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Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)

Ian Kirk (inactive) 17 Feb 99 - 04:29 PM
Barbara 17 Feb 99 - 05:11 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 17 Feb 99 - 06:07 PM
Jo Taylor 17 Feb 99 - 08:38 PM
Barbara 17 Feb 99 - 10:33 PM
MudGuard 18 Feb 99 - 04:50 AM
Roger the zimmer 18 Feb 99 - 05:38 AM
Ian Kirk (inactive) 18 Feb 99 - 06:18 AM
Ian Kirk (inactive) 18 Feb 99 - 06:30 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Feb 99 - 07:50 AM
Steve Parkes 18 Feb 99 - 07:53 AM
Bert 18 Feb 99 - 09:01 AM
Jerry Friedman 18 Feb 99 - 12:39 PM
Pete M 18 Feb 99 - 02:44 PM
Bert 18 Feb 99 - 02:53 PM
AllisonA(Animaterra) 18 Feb 99 - 07:32 PM
Joe Offer 19 Feb 99 - 03:24 PM
Mo the caller 24 Dec 07 - 08:47 AM
john f weldon 24 Dec 07 - 08:58 AM
The Walrus 24 Dec 07 - 10:51 AM
Fidjit 24 Dec 07 - 05:02 PM
GUEST,V. Irene Cockroft 12 Nov 11 - 04:40 AM
Fergie 12 Nov 11 - 11:23 AM
Mrrzy 12 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM
GUEST,V. Irene Cockroft 12 Nov 11 - 05:50 PM
GUEST,Paul Slade 12 Nov 11 - 06:46 PM
GUEST,SRD 12 Nov 11 - 07:04 PM
GUEST,SRD 13 Nov 11 - 06:01 PM
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Subject: A is for 'orses
From: Ian Kirk (inactive)
Date: 17 Feb 99 - 04:29 PM

We are I guess fairly familiar with the phonetic alphabet A - Alpha B - Bravo C - Charlie D - Delta etc etc

I have searched for a long time for the rest of the Cockney version of this system. The bits I have heard are A- for 'orses B- for tea C- for miles I-for emmanuel J-for oranges L-for leather M-for sis Q-for a bus T-for two U-for me

Lots of letters missing I know. Any help appreciated.

Ian


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Feb 99 - 05:11 PM

Is W - trouble?


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 17 Feb 99 - 06:07 PM

A for 'orses, B for mutton, C for yourself, D for dumb, E for Brick; F for vescence, G for police; H for retirement; I for tower; J for oranges; K for teria; L for leather; M for sis; N for dig; O for the garden wall; P for comfort; Q for a bus; R for mo'; S for you; T for two; U for mism; V for la France; W for tune; X for breakfast; Y for husband; Z for breezes.

all of the above from "I Saw Esau" edited by Iona and Peter Opie
Allison


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Jo Taylor
Date: 17 Feb 99 - 08:38 PM

Slight variation: O for the wings of a dove, P for ages, Q for a pee...bit rude for the Opies!
Umm - don't get H or S or W, could you spell them out?! Can't remember the ones I knew.
Jo


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Barbara
Date: 17 Feb 99 - 10:33 PM

H is age; S is is; I don't hear W either. Double your fortune?


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Subject: Lyr Add: A IS FOR 'ORSES
From: MudGuard
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 04:50 AM

Could someone please spell out the rest?
My guesses:
(being German, the A, E, F, G, I, L, N, O, R, U and Z are too hard for me to catch, and I'm not sure about my solution to G, J and M)

A for 'orses = ???
B for Mutton = Beef or Mutton
C for yourself = See for yourself
D for dumb = Deaf or dumb
E for Brick = ???
F for vescence = ???
G for police = Chief of Police???
H for retirement = age for retirement
I for tower = ???
J for oranges = Jaffa Oranges???
K for teria = Cafeteria
L for leather = ???
M for sis = emphasis???
N for dig = ???
O for the garden wall = ???
O for the wings of a dove = ???
P for comfort = Pee for comfort
P for ages = Pee for ages
Q for a bus/pee = Queue for a bus/pee
R for mo' = ???
S for you = is for you
T for two = tea for two
U for mism = ???
V for la France = vive la France
W for tune = double your fortune
X for breakfast = eggs for breakfast
Y for husband = wife or husband
Z for breezes = ???

Andreas


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Roger the zimmer
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 05:38 AM

This revivied another childhood memory of the (UK) Black Country (West Midlands): my grandfather used to tease me with a dialect version the only bit I can remember is "A for th'oss" (Hay for the horse) .Now you know why we find it difficult explaining Enoch & Eli (Aynuk & Aylai) jokes to "furriners"!


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Ian Kirk (inactive)
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 06:18 AM

Hi Andreas

Cockney, has a number of characteristics as a regional dialect. One of the most commonly heard is the dropped aitch and the silent 'g'. As in 'arf for half and goin' for going. Which may help to explain why some of the below is unclear. As a South Londoner myself as it 'appens I 'ave a tendency to drop my 'aitches particularly if I get talking to somebody with a strong London accent. At one time Cockney speech was most prevalent amongst the poor and working class districts of the East End of London where I worked for a time. But you now hear variations of it all over the London area from Essex in the North to Kent in the South.

I have recently read The Story of English by McCrum, Cran and MacNeil published by Faber and Faber. It is a fascinating book tracing the spread of English throughout the world and how it has been modified by the population over the countries where it has taken root.

There is a complete chapter on American English and the effect on the use of English in the USA of one Mr Noah Webster the author of Webster's Dictionary. In the first half of the 19th C he dedicated himself to producing books and dictionaries in an attempt to standardize American English. His spelling books were used in schools all over the USA and the method of teaching English at the time was to pronounce each syllable of a word. It is suggested it is one of the reasons why American speech is in the main more measured than it is elsewhere. For example I would pronounce secretary "secretree" whereas an American would be more inclined to say sec-re-tary giving equal weight to each part of the word. I say defence with the stress on the 'f' an American would put the stress on the 'd' and on the f as in deefence.

Anyway back to the subject in hand. I hope my translations help.

A for 'orses = Hay for Horses
E for Brick = Heave a Brick - as in throw a brick
F for vescence = Effervescence - as in fizzy
G for police = Chief of Police
I for tower = Eiffel Tower
J for oranges = Jaffa Oranges - Jaffa are or where the biggest importers of oranges in to the UK and every orange you saw had a Jaffa sticker on it
L for leather = Hell for Leather. Don't know the derivation of this but it is a commonly used expression to run hell for leather away from something
M for sis = emphasis
N for dig = I think this is Infra Dig a shortening of the Latin for beneath one's dignity
O for the garden wall = Over the Garden Wall - I think it was the title of a popular Radio Programme in the 30's and 40's
O for the wings of a dove = Oh for the Wings of a Dove. The title of a popular song I think turn of the century
R for mo' = Half a Mo - Half a Moment -similar to the German augenblick ( excuse my spelling)
U for mism = Euphemisn
Z for breezes = I think if you pronounce the Z - Zee you get Sea for Breezes. I'm guessing

If I can 'elp wiv anyfink else givvus a shout

Ian


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Ian Kirk (inactive)
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 06:30 AM

Allison I forgot to say thanks for the post and filling in the gaps

What else is in the book you mention by the Opies. Do you know if it is still in print

Best regards

Ian


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 07:50 AM

Zephyr breezes! [= zed for ..]

My mom used to quote bits of tis when I was a kid, but she could never remember all of it. I'll pass it on to her complete. There was a British quick-fire patter double act in the thirties and forties who used to do this; I can't for the life of me remember their names: might have been The Two .. or X and X (same initials). I shall remember as soon as I've posted this!

Haven't heard a Black Country version. If you pronounce 'hay' as 'air' it gets rather confused. I'd like to see the rest, if anyone knows it - or can suggest any more.

Steve


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 07:53 AM

... and D for ential: differential


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Bert
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 09:01 AM

A couple of variations

P for whistle
P for relief
Q for Miles
N for lope
O for the rainbow
S for Williams
I for Novello

Bert.


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Jerry Friedman
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 12:39 PM

And see this one, which also directs you to rec.humor for still more variations.


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Pete M
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 02:44 PM

One small correction Barbara: S for you is 'as for you' for example "As fer yew mate, yew'll get a smack in the gob."

I ain't from Lunnon but me trouble is.

Pete M


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Bert
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 02:53 PM

So Pete M,
Yer ol' china's a Limey eh! Where's she from?

Bert.


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: AllisonA(Animaterra)
Date: 18 Feb 99 - 07:32 PM

Ian, as far as I know the Opie book is still in print. The Opies were collecters of playground lore among many other things. They collected jumprope rhymes, street chants and taunts, and much more, on both sides of the puddle. I owe a lot to them in my appreciation of the hand-clapping games at the back of the bus on field trip days- sometimes I bring a tape recorder! Hey, Joe Offer- there's a field for you to collect in!


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Subject: RE: A is for 'orses
From: Joe Offer
Date: 19 Feb 99 - 03:24 PM

Barnes and Noble says I Saw Esau (The Schoolchild's Pocket Book) is still in print, and it has great illustrations by Maurice Sendak. Another great book by Ional and Peter Opie is the Oxford Dictionary of Nursery Rhymes. Animaterra, you've got me figured out. I've been collecting kids' songs and stories and whatnot since I was a camp counselor in the 1960's. If it's obnoxious, I'm interested.
-Joe Offer-


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: Mo the caller
Date: 24 Dec 07 - 08:47 AM

I for tower
I would have guessed that could have been ivory tower, rather the Eiffel, but I prefer the
I for Novello (Ivor, song writer)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: john f weldon
Date: 24 Dec 07 - 08:58 AM

Z - Zephyr


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: The Walrus
Date: 24 Dec 07 - 10:51 AM

I knew 'C' as "C for thighlanders" (Seaforth Highlanders)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: Fidjit
Date: 24 Dec 07 - 05:02 PM

I'm from Lunnan an' I quite like this

Subject: Language lesson.

The European Commission has just announced an agreement whereby English will be the official language of the European Union rather than German, which was the other possibility.

As part of the negotiations, the British Government conceded that English spelling had some room for improvement and has accepted a 5-year phase-in plan that would become known as "Euro-English".

In the first year, "s" will replace the soft "c". Sertainly, this will make the sivil servants jump with joy.

The hard "c" will be dropped in favour of "k". This should klear up konfusion, and keyboards kan have one less letter.

There will be growing public enthusiasm in the sekond year when the troublesome "ph" will be replaced with "f". This will make words like fotograf 20% shorter.

In the 3rd year, public akseptanse of the new spelling kan be expected to reach the stage where more komplikated changes are possible.

Governments will encourage the removal of double letters which have always ben a deterent to akurate speling.

Also al wil agre that the horibl mes of the silent "e" in the language is disgrasful and it should go away.

By the 4th yer, people wil be reseptiv to steps such as replasing "th" with "z" and "w" with "v".

During ze fifz yer, ze unesesary "o" kan be dropd from vords containing "ou" and after ziz fifz yer, ve vil hav a reil sensibl riten styl.

Zer vil be no mor trubl or difikultis and evrivun vil find it ezi tu understand ech oza. Ze drem of a united urop vil finali kum tru.

Und efter ze fifz yeer, v evil al be speking German like zey vunted in ze forst plas.


Chas


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: GUEST,V. Irene Cockroft
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 04:40 AM

I am Australian. My father fought in the Pacific Islands in WWII. He used to tease me, when a child, with what I considered to be a 'Forces Alphabet' i.e. a mental exercise dreamed up by soldiers in the trenches.)
Obviously my supposition was wrong and this alphabet was based on the Cockney alphabet, perhaps half-remembered by 'New Australians'.
The variations I remember are 'C for Ships', 'I for E' (Ivory), 'K for Dinosaurs' (cave for…), 'N for eggs' (hen for …), 'O for a nice cup of tea!' and 'R for Askey (Arthur Askey)'. More might come to mind.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: Fergie
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 11:23 AM

Variation of the Cockney alphabet that I learned in the fifties in Dublin.

A is for 'orses (hay is for horses)
B for mutton (beef or mutton)
C for yerself (see for yourself)
D for dumb (deaf or dumb)
E for over (heave her over)
F for vescence (effervescence)
G for police (chief of police)
H for weight (age for weight)
I for big one (I've a big one)
J for oranges (Jaffa oranges)
K for cavern (cave or cavern)
L for leather (hell for leather)
M for sis (emphasis)
N for lope (envelope)
O for the wings of a dove
P for ish (peeverish)
Q for the bus
R for it up (offer it up)
S for Williams (Esther Williams)
T for two (tea for two)
U for me (you for me)
V for la France (viva la France)
W for a bob (double you for a bob)
X for breakfast (eggs for breakfast)
Y for goodness sake (why for goodness sake)
Z for breezes (zephyr breezes)

Fergus


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: Mrrzy
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 12:54 PM

This is great! There is a French one like this with counting... I'd never thought of it but A *is* for 'orses...


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: GUEST,V. Irene Cockroft
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 05:50 PM

2011 suggestion:
A for paper (A4 paper, standard writing sheet)


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet son
From: GUEST,Paul Slade
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 06:46 PM

On a (slight) tangent, there's also The Bus Driver's Prayer - as championed by the mighty Ian Dury:

Our Father, which art in Hendon,
Harrow Road be Thy name,
Thy will be done, Thy Wimbledon,
In Erith as it is in Hendon,
Give us this day our Berkhamstead,
And forgive us our Westminsters,
As we forgive those who Westminster against us,
Lead us not into Temple Station,
And deliver us from Ealing,
For Thine is the Kingston,
The Purley and the Crawley,
For Iver and Iver,
Crouch End.


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: GUEST,SRD
Date: 12 Nov 11 - 07:04 PM

My wife has been reminded by this thread of a ditty her mother would recite that went along the lines of:
Amen (Hay men)
Straw Women
Rag Dolls
Made of linen
Something something something
Then something along the lines of:
You get to the end you go back to the beginning.

Anyone able to fill in the 'somethings'?


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Subject: RE: Lyr Req: A Is for 'Orses (Cockney alphabet song)
From: GUEST,SRD
Date: 13 Nov 11 - 06:01 PM

And a few more modern ones:
B for you gogo
D for Kate
2 and 6


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