A woman from Bow has won a Cockney Rhyming Slang competition at Roman Road Market last Saturday.
Winner June Bishop beat the other contestants with her 30-second monologue ‘in the lingo’.
“The idea is to ‘ave a giraffe’ and bring a bit of laughter to the Roman Road area!” Clement wrote, calling out for participants.
Her aim was to renew interest in Cockney rhyming slang, a coded language that originated in the 18th century and was created to allowed petty criminals to speak freely without being understood by police.
“I first became interested in Cockney rhyming slang when on White Chapel Road, one day, a black cab driver called out ‘nice bacons’. When I asked him what he meant he said ‘bacon and eggs is Cockney for legs my gal'”, said Clement.
She also organised a quiz to find out how much the locals still know of this disappearing language, raising awareness of its cultural value.
Photographs from the event will be on show at an exhibition at the Bow Idea Store, on Roman Road.
Cockney rhyming slang: The Basics
- Apples and Pears: probably the best known and understood Cockney slang, it means stairs
- Kettle and Hob: already pretty confusing, it stands for watch
- Adam and Eve: not that hard, it is slang for believe
- Ruby Murray: very popular in the East End! It stands for curry
- Butcher’s Hook: Cockney slang for look
- Trouble and Strife: great line, standing for wife
- A la Mode: it means code
- Barnet Fair: often just ‘barnet’, it is the slang for hair
- Dog and Bone: it is Cockney for phone
- Jack Jones: a big favourite, it stands for alone
Complete Cockney dictionary available at Cockney Rhyming Slang.