Did you know that “plonk” is really Cockney Rhyming Slang? The rhyme is PLINKETY PLONK, which rhymes with vin Blanc. It also echoes the sound of wine pouring into a glass. Very clever. It’s one of those Cockney slangs that you probably use without even knowing it’s Cockney Rhyming Slang.
We often discuss how curry came to be slangified into Ruby Murray. Maybe it’s cos we can’t stop eating the stuff. Anyway, here’s a great story from Jeff Ives who claims to have invented the slang. Jeff writes: “Shame on me, but I have just seen your website for the first time and noted a […]
Cockney rhyming slang is a humorous slang first used by cockneys in the east end of London and now understood widely in London and throughout Britain. It was invented in London in the 1840s by market traders, costermongers (sellers of fruit and vegetables from handcarts) and street hawkers. It was probably first used as a […]
Was pleased to be asked to contribute to a programme on the US’s National Public Radio about London life. The piece focussed on the Olympic Games (the Sid James, as they’re being branded by Cockney-loving PR companies on the lookout for an opportunity). http://www.npr.org/2012/03/14/148574426/olympics-letter-from-london
Sue writes asking about the derivation of the term “trolleys”. She knows the expression is used to mean underpants, but where the heck does it come from? We found out it’s quite a recent expression. Possibly originally from the Royal Navy, originating in the late 20th century and gaining popularity in the 70’s and 80’s. […]
Roberta writes: “This is a great dictionary and web site ! In the old days Cockneys – at least my Victorian Cockney ancestors- were all known by a nickname . My great uncles for example were known as Speck ,Missel and Banger . I was dubbed Topsy by my grandfather when I was born, and […]
Baz 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 […]
Les Williams writes: “Why Bristols (city)and not London or Cardiff eg Perhaps Bristol planes?” Good question! The slang is Bristol Cities, and this comes from the football team. I’m talking about Bristol City here, not Bristol Rovers, right? That’s the main reason. Also there is a theory that it caught on because “Bristol” and “Breast” […]
More on Australian slang for money. (Don’t forget, Australian slang is closely related to Cockney slang for obvious historical reasons). Elise from Australia tells us: “A $20 is a Lobster A $50 is a pineapple A $100 is a spot $500 a monkey $1000 a gorilla. The colours of the $20 and $50 in Australia […]
Kite: originally meant a worthless bill or cheque. Hence you would say “I am going to fly a kite” means you are going to pass a bad cheque. The word seems to now mean any cheque (bad or not). It is still used in the insurance and banking industry I am told.