Call for celebs to save Cockney rhyming slang ‘which could be gone in 20 years’

There are fears Cockney rhyming slang will die out ‘within 20 years’ if no action is taken

When Andy Green was born in London’s East End in the 1950s, Cockney rhyming slang was still in its heyday.

But the 62-year-old, self-described ‘minor celebrity from a micro niche’, says Cockney will die out within 20 years unless we act to preserve its relevance – which is why he started ‘Speak Cockney Day’.

Andy is passionate that our sense of identity, including where we are from, helps to define who we are, and wants to promote the importance of nurturing the Cockney dialect to maintain its relevance.

This is why he hopes to get East-Endcelebrity figures such as Adele, Russell BrandMichael Caine, Danny Dyer and Madness’ lead singer Suggs on board with promoting its continued use.

The proud East-ender, who grew up in Balfron Tower social housing in Poplar, Tower Hamlets, and has written two books about London, has set out a seven-step manifesto to save his beloved East End lingo.

As well as getting London celebs on board, the manifesto includes promoting Cockney’s cultural inclusivity, maintaining its relevance to young people, and getting London’s museums and institutions to take part.

The construction of rhyming slang involves replacing a common word with a phrase of two or more words, the last of which rhymes with the original word; for example, ‘apples and pears’ for ‘stairs’, or ‘bees and honey’ for ‘money’.

It is thought villains invented the dialect so the police wouldn’t understand them.

In almost all cases they would omit the second word of the phrase, so the rhyming word would be implied to listeners in the know, while eluding those who weren’t.

Source: Call for celebs to save Cockney rhyming slang ‘which could be gone in 20 years’

A Brit Back Home: Un-Guessable British Words

Although I brought my kids up to know their British heritage, and apparently we did a lot of things that weren’t typically American, I never once chided them for using Americanisms. OK, (just in case they’re reading), I did go a bit full-on making sure they said “Please”, which quite a few Americans seem to omit. (Calm down, I’m not saying anyone’s necessarily rude, but I’ve done unscientific surveys on it and the actual word is often absent.)

Anyway, I’ve never understood Brits in the USA who insist on using their British English vocabulary and worse, get annoyed or sneer when Americans don’t understand them. As Rob Lowe illustrates here, some British words are so different from American English that no one would stand a chance if they were trying to guess the meaning.

Trainers – I suppose an educated guess here might yield results since these shoes were originally designed for exercise, but I knew never to use it in the US anyway. Interestingly, despite the plethora of American words that cross the Pond every year, I’m not noticing Brits saying “sneakers” much. Continue reading

Harry Secombe was favourite of radio millions and had a singing voice that thrilled and captivated the audience

By Barry Band

Harry Secombe got my vote last week to be the representative act of the 1950s at Blackpool’s Palace Theatre.

Harry (1921-2001) fits the bill because his Palace appearances spanned ten years; three visits on variety bills, 1950-52, and a summer season in 1960, a year before the big Promenade venue closed.

For 50 years the Palace brought more stars to Blackpool than any other; eight acts per week, two shows nightly, changing weekly.

As the Fifties dawned a new generation of artists appeared on Palace bills. Several had emerged as entertainers in the armed forces including Max Bygraves, Dick Emery, Tony Hancock, Peter Sellers – and Harry Secombe. Continue reading

BBC Folk Music Programme Changes Criticised

Open letter to BBC asks for confirmation of the broadcaster’s commitment to folk music.

Following the cancellation of various folk music radio shows across the BBC in England, CEO of English Folk Expo, Tom Besford, has written an open letter, asking for clarity on the media organisation’s commitment to folk music. 

Addressed to James Purnell, BBC’s Director of Radio and Education, the letter calls for the BBC’s support of folk, roots and acoustic music through music programming. During the pandemic, various folk music shows have been cancelled, including BBC Radio Sheffield’s New Traditions with Greg Russell, BBC Radio Shropshire’s Genevieve Tudor’s Sunday Folk, Johnny Coppin on BBC Radio Gloucestershire, BBC Radio Cambridgeshire’s The Folk ShowKent Folk on BBC Radio Kent, BBC Radio Lincolnshire’s Thursday Night Folk, and The Durbervilles on BBC Radio Leeds, among others. 

Additionally, The Folk Show with Mark Radcliffe on BBC Radio 2, England’s main folk music show on the BBC, was changed from 7pm to 9pm before the pandemic, and since then it has been temporarily changed to a now pre-recorded show airing at 11pm. 

The letter from Besford reads: 

Folk music relies on the support of the subsidised BBC. Musicians need the air play not just for profile, not just to keep audiences engaged with specialist music, but for the financial return from music licensing. Many also fear that once we come through this crisis back towards normality, there is a risk that much of this valued and loved content may never return. 

English Folk Expo calls on the BBC to play their part in supporting specialist music, reinstate the axed shows, return the main national show to a more prominent time slot and make announcements on the annual Folk Awards (or equivalent replacement). It is during a crisis such as this that the licence fee payers expect the BBC to provide cultural leadership, not remove support from an industry already brought to its knees.

To read the full letter, visit https://www.englishfolkexpo.com/folk-on-the-bbc-an-open-letter/

Source: BBC Folk Music Programme Changes Criticised

Read more about British Folk Music on THE HOBBLEDEHOY


Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn dies aged 103


The singer of We’ll Meet Again, who entertained British troops in World War Two, has died.

The singer was best known for performing hits such as We’ll Meet Again to troops on the front line in countries including India and Egypt.

Her family said they were “deeply saddened to announce the passing of one of Britain’s best-loved entertainers”.

In a statement, they confirmed she died on Thursday morning surrounded by her close relatives.

Source: Forces’ Sweetheart Dame Vera Lynn dies aged 103