rhyming slang
Definition - A type of slang used in East London where words are replaced by rhyming phrases.

Example -
The trouble and strife washed her north and south
(Translation: The wife washed her mouth)

Oxford English Dictionary -
The term's first citation is from 1859:
"The cant, which has nothing to do with that spoken by the costermongers, is known in Seven Dials and elsewhere as the *Rhyming Slang, or the substitution of words and sentences which rhyme with other words intended to be kept secret. … [Ibid. 135] … I learn that the rhyming slang was introduced about twelve or fifteen years ago."
(Hotten Dict. Slang 134)

Quotation -
"Twenty-five or thirty years ago … …the ‘rhyming slang’ was all the rage in London. In the ‘rhyming slang’ everything was named by something rhyming with it—a ‘hit or miss’ for a kiss, ‘plates of meat’ for feet, etc."
(Source: George Orwell, Down and Out in Paris & London, xxxii. 238 (1933))



Please comment

Email: