A Londoner guide to 33 popular Cockney rhyming slang terms

Confused by the traditional lingo in our city – well here’s some ‘lump of ice’

Whether you have lived in London all of your life, or are new to the city, you’ve probably have heard people speaking Cockney.

There’s literally hundreds of Cockney phrases, which means the native  East End language can get pretty confusing.

For those Only Fools and Horses fans you would have heard Derek ‘Del Boy’ Trotter use rhyming slang including: “would you Adam and Eve it”, which is slang for you won’t believe it.

We’re also used to Danny Dyer tell Queen Vic punters he’s “done some bird” as he plays Mick Carter in EastEnders , or hearing acting legend Michael Caine naturally use the lingo during television interviews.

So to help you navigate your way around the London dialect we’ve comprised a list of of 33 popular Cockney rhyming slang terms and what they mean.

1. China plate – mate (friend)

2. Adam and Eve – believe

3. Apples and pears – stairs

4. Boat Race – face

5. Bird lime – time (in prison)

6. Bricks and Mortar – daughter

7. Brown Bread – dead

8. Bubble Bath – Laugh

9. On the floor – poor

10. Scotch mist – pissed

11. Currant bun – sun (also The Sun newspaper)

12. Dicky bird – word

13. Dog and bone – phone

14. Dustbin lid – kid

15. Duke of Kent – rent

16. Hank Marvin – starving

17. Jam-jar – car

18. Lady Godiva – fiver

19. Loaf of Bread – head

20. Mince Pies – eyes

21. Peckham Rye – tie

22. Pony and Trap – crap

23. Rosy Lee – tea

24. Sherbert (short for sherbert dab) – cab

25. Skin and Blister – sister

26. Tea leaf – thief

27. Trouble and strife – wife

28. Vera Lynn – gin

29. Whistle and flute – suit (of clothes)

30. Wonga – cash

31. Duck and dive – hide/skive

32. Lump of ice – advice

33. Pleasure and pain – rain

Source: A Londoner guide to 33 popular Cockney rhyming slang terms – MyLondon

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