation NO - the word is pronounced (and spelt) PRONUNCIATION. Nothing said here but there was a woman on the telly last night and she said it several times and I nearly smashed the screen!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 01:54 PM

"Trousies"? Surely "traarses", which rhymes with "haarses".


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Mrrzy
Date: 16 Apr 03 - 08:34 PM

Read Dick Francis' The Driving Force - a murder mystery hangs on an unusual user of rhyming slang...


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Mr Red
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 08:12 AM

That dick, Francis?

Mrs Duck - carefull you nearly had a billious attack!!!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Celtaddict
Date: 17 Apr 03 - 11:22 PM

In Melbourne last summer we ran into the fascinating layers of rhyming slang, day after day. Of course in Australia as far as I could tell every word of two syllables or less is used to refer to alcohol or sexual activity or both.
A personal favorite was a Wellie, as in "How about a Wellie?"
Wellie=Wellington=boot, rhymes with root, term for sexual intercourse for reasons I do not even want to contemplate.
So of course when a friend wrote from Ireland, where I was heading for a visit in Feb, "Don't forget your wellies," the possible responses were extensive.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Nigel Parsons
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 04:38 AM

Celtaddict: adds a whole new perspective to Billy Connelly's:

"If it wasna for your wellies
Where would you be"!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 07:04 AM

Correction - "Apple and wombats" wasn't Did and Pete - it was The Goodies.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Micca
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 09:52 AM

and, as everyone knows a wombat is the striking implement used in the game of Wom, which is a lot of old cobblers awls


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Peg
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 01:06 PM

I have a sort of part-time boyfriend (there must be a rhyming slang term for THAT!) who lives in the West Country, originally from Norfolk...he is far from being old-fashioned (still in his 20s) but he does use this slang occasionally; introduced his sister to me as his "skin and blister."


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,celtaddict
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 03:59 PM

Nigel: Not to mention the annual wellie-flinging contest!


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 05:21 PM

I remember when the first test-tube baby was conceived one of the UK weeklies commented it was the first time the English had done something without a cock-up.


So printing term or not, the sexual reference is there to be made.


robo

Does anyone remember that wonderful English flick, "The Italian Job" (Imagine one flick featuring Michael Caine, Benny Hill, and Noel Coward!). I believe there are rhyming slang references there including the theme song which I'll go look for.


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: robomatic
Date: 18 Apr 03 - 05:34 PM

Back again, here goes:


The Italian Job Soundtrack


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Subject: RE: BS: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: robinia
Date: 19 Apr 03 - 04:13 PM

Yeah, the "sexual reference," regardless of phrase origins, will be made by those of a mind to make it -- and this seems especially to include those on the lookout for verbal wrongdoing.    So in the recording of a long past West Virginia court case, the defendant was said to have "roostered his gun" -- and an ardent feminist informed me a while back that I shouldn't say "cocky virgin" because the adjective refers to an anatomical feature that women don't possess! (She thought that maybe I didn't know.) On the American farm, of course, "roosters" have long replaced "cocks," and apparently "cock" has even been edited out of the cockfighting scene.   At least in West Virginia. "Are those fighting cocks?" I asked the man who appeared to own the birds I inadvertantly bumped into on a "bird walk" with my daughter -- "oh yes," he said and promptly invited me to a "friendly chicken fight" that Sunday.....    Is this starting another thread?


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Eliza
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 05:56 AM

I have a very funny book called "Cockney Rabbit, A Dick'N'Arry of Rhyming Slang" by Ray Puxley (pub. 1992 Robson Books) Ray was born in the East End of London, and has lived and worked there all his life. But even he says there's no evidence as to whence the idea originated. But it's very much alive and well, if evolving constantly to keep up with new events and celebrities etc.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Mike Yates
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 06:59 AM

I was living in the East End of London during the Falklands War and was somewhat surprised when a neighbour said that he was "Off to the Belgrano". It took me a while to work out just what he meant. He was, of course, off to the pub .Belgrano (an Argentinian Cruiser) = boozer.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Vic Smith
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 07:03 AM

Rhyming Slang - is it still used?

Who gives a monkey's if it is or isn't!


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Bert
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 11:50 AM

Is it still used? Course it is. Me and me Skinnans use it all the time.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: pavane
Date: 26 Jan 12 - 02:17 PM

The earliest recorded instance of (cockney) rhyming slang was around 1838, just as the police force was being established, and that is believed to be significant. I did find a book on Google Books which gave details, but I didn't save the link.

Yes, there are many expressions still in common use - have a butchers (Hook=look), half-inch (pinch) , rabbit, get down to brass tacks (facts), and many people don't even know they are using it.

A load of cobblers = cobblers awls
Not a dicky bird = word
Dicky bow = a bow worn with your dicky dirt - shirt


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,Grishka
Date: 28 Jan 12 - 06:17 PM

In another forum I read about the "brass tacks" probably not originating from rhyming slang. Certainly they make sense in themselves.

A small percentage of slang tends to diffuse eventually into regular language, together with mondegreens, folk etymology, bad translations etc. Other parts that are no longer "cool" are still conserved as folklore.

I doubt that any true cockney would nowadays be successful when trying to introduce a new item of rhyming slang. More sarcastic jokes are now required to earn a laugh in the pubs. Besides, the cockney wearing his "titfer" earns his old-age pension as a stage figure in "My Fair Lady".


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: mayomick
Date: 29 Jan 12 - 06:56 AM

It's strange how often cockney rhyming slang gets explained with the example of "Apples and pears" for stairs .I never heard it used all the time I was in London.
If you were out with your old chinas ( china plates= mates, friends) doing a bit of tealeafing (tea leaf =thief)and you lost your bottle (bottle and glass = arse) that meant you had the willies (willie pitts- shits), so you scarpered quick (scapa flow = go) . But you never run down the bleedin' apples and pears when you scarpered .


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: GUEST,henryp
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 05:40 AM

Pop goes the weasel - weasel and stoat, coat.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: ChrisJBrady
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 06:26 AM

But never heard now-a-days in the East End of London 'cos their ain't no more Cockneys living their. They're all living in Essex now.


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Subject: RE: Folklore: Rhyming Slang - is it still used?
From: Les from Hull
Date: 07 Feb 12 - 09:13 AM

I believe that it's spread from the East End of London was mainly down to the two world wars when cockney slang became Army (or Navy or Air Force) slang. I'm sure that my Dad picked up some of these expressions from cockney mates in WW2.


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