Friday, July 29, 2011

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Rosie Lee

Gypsy Rose Lee was the American burlesque performer of the 1930's and 40's who was the basis for the musical Gypsy. The term Rosie Lee is rhyming slang for the Cockney's favourite non alcoholic beverage, tea.

The use of rosie lee for tea seems to actually predate Gypsy Rose Lee by at least ten years and though its basis could possibly be from the military I can't find anything that would give it any kind of explanation other than it rhymes.

I do get to give you the fact that Gypsy Rose Lee appeared in an episode of the 60s TV series Batman as a journalist who interviewed Catwoman. So here is a picture totally unrelated to that fact, it is Rosie Lee though (I may be the first person to even call her Rosie!).

That's Asda price, 60p or 3 for £3

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Tom Mix

Tom Mix was an early film actor starring in many a (mostly silent) Western.

He has become Cockney rhyming slang for the number six. Rhyming slang seems to enjoy messing with numbers as we shall see.

If Clint Eastwood had been a cockney, Dirty Harry would have been that much funnier.

"This gun has Tom Mix bullets, I may have used man alive, I may have used Tom Mix...."

That would have confused the baddies.

Wednesday, July 27, 2011

A humorous and well written Ebay listing

There are occasionally funny Ebay listings, some just silly. This one is funny and actually quite well written, Ebay bunk bed listing.

Selling on behalf of his dad, the seller writes "I have decided not to list the beds on a free to good home site and instead sell them and keep all of the money for myself. I will of course be telling my father that I gave these away for free." his reason for this being that as his dad is getting rid of the bunk beds then only one of his children will be able to sleep over.

Anyway, I enjoyed reading it.

An Oliver Hardy/Adolf Hiter/Charlie Chaplin egg cup

On Ebay they have listed an Oliver Hardy egg cup, the only similarity I could find was the moustache, yet people seem to be bidding on it. I thought it may have been Charlie Chaplin or possibly Adolf Hitler from his smiley period.

I guess the likenesses can vary with how you style the hair on the egg, if you need to. If it has a bowler hat then Oliver Hardy it is, how you then eat the egg is your problem. If you have the kind of money they are wasting on this egg cup to spare though you could probably afford a spare egg.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Cheap quality

Well, I see this ad nearly every day and it still makes me chuckle. There are several options, the first is that their carpet cleaning is of a cheap quality, or that they clean cheap quality carpets, or possibly that their quality carpet cleaning is at a low price.
I'm yet to be convinced by non paid for roadside advertising, not many people have time to note down a number and call at a later date, no matter how cheap the quality of carpet cleaning is.

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Friday, July 22, 2011

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Whistle

A whistle is short for 'whistle and flute' which is rhyming slang for suit.

So here it is in a sentence:

"I bought this buddy hackett and the round the houses in a sale, they make a lovely whistle, just need a dicky dirt to go with it"

Which translates to:

"Do you like my suit?"

Thursday, July 21, 2011

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Dicky Dirt

As far as I can tell, there was no actual person called Dicky Dirt. Perhaps he was a music hall character, or perhaps a reversal of the name of the 18th Century Dirty Dick who inspired the name of the old pub in the City of London, Dirty Dick's.

So whatever the origins 'dicky dirt' is a shirt.

Here we have a picture of Nathaniel Bentley, the original dirty Dick

More Bentley stuff here.

Wednesday, July 20, 2011

Cockney rhyming slang - round the houses

This seems to be a strange bit of rhyming slang but it exists, so ner. 'Round the houses' are trousers. Apparently there is also use for 'round my houses' which probably makes even less sense, but is oft shortened to "round-mees".

Fun fact: Trousers were invented in 1934 by Noel Coward and here he is wearing a pair.

Trouser wearing Noel Coward.

Monday, July 18, 2011

The Kinks' Song Lola

Written by the mighty Ray Davies, Lola is a favourite and one of two songs for me to sing in the highly unlikely event of me ending up at a Karaoke night.

Lola is the tale of an innocent young man's liaison with a lady who it turns out isn't quite a lady.

The song was originally banned by the BBC, not for the transvestite content, but for use of the brand name "Coca-Cola", Ray Davies had to fly home from the USA to change the lyric to "cherry cola".

Here is the great man singing Lola at Glastunbury in 2010

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Mona Lisa

"Mona Lisa" in this instance should be pronounced in a cockney manner as "moaner leeza", then the rhyming slang has to adjust the generally considered pronunciation of the meaning which is in fact 'pizza', using the less knowledgeable pronunciation of it as "peeza".

So there we have it, not the most common of cockney rhyming slang, but a good excuse to use this picture.

Tuesday, July 12, 2011

Cartoon elephants

Elephants are not really as cute as their cartoon counterpart, elephants are quite grey and dull. So let's be cheerful and look at some cartoon elephants. I feel that this is very worthwhile.
Above is an elephant with an umbrella, below is Dumbo.

Now an elephant doing yoga...
Now a bit of Babar

and finally Toque from The Lion King

Thank-you for looking at this very important blog entry, you are now free to make a silly elephant sound and smile.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

A pair of bananas

Bananas are the cleverest fruit, coming as they do in their own secure disposable wrapper. They also look interesting and are liked by monkeys.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Manchester Piccadilly Station - bang out of order

Advice: If lift out of order use another lift, although maybe not try the one upstairs...

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Germans

This is the one the kids always get wrong in the end of year exams. As I have no idea where the derivative comes from I looked this up, no one else seems to know either! One source gives its earliest reference as being in 1979, I know it was in use before then.

Germans = German bands = hands.

What 'German bands' refers to is anyone's guess, rhyming slang tends not to be something completely randomly made up, so it probably refers to something that was in more common use. The internet seems to want to show me pictures of Kraftwerk, so no help at all.

I'm open to suggestions for the etymology...

Confusion 3: The British weather, sunglasses or umbrella?

Some days, you just don't know whether to go for sunglasses or an umbrella, not sure if this store were being helpful or not

Finding a bargain:4 Tesco deal 88p each or 2 for £2

Finding a bargain:3 Reduced from £3 to £2.50 or 3 for £10

From Asda in April 2011

Finding a bargain:2 £1 each or 2 for £3, that's Asda price

From Asda October 2008

Finding a bargain:1 80p each or 2 for £2.50

Not every bargain is what it seems
From Sainsbury's in March 2011

Monday, July 4, 2011

When you're feeling lonely and you can't find romance, jump into a dustbin and dance

Spike Milligan and Peter Sellers

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Half inch

Even in rhyming slang most Brits haven't quite gone metric. 1.27cm just doesn't mean anything, no one has ever 1.27centimetred a mars bar from the corner shop, a few have probably half inched one.

Yes, "half inch" is rhyming slang for pinch and generally meaning to steal.

I don't know why half inch became the unit of inch to pinch with, as opposed to a quarter, an eighth or even a whole inch, only half inching counts!

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Teletubby

So a little more up to date for this bit of rhyming slang, I must admit I've never heard anyone use this expression, but have seen it written down and it deserves to be used more often.

Teletubby is used for the much loved family member, the hubby!

I personally think Tinky Winky would make the best husband, Po is too immature and Dipsy and Laa Laa, well their names speak volumes.

Here they are conquering New York one of the few places in the world where they just blend in.

So how would one use this bit of rhyming slang in a sentence?

"some teletubbies have no idea where the vacuum cleaner is, but I use our's all the time and I even call it Noo Noo!"

Other children's characters that have been introduced into the lexicon of rhyming slang include Popeye, Kermit The Frog, Willy Wonka, Pinky & Perkie, Mickey Mouse, George & Zippy and many more, many I'll feature along the way.

Sunday, July 3, 2011

Cockney rhyming slang - skin & blister with added Morecambe & wise & Leonard Rossiter

So the Cockneys seemingly aren't overly affectionate with their sisters if they refer to them as "skin & blister", but that's obviously not the case as any follower of Eastenders will know those Cockneys love all their family, sisters included.

Anyway as an extra reason to be cheerful, here is Morecambe & Wise with Leonard Rossiter performing "Sisters"