Anyone for a pig’s ear? London cockney rhyming slang this International Beer Day

Let’s go down to the rub-a-dub for a cow’s half

Every year, on the first Friday of August, many adults come together to celebrate the refreshing drink that is beer.

And while the beloved beverage has refreshed people across the globe throughout history, some could argue that a pint of beer at a local pub is one of the most quintessentially British things one can do.

To celebrate, language learning app Babbel has put together a list of booze-related slang from across the UK.

In London, there are numerous Cockney rhyming slang phrases that are all about beer. Here is a look at some of those traditional phrases that you can use for this year’s International Beer Day.


London Cockney rhyming slang about beer

For something to be an acceptable rhyming slang, it needs to actually rhyme with the original word. That’s why “pig’s ear” and “King Lear” are two of the most popular words for beer.

When ordering half a pint of beer, you can use the phrase “cow’s half” and, once it gets you pissed, aka drunk, you can refer to the state you’re in as “Brahms and Liszt” or “elephant’s trunk”.

There are multiple slang phrases for the pub, but some of the most popular ones are “rub-a-dub” and “nuclear sub”.

Rhyming slang for other alcoholic beverages

There is a Cockney rhyming slang word for every drink you can think of. Wine, for instance, is Calvin Klein, and a “gold watch” is a Scotch.

What is rhyming slang?

Rhyming slang is idioms traditionally used by Cockneys who were born within hearing of the Bow Bells of the East End of London.

It sees the speaker exchange a word with a phrase of two or more words that rhymes with the original.

There is Cockney rhyming slang for nearly everything. “Apples and pairs” refers to “stairs”, and “loaf of bread” refers to “head”, for instance.

Source: Anyone for a pig’s ear? London cockney rhyming slang this International Beer Day

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