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Learn these 5 common and strange cockney rhyming slang phrases

Discover what cockney rhyming slang is and how to use it


Whilst you are in London, studying English at our school or taking part in an internship, you might hear some strange phrases and you won’t know what they mean. There are some London phrases that are unlike anything you’ve ever heard before and these are called cockney rhyming slang.

How cockney rhyming slang works:

  • Replace a common word, for instance ‘stairs’, with a phrase of two or more words, ‘apples and pears’ – the last word has to rhyme with the original word (pears rhymes with stairs).
  • Then often people drop the second word, in this instance ‘pears’, so that other people who aren’t involved in the conversation don’t know what is being said, i.e. you might want to say to your friend “Let’s go up the stairs” and in cockney rhyming slang this would be “Let’s go up the apples (and pears)”.

Here are some common cockney rhyming slang words for you to try and use during conversations with your friends and family.

  1. When you want to say telephone, you can instead use the cockney phrase which is dog and bone. Don’t forget to make your conversation more secret by taking away the rhyming word, so to say telephone you would say dog.
    Example:  “Just give him a ring on the dog (telephone).”
  1. The word eyes using cockney rhyming slang is mince pies, but if you want to shorten this then it becomes mincers.
    Example:  “Look me in the mincers (eyes) and tell me the truth!”
  1. If you and your friend are crossing the road you could use the cockney rhyming slang which is frog and toad. 
    Example: “Quickly, there’s a car coming, we need to get off the frog (road).”
  1. Perhaps you are in class reading a book and want to say to your friend that it is boring without the teacher knowing. You could use the cockney rhyming slang for book, which is Captain Hook.
    Example: “This Captain (book) is so boring! What time is it?”

Come to the home of cockney rhyming slang to practice these strange phrases. Here at Twin, we offer tailor made internships, for you to gain valuable work experience or alternatively, if you want to improve your English language skills, we also offer English lessons. Find your perfect internship or book your English lessons now.