Tag Archives: British Regional Dialects

26 Things You’ll Want to Know Before Moving to England

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So you’ve decided to move to England and feel completely overwhelmed by the endeavor. Where does one even begin? Well, aside from packing up your flat, I will help you make this transition as smoothly as possible with these top tips.

This topic actually came about over coffee with my friend Tara. We were talking about ideas for another British book I’m writing and she mentioned moving to England. She knew it would be an enormous undertaking moving from the US to the UK but would love a book to guide her. Consider this your mini guide, my dear friend.

Before You Leave and After You Arrive

I know there is a ton of stuff to get done before you even think about leaving your country for England. Here are some necessities to tackle before you leave and after you arrive.

  1. Immunizations – there are routine immunizations required before moving to England, usually 4 to 6 weeks prior to your arrival. Your jabs depend on which country you come from so check with the CDC for details.
  2. Passport – make sure you have an update one and that it doesn’t expire for at least 90 days after you return to your home country. Remember to keep your passport current while you’re living in the UK.
  3. Work Visa – this is required for most countries right off the bat. Even US citizens, who can stay up to 6 months without one, would be required to get a work visa if you plan to move to England and secure employment.
  4. Banking –Once you arrived, make sure to bring your passport and work visa with you to your bank of choice. Standard bank fees and monetary exchange rates will apply. Check with the British Banking Association for details.
  5. Mail – most national postal services do not provide an international change of address online. Visit your nearest post office for proper procedure.
  6. Phone – using your own mobile service, even if they provide international service, will stick you with a massive bill. Best to get an inexpensive phone or a new SIM card for your smartphone at a UK service provider.

Traveling To and Around England

If you’ve read my post on the London Tube, you learned some helpful tips, tricks, and protocols when traveling by Underground. Below is some other savvy travel tips, as well.

  1. Your Flight – book your flight as far in advance as possible and at off-peak times if you can.
  2. Travel Insurance – A necessary evil in case your trip goes pear-shaped. If all goes well, consider yourself a jammy beggar.
  3. From the Airport – you’ll need to hire a car unless you have friends to pick you up. Rent a car instead of a cab to save loads of dosh.
  4. Oyster Card – this is a must for transport around London and when you want to scamper about the English countryside as well. Make sure to have cash on hand so you can buy a ticket anywhere an Oyster Card is invalid.
  5. Walking, Standing, and Driving – walk on the left, stand on the right when taking the escalator, and do drive on the left if you want to live.

Currency, Taxes, and Credit Cards

  1. Credit Cards – Visa and MasterCard are the most widely accepted. It’s helpful for booking flights, hotel rooms, and rental cars. Check with your merchant to find out the fees and exchange rates that apply. Once you can get a debit card for your British bank account, this will help eliminate the need to carry cash.
  2. Cash – British pounds is the currency of the UK and it’s best to use until you secure your own British bank account. This minimizes banking and ATM fees.
  3. ATMs – use bank ATMs and avoid “independent” ones. Flat transaction fees and percentage charges apply when you use “out-of-network” ATMs so withdraw larger amounts. ATMs are still cheaper than exchanging your cash at a bank.
  4. National Insurance Number – the British equivalent of a social security number so you can work and they can take taxes out. Go to the UK government website for details.

Learning British English

On our BritWordaDay social media channels, you’ll see daily posts of British words. It’s our goal to help you learn these wicked words for when you converse with Brits. Dialects change as you move about England but I’ve got a perfect solution for you.

  1. Learn the Lingo –Great Britain has many dialects and you’ll need to swot up on those as you travel around the country. Trust me. It’s like learning a whole new language. Check out my book for a proper guide to British words and beyond.
  2. Proper Pronunciation – places like Derbyshire (darbuhshuh) and Leicester (lesstuh) are common examples. Listen and adapt to British pronunciations to avoid sticking out like a sore thumb.

Basic British Culture and Customs

There are several I could mention here, including the quintessential sarcastic humor employed by Brits regularly. Trust me, if they take the mickey out of you then you’re in. Oh, and they use the word “sorry” quite a bit.

  1. Don’t Take It Literally – Brits rarely say what they mean so learn to read between the lines. Check this out to see several humorous examples.
  2. Compliments – they typically make many Brits nervous and they will often deflect with self-deprecating remarks, even if secretly pleased.
  3. Weather – can be dodgy so it’s best to carry a brolly. Be prepared to discuss the weather…A LOT.

Know Your Onions about Food and Drink

Don’t believe all the disparaging remarks you hear about British food. They have many  tasty dishes both savory and sweet. When in England, ask the locals where they prefer to get their fish and chips or Indian curry.

  1. Tea – the preferred drink of the UK, a solution to most problems (or so you will be told), and, yes, it is a meal. Read my blog post on British tea to better understand this revered British custom.
  2. Drinking – is a national past time in the UK and a cornerstone of British culture. Even if you don’t drink, go hang out a British pub if you want to know the Brits.
  3. Food – the Brits offer many tasty treats like Yorkshire pudding and Sticky Toffee Pudding but the Brits do love their offal (organ meat) and you’ll find it in things like Steak and Kidney Pie or Lancashire Hot Pot.
  4. Dining Etiquette – place your napkin on your lap instead of tucking it into your shirt. Say “please” and “thank you”. This is “British Politeness 101” Put your knife and fork together in the middle of your plate to indicate you’re finished. My book has a whole chapter dedicated this sort of thing.

British Electricity and Measurements

  1. Plugs and Voltage – the Brits use a specific 3-prong plug and the outlets are typically 220-240 volts. You can by conversion adapters but if you don’t want to run the risk of frying your blow dryer, buy a new one when you get there.
  2. A Mixture of Measurements – Distances on roads are calculated in yards and miles. Objects are measured in centimeters and meters. Height is stated in feet and inches. Food is weighed in grams and kilos. People are weighed in stones and pounds.

Hopefully, you’re feeling more prepared for your move to England. In my upcoming book this autumn, I’ll be sharing more detail about this very subject. If you want an easy-to-read top guide to British words and the various dialects of the UK for your move to England, then download my book from Amazon or iTunes.


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Have You Heard About Ulster English?

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It’s a UK Dialect of Northern Ireland

Ulster is a province in Northern Ireland and made up of people groups which include Ulster Scots, Mid Ulster, and South Ulster speakers. The counties of Antrim, Armagh, Down, Fermanagh, Londonderry, and Tyrone are part of the United Kingdom, while Cavan, Donegal, Monaghan are part of the Republic of Ireland. The Ulster English dialect from this region of Ireland has been developing for centuries.

This Northern Ireland language began during the early seventeenth-century colonization of English settlers. However, Ulster English has not only been influenced by British English and Hiberno-English (language spoken in the Republic of Ireland) but also the Scots language and Irish Gaelic.

How I Learned About This Dialect

I never even knew about this language until I started writing my book for BritWordaDay. I began researching dialects of Northern Ireland and discovered Ulster English is the predominate language spoken there. The two major divisions of Ulster English is Mid Ulster and Ulster Scots.

My high school best friend, Jeff, often referred to his mother’s statements as her “speaking Irish” because they had an interrogative tone to them. Come to find out, Ulster English speakers have a noticeable tendency to raise the pitch towards the end of declarative sentences. Perhaps Jeff’s mum has Ulster in her blood.

Distinguishing Words of Ulster English

Irish speakers, as a whole, do not use the words “yes” and “no” very often but instead, repeat the verb in a question as a response. For example:

Question: Are you going to work soon?
Answer: I am (instead of saying “yes”)

Sometimes Ulster speakers use the verb “have” followed by “with me” or “on me” in this way:

Have you money for the train on you?

Ulster English mirrors Irish with the word “you” in its singular and plural form. Instead of “you guys” the Ulster English speakers would say “yous” like certain parts of Pennsylvania. Two other forms of “you guys” would be “yis” or “yousuns” which, again, the Pennsylvania natives would say “you-uns” to a group. It’s funny how particular Ulster English words or close variations have endured centuries after the colonization of America.

Examples and Usage of Ulster English

As a British word specialist, I will not only teach you these Ulster English words but how to properly use them in context. Here are some examples of these Northern Ireland words and their usage.

Using Ulster English

Blade – girl

Look at thon blade. (Look at that girl.)

Bout ye? – How are you?

Bout ye, fella? (How are you, man?)

Craitur/Craytur – creature

Aye, the poor craitur. (Yes, the poor creature.)

Foundered – to be cold

Are ye foundered? (Are you cold?)

Hallion – a good-for-nothing

Shut your gob, ye hallion! (Shut your mouth, you good-for-nothing!)

Munya – great, lovely, attractive

The grub is quite munya. (The food is quite lovely.)

Poke – ice cream

Yous want some poke? (You guys want some ice cream?)

Whisht – to be quiet (a command)

Whisht, ye aul eejit! (Be quiet, you old idiot!)

Ways to Learn More Ulster English

During the month of March, BritWordaDay is running a March Madness campaign for Anglophiles “mad” about British words. The focus is Ulster English, including all things Irish. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, and Instagram to learn more of this amazing Northern Ireland dialect.


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Northern England Dialects: Do You Know the Difference?

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Each Northern English region has its unique pronunciations of common words and local expressions. To speak like a Northern Brit is more than just an accent; it’s about using the colloquial speech in the proper context. Many Britons outside the northern regions find some of these dialects difficult to understand. Truly, it’s like speaking another language. In my book, there is an entire chapter devoted to these dialects called Regional Dialects of the North. There is also a section in the back called Glossary of UK Words by Region and it has the main dialects of Northern England.

Yes, I am a British Word Nerd

I must confess that I was in word nerd heaven as I studied these northern dialects. I even searched YouTube for videos on northern speakers so I could hear how the various British dialects sounded. As I’ve mentioned in my Brummie post, I love imitating British accents and have a good ear for them. I will perfect these dialects so I can video myself demonstrating them in the near future.

Below, I’ve broken these dialects into 2 regions: the North West and North East.

North West

Cumbrian

Spoken in the county of Cumbria and is similar to the Lancashire accent. This dialect is not to be confused with the Celtic dialect of Cumbric spoke in the Early Middle ages.

  • Be reet – It’ll be all right
  • Garn’t bog – I’m going to the toilet
  • Garn yam – I’m going home
  • Hoo’doo – How are you doing?
  • Whut yer djarn? – What are you doing?

Lancashire (Lancy/Wigan)

Once inclusive of what are now Greater Manchester, Merseyside, and Cumbria, there is some cross-pollination of this dialect with those of Manc, Scouse, and Cumbrian.

  • Legit – Run
  • Muppet – you silly thing
  • Maun’t – must not
  • Oookin – jolly good
  • Trollied – drunk

Mancunian (Manc)

This Manchester dialect is said to have influenced other regions of England via TV shows like Coronation Street and rock bands such as Oasis, Joy Division and The Stone Roses.

  • Antwacky – Old-fashioned, no longer in style
  • Bins – Spectacles or sunglasses
  • Devoed – Generic proclamation of negativity, derived from devastated
  • Fettled – Fixed, repaired or mended
  • Give your ‘ead a wobble – To have a rethink about something

Scouse

Also called the Liverpool dialect or Merseyside English, this is the home and speech of those famous lads known as the Beatles. These speakers are called Scousers. The word “scouser” comes from the shortened form of “lobscouse” which is a meat stew eaten by sailors in the 19th century.

  • Beaut – idiot
  • Bevied Up – drunk
  • Deffo – definitely
  • Sack It La – stop that or don’t do it
  • Sozz – Sorry

North East

Geordie

Geordie is the nickname for residents of the Tyneside region and has its roots in the Anglo-Saxon language. The name “Geordie” comes from the miner’s safety lamp, invented in 1815 by George Stephenson’s called the “Georgie Lamp”.

  • Clamming – starving
  • Deek – a quick peek
  • Doylem – idiot
  • Gadgie – an adult male human
  • Giz a bag o’ crisps – no, I don’t fancy him/her

Pitmatic

Colloquially known as “Yakka”, it’s the primary dialect of the counties of Durham and parts of Northumberland. It evolved as a distinct dialect from both Northumbrian and Geordie partly due to the specialized terms used by mine workers in the local coal pits.

  • Gansey – have a go/turn
  • Nee way – no way, disbelief
  • Owt Else – anything else
  • Top House – public house (pub) at the top of the main street
  • Why Aye – yes, please

Mackem

The term Mackem originates from ship workers on the River Tyne who say that people on the River Wear (Mackems) “Tak’em jobs off us (Geordies) and mak’em (make them – i.e. ships)

  • Bait – food taken to work (lunch)
  • Divvent dee that – do not do that
  • Hinny – honey, a term of endearment
  • Man – often used at the end of a sentence even when talking to women: Howay, man – Come on, man
  • Why-Aye – Why of course

Teeside

This dialect comes mainly from Middleborough and is known chiefly as a “Smoggy or Smoggie”, a contraction of ‘smog monster’. This refers to the pollution once allegedly produced by the local petrochemical industry.

  • Come ‘ere, yer little get – Come over here, you rascal
  • Ee-ya mate – excuse me
  • Pretty Canny – quite good
  • What’s the matta with yer? – What is the matter with you?
  • Yerjokinarnyer? – You are joking, aren’t you?

Northumbria

This dialect is close cousins to its Geordie and Scottish neighbors. As a result, there are similar pronunciation of words and some shared vocabulary as well.

  • Belta – really good
  • Boule Aboot – mess around
  • Hairn (or Hen) – honey, a term of endearment
  • Nettie – toilet
  • What are the’ deein’? – What are they doing?

Yorkshire

Most people are familiar with Yorkshire because of the popular TV series Downton Abbey. When I was listening to Yorkshire accents via YouTube, I could clearly hear the voice of Paul Copley aka Mr. Mason in my head. He has the most classic Yorkshire accent, the one coveted by non-Yorkshire actors. No surprise as he is from Denby Dale of West Yorkshire so it only makes sense that he would nail it!

  • Cack-handed – clumsy
  • Daft as a brush – stupid
  • Flaggin’ – tired, worn out
  • Good ‘un – good one
  • Maffin’ – hot and clammy weather

Did you learn something about Northern British Accents? How did you like these quirky words and sayings? Login to post your comments. Download this companion infographic: 30 FUN NORTHERN BRITISH WORDS on your laptop, smartphone or tablet.

Anglophenia Does British Accents

Check out this YouTube video below to hear the lovely Siobhan Thompson amaze you with her British dialect skills. There are definitely northern ones included!


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So You Want to Speak Like a Brummie?

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City of Birmingham, England Flag – Adopted July 23, 2015 via public competition – Designed by Thomas Keogh & David Smith

You’re thinking, yeah, I’d like to speak like a Brummie. You’re geeky, into all sorts of new words and accents. I hear you. My friends would tell you, I definitely do the whole accents thing. For my fellow word nerds, especially you Anglophiles, you will really enjoy learning this Brum dialect.

What is a Brummie?

The next question for some of you is what the flipping heck is a Brummie? In short, Brummies are people who speak Brum and are from Birmingham. Yes, I am referring to England, not Alabama.

Brummies are erroneously referred to as the dialect of the West Midlands and often thrown in with the Black Country lot. The Brummies refer to Black Country as ‘Yam Yam Speak’ and will correct you if you mistake those words for Brum. Despite the fact that there is some overlap, both Brum and Yam Yam have their own unique set of British words which is properly called a dialect.

Famous Brummies

You may not realize this but there are actually quite a few famous Brummies. These celebrities, who hail from Birmingham, England, have literally put this English city on the map. I could add more to this list but here are 12 that every Brit and Anglophile would know. If you don’t, then you’ve been living under a bloody rock.

  • Ozzie Osbourne – singer, musician (including all the members of Black Sabbath)
  • Felicity Jones – actress in Northanger Abbey, The Diary of Anne Frank, Amazing Spiderman 2
  • Kenny Baker – R2D2 of the Star Wars film series
  • James Phelps – Fred Weasley from the Harry Potter film series
  • Oliver Phelps – George Weasley from the Harry Potter film series
  • Cat Deeley – actress in Deadbeat and producer for So You Think You Can Dance (2005)
  • Adrian Lukis – actor known chiefly for his role as Lt. George Wickham in Pride and Prejudice
  • Ryan Cartwright – actor in Vacation, Alphas, Mad Men, and Bones
  • Arthur Darvill – actor in Little Dorrit, Robin Hood (2010), Doctor Who, Broadchurch
  • David Harewood – actor in Blood Diamond, Homeland, Spooks – the Greater Good, Robin Hood BBC TV Series
  • Richard Hammond – TV presenter for Top Gear
  • Stephen Duffy – musician for Duran Duran

How to Speak Brum

Brits outside the West Midlands, reading this, might be thinking, blimey, I don’t know any Brum words. If you’re a Briton, you may have even thought that a lot of these words were Black Country or some Northern dialect. Well, you’re not wrong as some of the words do overlap. However, speakers of Brum and Yam Yam will probably argue as to which region came up with the slang words first. This list is chiefly Brummie slang.

  • Gamgee* – cotton wool (cotton balls)
  • Chobble – to munch on something loudly (like hard candy)
  • Deaf It – don’t bother
  • Donnie – hand (also used in Black Country)
  • Go round the Wrekin – to ramble on (derived from the name of a hill in Shropeshire)
  • Scallops – fried sliced potatoes (not potato chips which are crisps)
  • Play Up Your Own End – get out of here (usually aimed at unruly children)
  • Slummock – to be lazy, like a “lazy bones”
  • Yammpy – gone completely mad, lost it (in a funny way)

*Gamgee – It comes from Gamgee Tissue, a surgical cotton dressing and gauze that was invented by Dr. Joseph Sampson Gamgee in Birmingham in 1880. Author JRR Tolkien, who spent his childhood in Birmingham, used it as the inspiration for the hobbit character Sam Gamgee in Lord of the Rings.

There’s an App For It

For my fellow geeks and word nerds, there is an app for this dialect. It’s called iBrummie and will teach you how to speak Brum like a boss! Alan Dugmore, the voice of the mobile app, has lived in or very near the city all of his life. His family history in the West Midlands can be traced back to 1746 when his ancestors lived in Staffordshire; a county which once housed Black Country towns such as Wolverhampton, Walsall and West Bromwich. Each of these areas are mere miles from Birmingham.

Discussion Question

I’m curious. Have any of my non-British speakers heard of the Brum dialect previously? To the Britons outside of this area, did you know any of these words before? To my dear Brummies, did this Yank do your dialect justice? Please log into our site and post your comments!

If you sign up for our newsletter before Thursday of this week, you’ll receive a special Brummie infographic with more of these quirky and amazing words!


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For the Love of Black Country

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Black Country Flag of England by Hogweard – Licensed under Public Domain

A Facebook page called The Only Way Is Black Country has over 4,400 followers and is dedicated solely to Black Country with emphasis on bikers and, of course, its unique slang words. They found our BritWordaDay page and started by sharing our album called Black Country and then our Facebook activity absolutely skyrocketed! This is the inspiration for this particular article. Though a small part of England, I heard them loud and clear via social media. For my Black Country followers and word nerds, this is for you.

What is Black Country?

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Courtesy of Black Country Investments via cradleylinks.co.uk
I know some of you must be thinking what the heck is Black Country? Is it some sort of new musical group or alcoholic drink? Uh, that would be a “no”. Black Country is an area of the West Midlands in England, north and west of Birmingham, including Dudley, Walsall, Sandwell and Wolverhampton. Although, traditionally Black Country encompassed a wider area of the West Midlands, no two locals can agree on where it starts or ends to this day.

The initial usage of Black Country, as an expression, dates back to the 1840s. The common belief is that this name comes from the black soot that once covered the area due to the heavy industry of coal mines, iron foundries, and steel mills widely-used during the Industrial Revolution. Another possible origin is owing to the 30-foot coal seam that is close to the surface.

Black Country Flag

The Black Country Living Museum launched a competition to design a flag for the Black Country in 2012. It was in response to the campaign launched by a Parliamentary Flags & Heraldry Committee, encouraging local communities to develop their own flags to celebrate the Diamond Jubilee of Elizabeth II and the UK’s hosting of the 2012 Olympics.

The flag’s creation was the catalyst for an official Black Country Day & Festival in 2014 which is celebrated annually on July 14. This is the anniversary date of the invention of the world’s first steam engine, the Newcomen Engine, built in the Black Country in 1712.

The design was inspired by the words of American diplomat, Elihu Burritt, as he described the Black Country region as “black by day and red by night”. This came from coal furnaces giving out smoke by day and glowing red by night, hence the colors of the flag. The chain was incorporated into the design given it was a typical product manufactured in the area.

Language of the West Midlands

Black-Country-Alphabet1The traditional Black Country dialect has its roots in Middle English (from around 1066-1470) and Early Modern English (from around 1470 – 1650) as well. Believe it or not ‘thee’, ‘thy’, and ‘thou’ are still in use by Black Country speakers, as is the case in the North East like parts of Yorkshire and Lancashire.

The dialect’s perception was boosted in 2008 when an internet video, The Black Country Alphabet, described the whole alphabet in Black Country speak. As you can see, I’ve included a graphic to demonstrate their quirky alphabet.

Black Country in Literature

For the Harry Potter fans out there, our beloved Hagrid has been known to use the word ‘summat’ quite a bit which means ‘something’. Didn’t know the Hogwarts gamekeeper was a speaker of the Black Country, eh?

If you like British period literature, North and South by Elizabeth Gaskell is peppered with Black Country speak. Had I known back then what I know now of Black Country, I would’ve enjoyed the story much better. I think I need to dig out that book and read it again. It is a fantastic story!

Speaking Black Country

Here are some basic greetings and replies that you can try out on your mates. Or if you find yourself in Black Country you’ll know what they’re saying and how to respond.

  • Ow B’ist – How are you? (Contracted from ‘How be-est thou?’)
  • Bay Too Bah – Not too bad?
  • Bostin’ Ah Kid – very well
  • Kidda – friend
  • Wench – an affectionate term for a girl or young woman
  • Yow – you

Example: Ow B’ist, wench? Bay too bah, kidda and yow?

Note: Bost is slang for ‘broken’. The word bostin’ means ‘smashing’ aka a way to break something yet it means amazing, great, or excellent.

  • Am – are
  • Clemmed – hungry
  • Cob – round bread roll, which looks like the stones of a cobbled street
  • Fittle – food
  • Gooin – going
  • Snap – food or meal

Example: Am yow clemmed? Gooin’ to fetch some fittle. Yeah, but just a cob fer me. You could even swap ‘fittle’ with ‘snap’.

Final Words and a Special Offer

As a word nerd I find this particular British speech fascinating. What do you like best about Black Country words? Perhaps you might think it’s silly. Login and tell us your thoughts. If you quickly sign up for our newsletter on our home page, this coming Thursday, you’ll receive a special Black Country companion infographic!


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Cockney Rhyming Slang – London’s Famous Secret Language

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When Did It Start?

The earliest known writings of cockney rhyming slang dates back to 1845. It is referenced in a publication by English writer Jerringham Wakefield called Adventures in New Zealand.

However, the first recorded rhyming slang in a systematic way was Ducange Anglicus’ writings of The Vulgar Tongue: A Glossary of Slang, Cant and Flash Phrases, used in London from 1839 to 1859. Another is John Camden Hotten’s: A Dictionary of Modern Slang, Cant, and Vulgar Words published in 1859.

Examples of Rhyming Slang in Writing

Anglicus includes these examples, all dated 1857:

  • Apple and Pears = stairs
  • Barnet-Fair = hair
  • Bird-Lime = time
  • Lath-and-Plaster = master
  • Oats and Chaff = footpath

Hotten’s book includes:

  • Bull and Cow = a row (fight)
  • Chevy Chase = the face

The Secret Slang of London

Where did Cockney Rhyming Slang come from? Yes, London but the specific location refers to those born within the sound of Bow Bells aka St. Mary-le-Bow church in Cheapside. This is not to be confused with Bow Church in the Tower Hamlets borough or Marylebone in Westminster.

It is speculated that rhyming slang was often used as a cryptic way of speaking to confuse non-locals. Also, trades people supposedly used this secret language to disguise their speech from their customers by way of collusion and thus the police as well.

Many Cockney phrases are based on locations in London and would most likely be meaningless to people unfamiliar with the city. For example, there is “Peckham Rye”, meaning “tie” (as in necktie), which dates back to the late 19th century; “Hampstead Heath”, meaning “teeth” (usually said just as “Hampsteads”), which was first recorded in 1887 and “Barnet Fair” which dates from the 1850s.

Rhyming Slang and How to Use It

For those of you who follow BritWordaDay on Twitter and Facebook, have seen some examples with usage but there are many more Cockney Rhyming Slang phrases. Below are some new ones and a few I’ve posted to add further clarification. They start with the shortened version of the rhyming slang and then give the full phrase as well as the meaning.

  • Borassic – Borassic lint = Skint
  • Brahms – Brahms and Liszt = Pissed (drunk)
  • Bread – Bread and Honey = Money
  • Crackered or Creamed – Cream Crackered = Knackered (tired)
  • Current Bun – Sun (trashy UK newspaper)
  • Daisy Roots – Boots – In use by 1859. Hotten explains this as a shortened form of ‘Daisy recruits’.
  • Flowers and Frolics – bollocks (nonsense) – Irish origin
  • Loaf – Loaf of Bread = Head
  • Richard – Richard the Third = Turd
  • Ruby – Ruby Murray = Curry
  • Scarper – Scapa Flow = Go
  • On Your Tod – Tod Sloan = Alone – American-born horse jockey who rode and won several races for England.

A Video Demonstration

Kate Arnell of Anglophenia teaches you some additional phrases and actually uses them all in a sentence. Clever girl! So have a butchers!

Do you get a kick out of Cockney Rhyming slang? Did you know about the origins or that it’s been around so long? Login and share your thoughts with us!

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