July 23, 2012

Manic Monday: {Epic} Failed attempts at Cockney Slang

Ever tried your hand at cockney slang?
Cockney Rhyming Slang originates from East London and was used by local gangs as a 'secret  language' of sorts to confuse the police: if someone was seen on the stairs, they said "apples and pears."
Rhyming Slang phrases are derived from taking an expression which rhymes with a word and then using that expression instead of the word. For example the word "nightmare" rhymes with "Tony Blair". In many cases the rhyming word is omitted - so you won't find too many Londoners having a "Tony Blair" but you might find a few having a "Tony's". There's a long list of cockney slang used more commonly:

Dog & bone - Phone
Barnet Fair - Hair
Pork Pies - Lies

This basic understanding of cockney is crucial to appreciating these videos; your average Englishman would barely get the gist of Cockney Slang when used in everyday language, far less Americans who have obviously never heard of it. I commend Team USA on this marketing ploy; it makes their athletes seem much more fun,human and likable, even if their attempts at a British accent are dreadful.

Worth a look and a giggle or two:

Can you guess what {Chicken Oriental} {John Cleese} & {Rosie Lee} are?


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