Tag: Language

Day’s a-dawning: What is Cockney Rhyming Slang?

We hear of the Cockney Rhyming Slang on occasion, but still don’t understand it properly! Why you might ask? Well, dear readers, we aim to provide a short overview of the history of this typically English phenomenon.

     I.        Background

Amongst historians, it is believed that the slang began to be spoken publicly around the 1840s. This is also because the first written evidence of the slang came to exist by that time, so really it could have been spoken for years before that.

It is unsure whether it began as a secret language among those born in Cheapside – to this day believed to be the Cockney borough of London – or whether it was a game of skill. As a secret language, it could have been used by thieves in order to not be arrested by the police. As a game, it tests the quick wit and vocabulary of a person.

    II.        Who can speak CRS?

Anyone can speak cockney rhyming slang if the principles are understood. Despite that perhaps the best at speaking this slang are those born and bred in London’s East End, specifically close to Bow Bells. Others noted that it is spoken in parts of Essex now.

  III.        How does it work?

The principles of rhyming slang are in the name: it has to rhyme. Essentially, the word you are trying to say should be said by another word that it rhymes with, i.e. ‘Uncle Ted’ = bed; ‘Scooby Doo’ = clue; ‘apples and pears’ = stairs; etc.

There are arguments that there is logic behind the expressions chosen and that the slang reflects this.

One slang expression we can explain to you is ‘apple and pears’ for stairs: it was common in the 19th century that apples and pears were displayed in a stair-like form when the fruits were seasonal.

We could also try to justify ‘Scooby Doo’ for clue because as it is known, the dog in the TV show and subsequent films was a little bit clueless as to what went on.

To conclude however, here is a very simple edit of different slang and what they mean. Enjoy it!

Doughnuts: their names and origins.

Some people like going to the beach, other people like going to the mountains. Some people love rock music, others love pop music. Do you know, though, what is the one thing that unites us all? Everybody loves doughnuts.

Yes, we are aware that they are not exactly in line with our dietary requirements, but let’s try to focus on the interesting facts. Indeed, you might not know that in some parts of the UK, you might encounter several different names for these delicious fried rings.

For instance, do you know what people call them in some parts of Scotland? Their particular name is “doughrings”, while the term doughnuts identify only the nut-shaped variety. Moreover, the rope-shaped doughnuts are called “yum-yum”. And if you think this is not enough, in some other parts of Scotland you can even find fudge doughnuts.

Moreover, Northern Ireland has another term for doughnuts. Have you ever heard of “gravy rings”? It is an archaic phrase that means “hot cooking oil”.

Despite the numerous names for doughnuts, what is really uncertain is the doughnut’s origins. Indeed, who created doughnuts and when are widely disputed. According to one popular legend they were invented by a Dutch settler in the U.S. Other theories see the American Hanson Gregory as the inventor of the sweetest of the dough. Whatever is the origin of the recipe of this dough, it is very clear that they have become part of the “dessert cuisine”.

Even though love towards the doughnut might be reason enough to justify a doughnut day, the main reason why a doughnut day exists (apart from the fact they they’re really good) comes from something that happened during World War I. Given the scarcity of baked goods, The Salvation Army volunteers thought to give donuts to soldiers. And as you can imagine, they appreciated the gesture =D! It is said that those women were called “doughnut dollies” by the servicemen.

We hope our article regarding doughnuts gave you some more general knowledge and a healthy appetite. Remember not to eat too many doughnuts.