Back Slang
Butchering the Language


An unusual kind of slang, known as back slang, evolved in England. One of the places it flourished was in butcher shops, where it allowed the butcher to order his assistant to bring out the old piece of meat for this customer. A word was coded by writing it backwards and trying to make a sensible pronounciation, although certain sounds like "th" didn't actually get reversed, and extra vowels were inserted as necessary. In some cases, syllables were added or dropped, vowel sounds modified, or a single letter, such as "h", became pronounced.

Backslang showed up several times, complete with subtitles, in the Australian movie "The Hard Word", starring Guy Pearce as one of a trio of bankrobbers. He is the son of a butcher, and one of his mates is a butcher. Several brief backslang interchanges occur during the movie, involving "yenom" and "dratsabs".

In France, there is a similar slang, called Verlan, commonly used by immigrants. In this language, the reversal often takes place at the level of syllables, rather than letters. The greeting Bonjour, ca va?" becomes Jourbon, ca av?, and a cafe becomes a feca.

wordmeaning
beemallamb
coollook
curp/kcirpprick
dabtrosa bad sort (of person)
deeachehead
dee-aitchhead
deelo namold man
delloold
delo diamold maid
delo nammowold woman
delo wocold cow
delokcold
dooggood
doog enogood one
doog gelsgood legs
doonupspounds
dos a renoa sod
dratsabbastard
dunoppound
earththree
ecafface
ecnopponce
edgabaccabbage
edgenaroorange
eefinkknife
eelacsscales
eemoking pewcoming up
eemoshhome
eeninnine
eesonnose
eevach a koolhave a look
eeviggive
elbattable
elpaapple
elriggirl
elwofffowl
emaggame
emok nyecome in
eniffine
enoone
enobbone
epippipe
eriffire
erf yennepthreepennce
erththree
esaffface
escloppolice
esloppolice
esrochhorse
esuchhouse
evatchhave
eviffive
evlenettwelve
exissix
exobsboxes
exxessix
flatchhalf
flatch yenephalf penny
gib teenuckbig vagina
gib teesurbsbig breasts
helpaan apple
jerknoddonkey
kab edisbackside
kacab genalsback slang
kanitsstink
kaycuff foefuck off
kaynabbank
kayroppork
kayrop pochespork chops
kennetseenostinking
kenurddrunk
kewweek
kirpprick
kool toullook out
kool tourlook out
lahteeacheall right
larrooral (sex)
lerachammackerel
namman
namassomeone (...is coming)
namescloppoliceman
nammowoman
namohwoman
namowwoman
neergsgreens
neetriththirteen
nemmowoman
nevesseven
nommussomeone
nospera person
nosrapa parson
nottubbutton
oattwo
occabottobacco
on doogno good
owttwo
pew the elopup the pole = pregnant
reebbeer
repappaper
reppockcopper
resworttrousers
retchtubbutcher
retsiooyster
revlissilver
riachhair
riahhair
roaffour
rouffour
ruttattater (potato)
ryachechair
sayyes
seeyes
sippiss
slabsballs
slabs pewballs up = a mess
slaoccoals
sneerggreens
soushhouse
spinsrapparsnip
sreswortstrousers
sretsiooysters
stoobboots
stunnuts
swagssausages
tafffat
taoccoat
tee-aitcheight
tekrammarket
Texan rude namnext door man = neighbor
Texan rudernext door
tenipa pint
tib o the delobit of the old
toac tisawwaistcoat
toch enohot one = look out!
top o' reebpot o' beer
torraccarrot
traffart
trafffart
trattart
vatchhave
wennew
worrabbarrow
yorrabbarrow
yadnabbrandy
yardnarbbrandy
yarpoopay up
yeknoddonkey
yellibbelly
yeneppenny
yennommoney
yenorka crown
yobboy
yobboboy
zebbest

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Last modified on 29 December 2007.