Cockney Rhyming Slang


A peculiar kind of slang, known as Cockney rhyming slang, evolved in England. Its distinguishing mark is the use of paired words, or compound phrases, in which the last word rhymes with the word that is actually meant. Thus, for instance, instead of saying "head", a Cockney might say

I hit him in his loaf of bread.

To increase the fun and confusion, once the phrase has become common, the first word of the phrase can often be used to suggest the entire phrase, and at a second level of indirection, the original word. Thus, the Cockney's victim might simply be hit "in the loaf". And what was used in the hitting? Why the Cockney's Germans - that is, his German bands - that is, his hands!

I recently heard that there had been a "translation" of the Bible into rhyming slang!

With your new found skills, you should be able to decipher much of The Rhyme of the Rusher.

Reference:

  1. Bob Aylwin,
    A Load of Cockney Cobblers,
    ISBN13: 978-0717941919,
    LC: PE3724.R5.A9.
  2. Julian Franklyn,
    A Dictionary of Rhyming Slang,
    Routledge and Kegan Paul, 1975,
    ISBN13: 978-0710013941,
    LC: PE3727.R5.F7.
  3. Jonathon Green,
    A Dictionary of Contemporary Slang,
    Pan Books, 1992,
    ISBN: 0812830512,
    LC: PE3721.G68.
  4. Jonathon Green,
    Cassell's Rhyming Slang,
    Cassell Academic, 2000,
    ISBN13: 978-0304355136,
    LC: PE3724.R5.G74.

ShortLongRhymeMeaning
AdamAdam and Eveto leave 
alansAlan Whickersknickersunderwear
all harborall harbor lightall right 
almondsalmond rockssocks 
applesapples and pearsstairs 
applesapples and spicenice 
arras/ArisAristotlebottle 
"arfer"Arthur Rankwankto masturbate
arthurArthur Rankbank 
ballball of chalka walk 
barnetBarnet Fairhair 
barneyBarney Rubbletrouble 
berkBerkeley hunt a despised person
biscuitsbiscuits and cheeseknees 
boilingboiling potthe loteverything
boracicboracic lintskintbroke
bottlebottle and glassass 
brassbrass nailtail 
breadbread and honeymoney 
BristolsBristol Cities breasts
BritneyBritney Spearsbeers 
brownbrown breaddead 
bullocksbullock's hornto pawn 
bubblebubble and squeakto speak 
BurtonBurton on Trentthe rent 
butcherbutcher's hooka look; a crook 
CainCain and Abela table 
canovcan of oila boil 
captainCaptain Cook; Captain Hooka look 
ChalfontsChalfont St Gilespileshemorrhoids
chalkchalk farmarm 
cherriescherry hogsdogsthe dog-racing tracks
cherrycherry hogdog 
chevychevy chaseface 
chinachina platematea friend
cobblerscobbler's awlsballstesticles
cowcow and calfa half (pound)50p, once 10 shillings
cremedcreme crackeredknackeredexhausted
dailyDaily Mailtail 
daisiesdaisy rootsbootsshoes
davyDavy Crockettpocket 
dogdog and bonetelephone 
donaldDonald Duck to fornicate
donkeysdonkey's earsyears 
draindrain and sinkdrink 
drumdrum and bassplacehome
dukesDukes of Yorkforksfists
DunlopDunlop tireliar 
dutchDuchess of Fifewife 
dutchdutch platematebuddy
EarthaEartha Kittshit 
EdmundEdmund Rosthe boss 
EdnaEdna Mayon your way! 
elephantselephant's trunkdrunk 
farmersFarner Gilespileshemorrhoids
finsburyFinsbury Parkarcarc light
fishfish and shrimppimp 
fleaflea and lousehouse 
flounderflounder and dabcabtaxicab
floweryflowery dellcell 
GaryGary Glittera pint of bitterale
GermansGerman bandshands 
GianlucaGianluca VialliCharley"C", cocaine
gingerginger beerqueer 
grassgrasshoppercopperpoliceman, informer
greensgreengageswages 
guyGuy Fawkesa walk 
gypsygypsy's kisspiss 
HampsteadsHampstead Heathteeth 
HamptonHampton Rockcockpenis
HamptonHampton Wickprickpenis
haricotharicot beanqueenan effeminate homosexual
hithit and missa kiss 
horsehorse and trapclapa venereal disease
IrishIrish jiga wig 
ironiron hoofpoofa pooftah, a homosexual
JackJack and Jilla pill 
JacobsJacob's cream crackersknackersballs, testicles
jacksjacks alivefive 
J ArthurJ Arthur Rankwankmasturbate
jekyllsJekylls and Hydesstridespants
JimmyJimmy Riddlepiddleurinate
JodrellJodrell Bankto wankmasturbate
JohnJohn Hopa copa policeman
JonahJoan of Arca shark 
kerriedKerry Packeredknackeredworn out
KhyberKhyber Passarseass
KilburnKilburn Priorydiary 
KuwaitiKuwaiti tankerwanker 
lakeslakes of Killarneybarmycrazy
lemonlemon squashwash 
LeroyLeroy and Frankto wankto masturbate
loafloaf of breadhead 
lollylollipopshopto turn informer
lordLord Mayorto swear 
a Marquessa Marquess of Lorna hornan erection
a MelvynMelvyn Bragga shagsexual intercourse
mincesmince pieseyes 
MobyMoby Dickkick 
mollomolly the monkdrunk 
mollyMolly Malonephone 
muttonMutt and Jeffdeaf 
nauticalsnautical milespileshemorrhoids
NelsonsNelson Eddy'sthe readiescash
NoahNoah's arkshark 
oatsoats and chaffpath 
oilyoily raga faga cigarette
OliverOliver Twista fist; pissed 
OliverOliver Reedspeedamphetamines
onceronce a weekcheekimpudence
OscarOscar Aschecash 
PattiePattie Hearsta first (university degree) 
PeckhamPeckham ryea tie 
plasterplaster of ParisAris=Aristotle=bottle=glass=ass
pogopogo stickdickpenis
ponypony and trapcrap 
porkypork pielie 
potatopotato peelerSheilaa girlfriend
potterpot o' glueJew 
rabbitrabbit and porktalk 
radioradio rentalmentalderanged
raspberryraspberry ripplecripple 
raspberryraspberry tarta fart; a heart 
regsReginald Grundiesundiesunderwear
RichardRichard the Thirdturd/bird/a girlfriend
RosieRosie Leetea 
RubyRuby Murraycurry 
salmonsalmon and troutsnoutthe nose
saucepansaucepan lidquida pound or a pound note
sausagesausage rollgoal 
sausagesausage and mashcash 
scapaScapa Flowgo 
ScotchScotch peg/Scotch eggleg 
sepposeptic tankyankAmerican
SextonSexton Blakecake, fake 
shandychandelierqueer 
shermanSherman tankwankto masturbate
Spanish diseaseSpanish dancercancer 
skysky rocketpocket 
stokeStoke on Trentbenthomosexual
stutterstutter and stammera hammer 
SurreySurrey docksthe poxa sexually transmitted disease
SusySusy Annaa tannera sixpence
syrupsyrup of figwig 
taterstaters in the moldcold 
titfertit for tathat 
the Tomsthe Tom Titsthe shits 
tomtomfooleryjewelry 
tumbletumble down the sinkdrink 
turtlesturtledovesgloves 
twisttwist and twirlgirl 
weaselweasel and stoatcoat 
West HamsWest Ham Reservesnerves 
whistlewhistle and flutesuit 
ZasuZaSu Pittsthe shits 
ZorbaZorba the Greeka leakto urinate
 Adam and Evebelieve 
 Adrian Quistpissed 
 after darkssharks 
 airs and gracesfaces 
 Al Caponephone 
 Albert docksthe pox 
 alderman's nailtail 
 Alma Graytraya threepenny coin
 almond rockssocks 
 Andy Cainrain 
 Andy McNishfish 
 Anna Mariafire 
 apple and bananapiano 
 apple and pipsip 
 apple corescorea twenty pound note
 apple fritterbitterbeer
 apple piesky 
 apple pipslips 
 April foolsfootball pools, stools, tools 
 April showersflowers 
 army and navygravy 
 army tankyankan American
 artful dodgerlodger 
 Auntie Ellaumbrella 
 Auntie Nelliebelly 
 babbling brooka cook, a crook 
 baby papa cap 
 bacon and eggslegs 
 bag of fruita suit 
 the baked beanthe Queen 
 baker's dozencousin 
 band in the boxthe poxa venereal disease
 bar of soapdope 
 Barnaby Rudgea judge 
 Barry Whiteshite 
 bat and wicketticket 
 bath bunsun 
 battle and cruiserboozera pub
 bear's pawa saw 
 Beecham's pilla bill, a still (photo) 
 Beecham's pillsthe testicles 
 bees and honeymoney 
 beggar my neighboron the Laborthe unemployment office
 bell ringersfingers 
 ben flakesteak 
 bended kneescheese 
 big blokecokecocaine
 big hit excrement
 Billy Buntera punteran average Joe
 Billy Buttonmutton 
 billy lidskids 
 billygoattote 
 bird limetime 
 bird's nestchest 
 bit o' tripea wife 
 black and whitenight 
 bladder of larda playing card 
 blood and blistersister 
 Bo-Peepsleep; asleep 
 boat raceface 
 Bob Hopedope; soap 
 bonny fairhair 
 bopeepsleep 
 bottle of saucehorse 
 bottle of waterdaughter 
 bottles of boozeshoes 
 bow and arrowa sparrow 
 bowl of chalktalk 
 box of toysnoise 
 boys on icelice 
 brace and bits breasts
 Brad Pittshit 
 brass tacksfacts 
 bread and buttergutter 
 bread and cheesesneeze 
 bread and jama tram 
 bread and lardhard 
 Brian O'Lynngin 
 bride and grooma room; a broom 
 brothers and sisterswhiskers 
 brown breaddead 
 Brussels sproutsscouts 
 bubble and squeaka Greek 
 bucket and pailjail 
 Bugs Bunnymoney 
 bull and cowrowa fight
 bull's auntspants 
 bully beefthe chief 
 burnt cinderwindow 
 bushel and peckneck 
 bushel of cokebloke 
 Bushey Parka larkfun, a whim
 Buster Keatonmeetin' 
 butcher's hooka look 
 buttons and bowstoes 
 by the peckthe neck 
 calico yarda guard 
 Cape of Good Hopesoap 
 Carl Rosaa poser 
 car parka narkan informer
 carving knifea wife 
 cat and mousea house 
 cats and kitties breasts
 cats and micedice 
 chain and crankbank 
 chain and locketpocket 
 chair and crossa horse 
 Charing Crossa horse 
 Charlie Beckcheck 
 Charlie Bradya cadya hat
 Charlie Chalktalk 
 Charlie Friskiewhiskey 
 Charlie Hornercorner 
 Charlie Howardcoward 
 Charlie Lancastera "handkercher"handkerchief
 Charlie Masona basin 
 Charlie Popesoap 
 Charlie Prescotta "wescot"a waistcoat
 Charlie Rockssocks 
 Charlie Roncea ponce 
 Charlie Skinnerdinner 
 charming wifea knife 
 Chatham and Doverover 
 cheerful giverliver 
 cheese and kissesthe missusthe wife
 cherry ripea pipe 
 Chevy Chaseface 
 chicken necka check 
 chock and loga dog 
 Christian Slaterlater 
 chunk of beefthe chiefthe boss
 chunk of woodno good 
 clickety clicksknicksunderwear
 club and stickdickpoliceman
 coals and cokebroke 
 coat and badgeto cadge 
 cock linneta minute 
 cock sparrowbarrow 
 cocked hata ratan informer
 cod's roedoughmoney
 comic cutsguts 
 con and coalthe dole 
 Conan Doylea boil 
 council housestrousers 
 country cousina dozen 
 Covent Gardena "farden"a farthing
 cows and kissesthe Missus 
 cream crackeredknackeredexhausted
 crust of breadthe head 
 cuddle and kissa missa girl
 currant bunthe sun 
 custard and jellythe telly 
 cut and carriedmarried 
 cuts and scratchesmatches 
 dad and davea shave 
 daffadown dillysilly 
 Danny Ruckerbutter 
 Dan O'Learyweary 
 day's a'dawningmorning 
 deep sea divera fiver 
 Derby kellybelly 
 dickory dockclock; cock 
 dicky birdword 
 dicky dirtshirt 
 didn't oughtportwine
 dig and dirtshirt 
 dig in the graveshave 
 dime and popa cop 
 do as you likea bike 
 dog and bonedstoned 
 dog's eyepie 
 Dolly Vardena garden 
 Donald Trumpdump 
 don't make a fussbus 
 Doris Daygay 
 duck and geesepolice 
 Duke of Kentrent 
 Duke of Yorkfork 
 dustbin lidskids 
 early birdword 
 earwigto twigto understand
 east and westa vest 
 eighteen pencesense 
 eighty sixnixnothing
 elephant and castleasshole 
 Emma Freudshemorrhoids 
 engineers and stokersbrokers 
 Epsom raceface 
 Errol Flynnchin 
 eau de colognephone 
 Everton toffeecoffee 
 far and nearbeer 
 feather and flipkipto sleep
 fiddle and flutesuit 
 fiddly dida quida pound
 field of wheatstreet 
 fife and drumbum 
 fifteen and sevenheaven 
 fig and posttoast 
 fillet of codsodthat is, a sodomite
 fine and dandybrandy 
 fisherman's daughterwater 
 five to twoa Jew 
 flash of lighta sight 
 fleas and antspants 
 fleas and itcherspitchersthe cinema
 fly my kitea light 
 fork and knifewife 
 fourth of Julya tie 
 France and Spainrain 
 Friar Tuckfuck 
 frog a logdog 
 frog and toadroad 
 garden gatemagistrate 
 garlic and gluestew 
 gay and friskywhiskey 
 Germaine Greerear 
 ginger alejail 
 ginger beerear 
 Ginger Meggslegs 
 gingerbreadhead 
 God forbidskids 
 gold watchscotchwhiskey
 goose's necka check 
 grasshoppercopper 
 Gregory Peckthe neck 
 grocery storedoor 
 Grosvenor Squaresflaresflared pants
 grumble and grunt the vagina
 Gunga Dinthe chin 
 hair and brainchain 
 hairy floatcoat 
 half a treecrazy 
 half inchpinchto steal
 half ounceto bounce 
 ha'penny dipa ship 
 ham and beefthe chief 
 ham and eggslegs 
 hammer and tackback 
 hang bluffsnuff 
 harbor lightall right 
 hard and flathat 
 hare and houndround 
 Harry Randalla candle 
 Harry Tatelate; a plate 
 Harry Wragga faga cigarette
 Harvey Nicholpicklea predicament
 heart and lungtongue 
 heart of oakbroke 
 heaven's abovelove 
 heavenly blisskiss 
 here and therea chair 
 hey diddle diddlea fiddle; to piddle 
 hickory docka clock 
 high as a kitetightdrunk
 hit and missto piss 
 hit and missedpisseddrunk
 holy friara liar 
 hook of muttona button 
 hop o' my thumba chum 
 horse and cartfart 
 hot cross bunin the sun 
 hot "potater"a waiter 
 how d'ye doa shoe 
 hurricane lampa tramp 
 I declarea chair 
 I supposea nose 
 ice cream freezergeezer 
 I'm afloata coat 
 in and outstout 
 in the sleetin the street 
 inky smudgejudge 
 Irish stewtrue 
 iron tanka bank 
 Isle of Wightall right 
 ivory floatcoat 
 Jack Dandybrandy 
 Jack Jonesalone 
 Jack O'Brientrain 
 Jack Scratchmatch 
 Jack the Rippera kipper 
 jackdawjaw 
 jackdaw and rooka book 
 jam jarmotor car 
 jam rollparole 
 jam tartsweetheart 
 Jenny Lindera "winder"a window
 Jerry McGinnchin 
 Jimmy Britsthe shits 
 Jimmy Dancercancer 
 Jimmy Hicksa six 
 Jimmy Hopesoap 
 Jimmy Skinnerdinner 
 joannapiano 
 Joe Blakecake 
 Joe Blakessnakesthe DT's
 Joe Boncea poncea pimp
 Joe Gurrstirporridge
 Joe Rooka crook 
 John Bullfulldrunk
 John Cleesecheese 
 John Dorystory 
 John Hopa cop 
 John Hoppera copper 
 John Majorwager 
 Johnny Blissa piss 
 Johnny Hornera corner 
 Johnny O'Brieniron 
 Johnny Rumppump 
 Johnny Russellhustle 
 jollopstop 
 just as I feareda beard 
 kangarooa Jew 
 Kate and Sydneystake and kidney 
 Kate Karneythe army 
 Kelly Nedhead 
 Kennedy rotsot 
 Kentucky horncorn 
 King Dickthickstupid
 King Learear 
 kiss the crossthe boss 
 kitchen rangechange 
 Kuwaiti tankerwanker 
 Lady Godivaa fivera five pound banknote
 lard and pailjail 
 lath and plastermaster 
 lean and fata hat 
 lean and lurchchurch 
 left in the lurchchurch 
 leg ropehope 
 lemon squeezera geezera man
 lemon squeezyeasy 
 light of loveguvthe governor of a prison
 Lilian Gishfish 
 linen drapernewspaper 
 lion's lairchair 
 Lionel Blaira chair 
 Lionel Rosenose 
 live eela field 
 loop the loopsoup 
 Lord Lovela shovel 
 lord of the manortannera sixpence
 lost and founda pound 
 Lucy Locketpocket 
 lump of leada head 
 macaronia pony 
 made milesmile 
 Mae Westbest 
 Maidstone jailera tailor 
 mallee rootprostitute 
 Mary Annhand 
 merchant bankerwanker 
 Mickey Mousea grouse; a scouse 
 moan and wailjail 
 monkey's taila nail 
 moriartya party 
 mother and daughterwater 
 moulin rougea stooge 
 mountain passesglasses 
 mop and bucketfuck it 
 Mozart and Lisztpisseddrunk
 mumbley pegslegs 
 Mutt and Jeffdeaf 
 mystery bagssnagssausages
 Nancy prancedance 
 nanny goata coat; a boat; a tote 
 Ned Kellybelly 
 needle and pingin 
 needle and threadhead 
 Nelly Blighfly; eye 
 new southmouth 
 New York Citytitty 
 Newgate Gaola tale 
 Niagara Fallsballs 
 Noah's arka park; a nark; a shark 
 north and southmouth 
 North Polearsehole 
 now is the houra shower 
 Nuremburg Trialspileshemorrhoids
 oats and chafffootpath 
 ocean waveshave 
 octopusbus 
 oh heckneck 
 oh my dearbeer 
 once a weekcheek 
 on the floorpoor 
 ones and twosshoes 
 optic nervepervea pervert
 orchestra stallsballstesticles
 Oscar Hockssocks 
 Oscar Joestoes 
 Oxford scholardollar 
 pair of racesbraces 
 paraffin lampa tramp 
 Pat Malonealone 
 peaches and pearsstairs 
 peas in the pothot 
 pen and inkstink 
 penny stampa tramp 
 photo finish(a pint of) Guinness 
 Piccadillychilly 
 pie and liquorvicar 
 pig's earbeer 
 pimple and blotchScotch 
 pint potsota drunkard
 plain and gravythe Navy 
 plates and dishesthe missus 
 plates of meatfeet 
 port and brandyrandy 
 pot and panold man 
 pot of jellybelly 
 potatoes in the moldcold 
 press and scratcha match 
 pride and joyboy 
 quarter potsot 
 Queen's Park Rangersstrangers 
 rabbit hutchcrutchcrotch
 rabbit's pawjaw 
 Ramsgate Sandshands 
 rattle and jarcar 
 raw and ripepipe 
 read and writefight 
 red steerbeer 
 rhubarb pilla bill 
 ribbon and curla curl 
 Richard Marya fairya homosexual
 ride plushto hush 
 rifle rangechange 
 rip and tearswear 
 rise and shinewine 
 River Ousebooze 
 roach and daceface 
 roasty roast(winning) post 
 rob my palgal 
 Rob Royboy 
 rock of ageswages 
 rocks and bouldersshoulders 
 rogue and villaina shilling 
 rolley roarfloor 
 Rolls Roycevoice 
 Rory o' Morefloor, door 
 rosebudsspudspotatoes
 roses redbed 
 Rotten Rowa bow 
 round me housestrousers 
 rub-a-duba pub; a tub 
 ruby rosenose 
 rumble and shockknock (on the door) 
 Saint Louis bluesshoes 
 Saint Martin's le Granda hand 
 Sandy McNaba cab 
 satin and silkmilk 
 sausage and mashcash 
 Scapa Flowto go 
 scarlet pipslips 
 scream and hollerdollar 
 see the shinegive a dime 
 sheery flipslips 
 shillings and pencesense 
 ship in full sailpint of ale 
 shovel and broomroom 
 shovel and spadeblade 
 sighs and tearsears 
 silk and topcop 
 silk and twinewine 
 Simple Simondiamond 
 Sir Walter Scotta pot 
 skin and blistersister 
 slick and sleethteeth 
 slip in the gutterbutter 
 smack in the eyepie 
 smear and smudgejudge 
 smile and smirkwork 
 smoked haddockpaddock 
 snake in the grasslooking glass 
 soldiers boldcold 
 sorry and saddad 
 south of the equatorelevator 
 spinning topcop 
 split peatea 
 stage frightlightlight ale
 stammer and stutterbutter 
 stand an alego bail (for) 
 stand at easecheese 
 stand at attentionpension 
 steak and kidneySydney 
 steam packeta jacket 
 storm and strifewife 
 strong and thingin 
 stump the chalkwalk 
 swear and cussbus 
 sweet Margaretcigarette 
 switch and bonetelephone 
 tar and featherweather 
 tarry ropedope 
 taxi cabscrabs 
 tea and tattlebattle 
 tea leafthief 
 tears and cheersears 
 Ted Frazerrazor 
 there you area bar 
 these and thosetoes 
 thick and denseexpense 
 thief and robbercobberfriend
 this and thathat 
 three or fourdoor 
 three penny bitsthe shits 
 three quarters of a peckthe neck 
 throw me the dirta shirt 
 tick tacktrack 
 tiddler's baitlate 
 tin tackthe sackdismissal
 ting-a-linga ring 
 tip and tapa cap 
 toad in the holea roll (of currency) 
 Tod Sloanalone 
 Tom and Dicksick 
 Tom Mixfixa predicament
 Tom Noddybody 
 Tom Rightnight 
 Tom Thumbrum 
 tomfooleryjewelry 
 Tommy Rockssocks 
 Tommy Toyboy 
 Tommy Tuckersupper 
 Tony Blairsflaresflared pants
 top j'inta pint 
 top of Romehome 
 total wreckcheck 
 train wreckneck 
 trams and trainsbrains 
 trombonephone 
 trouble and fussa bus 
 tumble down the sinka drink 
 turtle dovea glove 
 twist and twirlgirl 
 two and eighta statea panic
 typewriterfighter 
 umble cum stumbleto rumbleto understand
 uncle Bertshirt 
 uncle Dicksick 
 uncle Fredbread 
 uncle Macksmackheroin
 uncle Nedhead; bed 
 uncle Wilfthe filththe police
 uncles and auntspants 
 unders and beneathsteeth 
 up and downbrown 
 up and underto chundervomit
 Vanity Faira chair 
 Vera Lynngin 
 very bestchest 
 Vincent Priceice 
 Warwick farmarm 
 weasel and stoata coat 
 weeping willowa pillow 
 whale and galejail 
 whistle and tootloot 
 widow's wink a Chinese person
 Williamstown pierear 
 wish me luckto duck 
 wooly woofterpoofter 
 worms and snailsfingernails 
 you and metea 
 you knowsnowcocaine
 young and oldcold 

Thanks to Alan Mellors of the University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada, for telling me about the more common meaning of Arthur Rank.

You can go to the wordplay home page.


Last modified on 05 July 2017.