In the UK you can claim to be a real cockney if you were born within the sound of Bow Bells.
“St Mary-le-Bow is the church of the ubiquitous ‘Cockney‘. Indeed to be an authentic cockney you must be born within the sound of ‘Bow Bells.’ The term ‘cockney, was originally applied to a small or misshapen egg, which was sometimes referred to as a cock's egg. The Oxford English Dictionary claims that the first use of the word as a reference to native Londoners was in 1521, when it was used by writer Whitinton. In 1617 John Minsheu wrote in his Ductor in Linguas that the word originated thus. 'A cockney or cockny, applied only to one born within the sound of Bow bell, that is in the City of London, a tearme coming first out of this tale. That a citizen's sonne riding with his father in the country, asked when he heard a horse neigh what the horse did; his father answered "neigh." Riding further he heard a cock crow, and said: "Does the cock neigh too?"' Whatever the origin of the term it was intended as a term of flattery for it was applied contemptuously by rural people to native Londoners who lived by their wits as opposed to by their muscle.”
Following on from that interesting fact Cockney folk used to have a language all of their own which was spoken in rhyme. For instance, trouble and strife meant wife. Apples and pears stood for stairs.
Rhyming slang phrases are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word and then using that expression instead of the word. For example the word "look" rhymes with "butcher's hook". In many cases the rhyming word is omitted - so you won't find too many Londoners having a "butcher's hook" at this site, but you might find a few having a "butcher's".
Cockney rhyming slang originated in the East End of London. Some slang expressions have escaped from London and are in popular use throughout the rest of Britain. For example "use your loaf" is an everyday phrase for the us in UK, but not too many people realise it is Cockney Rhyming Slang ("loaf of bread: head").
Further examples for your amusement and interest (the phrase is written first, with the word that is actually said aloud is on brackets and the translation comes last!)
Dickie dirt (dickie)= shirt
Almond rocks (almonds)= Socks
Whistle and flute( whistle)= suit
Jam Jar (Jam)= car
Mickey Mouse (Mickey)= house, can also be Cat and mouse
Dog and bone (Dog)=phone
Trouble and strife (trouble)= wife
China plate (china) = Mate/friend
Moby Dick (moby)= sick
Porky pie (porky/porkies)= lie
Ruby Murray (Ruby) Curry
Adam and Eve (Adam and Eve)= Believe
Cream crackered (crackered)= knackered/tired
That's just a few, so the next time someone uses any of these you might (just) be able to figure out what they're talking about!
Meanwhile, the main reason for this post was not to dwell on Cockney slang but try to move away from all the ‘trouble and strife’ in the world today! Most recently the terrible fate of those poor young people in Norway who were killed by a deranged madman. A sad reflection on today’s world when such acts can be perpetrated so easily. Imagine, someone dresses up as a policeman, a member of the public we have all been taught to respect; a keeper of the peace, law and order! Only to find this man dressed up as one and then going on a shooting rampage.
For this reason I thought I would post some ‘happy’ pictures of items made by the BBEST team. Just for a few minutes take you mind of today’s sad world and browse some wonderful talent!
So, hopefully, by now you will have had your mind taken off any unpleasantness and had a bubble bath (bubble)= laugh!