Only Fools and Horses – Toby for Road

Only Fools and Horses SlangBaz has written in asking a question that we’ve been asked a couple of times before about slang in Only Fools and Horses.

“Could you please tell me what does the ‘Toby mean in Cockney rhyming as i heard it said in a Only Fools and Horses episode. Delboy gave Rodney the keys to the van and turn around to Uncle Albert and said Come on Albert we’ll take the Toby home.” The episode was called from Prussia. I’ve only ever heard it once. ”

“Toby” means “road” in this context, but it isn’t rhyming slang. It seems to come from about 1811. It is derived from the language of Irish travellers who use the word “tober” to mean road. Another related expression is the toby meaning highway robbery. High toby meaning highway robbery on horseback. Low toby meaning highway robbery on foot. Ride the toby or ply the toby meaning practice highway robbery. There are many other related expressions centering around highway robbery.

But Delboy we think is simply referring to the road.



10 responses to “Only Fools and Horses – Toby for Road”

  1. cockneyboyyyy says:

    Toby Jug: Mug?

  2. jim says:

    a toby is slang for a tramp, maybe meant they would walk (tramp home)

  3. Benny says:

    frog & Toad = Road

  4. nickjett says:

    Awesome read, me loves Only fools and horses!

  5. Tiffany says:

    Toby = Road? First time hear it. Good point though.

  6. pat says:

    I didnt see that episode but I thought exactly the same as you!! (cockney canadian me)

  7. Tourist says:

    yer he was probably talking about taking his beer home

  8. Futons says:

    Only Fools and Horses – Toby for road
    Didn’t know this was derived from the language of Irish travellers

  9. Charley Farley says:

    There is a rhyming phrase: Toby Ale = Rail. and it is possible that John Sullivan was saying they would take a train. Del boy uses the phrase again when he tells Rodney that as there were police around and he was soppy as a sandbag he would take a toby

  10. valrem says:

    Another word that Rodnay often uses is Brarmer, although this may be the wrong spelling. He often says a girl is a right brarmer. Any ideas? Thank you.