Sunday, 13 September 2009

Cockney Rhyming Slang, Game for a Steffi? Time for a Bubble? (Includes Arcade Game)

This was first published on 7th Aug.
I remember how, as a little boy, I used to devour all the books I could get my hands on, so it was hardly suprising that I developed a love for words. As a young lad, I succumbed to youth arrogance and thought myself as a better-than-average poet. Then, much later on, when I had the fortune to be hanging around with some Cockneys, I became fascinated with their rhyming slang. I didn't have a clue as to what they were saying most of the time, but it didn't matter - it sounded great! LoL

So, who or what are Cockneys and rhyming slang?

Cockneys, traditionally, refer to people born and raised in the East End of London, especially if they are of the working class, but these days you'll probably find more Cockneys out of London than you do within!

Rhyming slang refers to the way the Cockneys speak whereby they replace a normal word with another word or phrase which rhymes with it, e.g. they may say plates of meat to refer to their feet.

Sometimes, there's some kind of connection, however remote or bizarre, between the word and the slang. In the above example, I don't really see the connection (unless they were thinking of plates of bad meat and sweaty feet), but 'Spanish waiter' which is the slang for 'see 'ya later' might have stemmed from the frequency with which the Spanish waiters say 'Hasta luego!'

The other complication is, just like how we so often use only part of common idioms in our daily speech instead of the full expression (e.g. Well, I did warn you about a stitch in time...), so the Cockneys often drop part of the slang, and what's worse, they tend to drop the part that rhymes!

'Cor! Don't my plates 'alf hurt!' Imagine trying to decipher that!
Or 'All right then, I'll have just a couple of Holies with a little talk'. What??? Right. Hint: Holy ghost: toast; Talk and mutter: butter

A lot of rhyming slang is very traditional, but just as the English language evolves, so does the Cockney slang. This, of course, makes it extremely difficult to learn it if you aren't embedded in their culture.

Examples of new slang:
Barack Obama: charmer (I tell you, mate, all them girls think he's a right ol' Barack.)
Jenson Button: mutton as in mutton dressed as lamb (Yikes, she's such a Jenson!)

Of course, just like new English words, some may survive while others simply fade away. Whether it makes it easier is debatable, but most of the new slang tend to rhyme with names of famous personalities with a few exceptions, such as wind and kite (web site).

So, are you all ready now to learn some rhyming slang and have some bubbles (bubble bath: laugh)? It's easy - all you need to do is to look for the word that rhymes! Have fun learning!

If you like this game, please link to it by copying and pasting this HTML code (click anywhere inside the box, click ctrl+A, then ctrl+C) into your own blog or web template. This is the badge you'll get:

Games for Education

1 comment:

  1. Silvia 1ºc Los Tarahales26 March 2010 at 11:30

    <span>I like to game.Thanks you.</span>


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