Jump to Main ContentJump to Primary Navigation

London lingo dying out


Would you Adam and Eve it? The use of Cockney rhyming slang is soon to be cream crackered, according to a survey commissioned by the Museum of London.

The study revealed that among the 2,000 adults questioned – including half born in London – only 20% understood the famous East End lingo.

“For many people, Cockney rhyming slang is intrinsic to the identity of London. However this research suggests that the Cockney dialect itself may not be enjoying the same level of popularity," said Alex Werner, head of history collections at the Museum of London.

ABOVE: Apples and pears (meaning stairs) - one of the few phrases Londoners surveyed understood

The slang, which emerged during the 19th century as a way for London’s immigrant community to talk to each other without being understood, is thought to be being replaced by more modern phrases such as “OMG”, “Innit” and “(It’s all gone) Pete Tong”, thanks to text speak and shows such as The Only Way is Essex.

Think you know your Cockney rhyming slang? Check out these classic phrases:

Apples and Pears = stairs

Adam and Eve = believe

Bacon and eggs = legs

Custard and jelly = telly

Cream crackered = knackered

ABOVE: We'll be getting our bacon and eggs out this summer

Tea leaf = thief

Ruby Murray = curry

Vera Lynn = gin

Donkey’s Ears = years

Lady Godiva = fiver

ABOVE: Vera Lynn and tonic, anyone?

Dickie bird = word

Trouble and strife = wife

Butcher’s hook = look

Barnet Fair = hair

Dog and bone = phone

Pictures: Rex

What do you think? Is the London lingo on its way out? Let us know on Twitter or in the comments section below.



Book Wars: London


London 2012 posters


London Fashion Week street style



Must-watch Christmas TV: tune in for Roald Dahl's Revolting Rhymes

Just in time for Christmas

by Sarah Biddlecombe
21 Oct 2016

Bake Off fans, the BBC has already found a replacement show for GBBO

And it's set to hit our televisions very soon...

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Costa’s fancy new menu includes avocado toast and Prosecco

You may want to dress up for the world’s poshest Costa…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Real-life victims of revenge porn share their stories

“Within a week, everyone had seen them… I tried to kill myself shortly after”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

People diagnosed with a terminal illness share powerful life lessons

“You only get one life – and we need to live it”

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

This gin is officially the best in Europe – and it's from the UK

Gin drinkers, take note…

by Kayleigh Dray
21 Oct 2016

Amazing tasting menus from top UK restaurants for under £50

Total steals from Michelin-starred spots

by Amy Swales
20 Oct 2016

9 hilarious tips for making it in a male-dominated workplace

"Never say anything that sounds like a question, even questions."

by Harriet Hall
20 Oct 2016

Easy hack makes cheap wine taste just as good as the expensive stuff

We’ll raise a glass to that…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016

Revealed: the 10 most talked-about foods on social media

Snap these yummy treats to boost your Instagram following…

by Kayleigh Dray
20 Oct 2016