Cockney Rhyming Slang

Going out for a Ruby Murray this evening? Or perhaps you’ll stay in with the trouble and strife because you’ve got no bees and honey?

We’re talking cockney rhyming slang of course, here’s how it works: you swap the word for its corresponding slang phrase, so ‘Ruby Murray’ = curry, ‘Trouble & Strife’ = wife, and ‘Bees & Honey’ = money. Sometimes you don’t say the rhyming word, so you might just say ‘Ruby’ to mean ‘curry’.

Got it? Let’s go then – here are 10 popular pieces of cockney rhyming slang, which you can use to impress (or confuse) your friends next time you’re in the East End:

1. ‘Adam and Eve’ = believe

“Would you Adam and Eve it?”

2. ‘Apples and Pears’ = stairs

“I’m off up the apples.”

3. ‘Butcher’s Hook’ = look

“Let’s have a butcher’s.”

4. ‘Trouble and Strife’  = wife

“I’ll have to ask the trouble and strife.”

5. ‘Dicky Bird’ = word

“She hasn’t said a dicky bird about it.”

6. ‘Barnet Fair’  = hair

“What’s happened to your Barnet, mate?”

7. ‘Dog and Bone’ = phone

“I’ll give you a call on the dog and bone tonight.”

8. ‘Loaf of Bread’ = head

“He’s lost his loaf, that one.”

9. ‘Mince Pies’ = eyes

“What lovely mincers she’s got.”

10. ‘Cane & Able’ = table

“It’s over there on the Cane and Able.”


If you’re after more, have a look at  for a comprehensive catalogue of phrases. Users also vote on whether slang phrases are ‘Cockney’ – the real deal, or ‘Mockney’ – posh people faking it to look cool and impress their mates. Also the Guardian newspaper’s Ultimate Guide to Cockney Rhyming Slang is worth a look.