A Beginner's Guide to 
Cockney Rhyming Slang

Learn the language of Del Boy and Rodney in Only Fools and Horses

'Ello, lads and lasses! Welcome to the world of Cockney rhyming slang, as used by the likes of Del Boy and Rodney in Only Fools and Horses. It's a bit of a mouthful, but it's a proper East End thing, innit?

So, 'ere's the deal: we take a word, and we replace it with a phrase that rhymes with it. And sometimes, we drop the second part of the phrase, but that's just to make it more confusing, like.

For example, "Adam and Eve" means "believe", see? So if someone says "I Adam and Eve it", they're saying "I believe it". Simple, innit?

Now, some examples of Cockney rhyming slang, the kind what we use on the market:

  • "Apples and Pears" = stairs
  • "Boat Race" = face
  • "Butcher's hook" = look
  • "Bristol City" = titty
  • "China Plate" = mate
  • "Dog and Bone" = phone
  • "Elephant's Trunk" = drunk
  • "Garden Gate" = mate
  • "Ham and Eggs" = legs
  • "Plates of Meat" = feet
  • "Rabbit and Pork" = talk

And here's some examples of how we use it in sentences, like:

  • "I'm going up the Apples" = "I'm going up the stairs"
  • "I'm going for a pint with me China" = "I'm going for a pint with my mate"
  • "Lemme av' a butchers" = "Let's take a look"
  • "Give me a bell on the Dog?" = "Can you give me a call on the phone?"
  • "I had a bit too much Elephant's last night" = "I had a bit too much drink last night"
  • "I need to rest my Ham and Eggs" = "I need to rest my legs"
  • "I'm going to soak my Plates" = "I'm going to soak my feet"
  • "Let's have a Rabbit" = "Let's have a talk"

There you 'ave it, a proper guide to Cockney rhyming slang. Now, you're one of us, ain't ya?