Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Widow Twankey

Widow Twankey (pictured as played by Eric Potts at the Oldham Coliseum theatre) is a character in the pantomime version of Aladdin, she is Aladdin's mum.

In the world of rhyming slang it is either a handkerchief (hankie) or an American (Yankee). For the latter, the Cockney's don't seem to mind if the American concerned is from the north or south!

I can't say it's a common expression in the slang world. For a Cockney rhyming slang for American, the one I have heard more often is 'septic' for 'septic tank' = yank.

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Christopher Lee, Johnny Cash & Nelson Riddle

So what do the actor Christopher Lee,
singer Johnny Cash
and music arranger Nelson RIddle
have in common?

I've probably given the game away in the title.
They are all rhyming slang for the act of urination!
Christopher Lee = pee or wee.
Johnny Cash = slash.
Nelson riddle = piddle.

I tended to hear Jimmy Riddle after Jimmy Riddle Hoffa. "Going for a jimmy" is the general expression.

Saturday, August 20, 2011

A toast rack

A largely archaic and pointless item, most homes no longer have a toast rack, so the sight of one is largely confined to b&bs. A reassuring day off and breakfast with toast nicely cooled off in a toast rack!
For those interested, toast racks date back to the late 18th century, they were designed to stop the toast getting soggy due to the steam condensing. Electric toasters made them fairly unnecessary, but they are still mass produced.

Sunday, August 14, 2011

The Cheerful Manifesto 2: Saying "ooh" in the style of Frankie Howerd

There is a lot of noise making to be had in The Cheerful manifesto. Our first noise that should be set aside for at least once a month.

There are several Frankie MP3 downloads here.

I used to have the 'shut yer face' as a text message alert on my phone, I was giving a lift to an elderly gent, and when I received a text message he said "what did you say", it took a while to explain it was my phone.

This is not the best example, but there is one at around 23-24 seconds

Saturday, August 13, 2011

The Cheerful Manifesto 1: Gurning

I decided to begin my manifesto for cheerfulness, like everybody else I have my off days, but even in the dark times we should always be able to find a glimmer of cheerfulness. So for no reason other than to be cheerful I commence with gurning.

In the UK especially we do have gurning contests and according to Wikipedia these date back as far as 1267. These contests don't seem to be that commonplace, I've never been to one.

If we set aside a minute a year when everyone has a gurn then that's fine with me, on a Wednesday during Prime Minster's questions in the House of Commons would be a good start.

Anyway here's my favourite gurner, Mr. Les Dawson

Friday, August 12, 2011

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Bird

Bird has become commonly known in certain circles as slang for prison or jail.

It was often used in TV programmes such as Porridge and Minder. In the former the inmates were already doing bird in the latter Arthur Daley was constantly trying to not end up doing bird.
Arthur Daley - at large and definitely not doing bird.
So where does 'bird' come from? Here's a clue
'Birdlime' is a substance of varying ingredients that is used as a glue to capture birds on trees, not the most pleasant item.
It's possible that it was also used by criminals on their hands and where the expression 'sticky fingers' came from. The slang meaning however is rhyming lime with time,


'Time' is a slang description of a prison sentence, so there you have it.

Thursday, August 11, 2011

Cockney Rhyming Slang - Lilian Gish

Lilian Gish was a silent film actor who worked with DW Griffiths and Mary Pickford amongst many others. She died a few months before her 100th birthday in 1993.
Her rhyming slang name is used to refer to fish and occasionally dish.

Marvin The Paranoid Android

From the mind of Douglas Adams in Hitchikers Guide To The Galaxy is the finest android.

I'm sure Marvin would hate me giving him as a reason to be cheerful.

"Here I am brain the size of a planet...."

Anyway I would suggest the version of Marvin from the TV series, voiced by the exceptional Stephen Moore

This Marvin also fleetingly appeared in The Hitchikers film, where the newer Marvin was voiced by Alan Rickman.
Here is Marvin appearing on Blue Peter in 1981

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Not too many

Not too many reasons to be cheerful as idiots rampage.

Distance seems to make happenings around the world almost fictional at times, television and internet pictures are just pictures, when they get nearer to home they become that bit more real.

However this blog is frivolous at best so I won't dwell!

Here's a picture that amused me from today's happenings, posted on the door at Subway

and a Waterstone's employee said on the news: "we'll stay open, if they steal some books they might learn something"

Monday, August 8, 2011

The Smurf Song

The Smurfs were the bargain bucket version of the Muppets, looking as though someone had decided to copy the Muppets but only had blue foam available, having run out of other colours.

Now having rebooted the brand they appear to have made a not very good film.

The Smurfs originated in Belgium. The Smurf Song was written and performed by Dutch singer Father Abraham (Pierre Kartner), a writer of over 1600 tunes. His Smurf oeuvres has sold in excess of 25 million copies and The Smurf Song itself was number one in 16 countries.

So let's have a listen to Father Abraham and The Smurfs

Ross' New Cockney Rhyming Slang - Nick Clegg

Hot on the heels of my introduction of Terry Wogan to the world of rhyming slang, I introduce everyone's favourite leader of the Liberal Democrats and deputy Prime Minister, Nick Clegg. I did think of using his name to refer to a leg, especially in the phrase "he doesn't have a Nick Clegg to stand on", but if it was used to refer to David Cameron being bang out of order then it would just have been confusing.

So Nick Clegg is new rhyming slang for beg, as in the phrase "If I couldn't afford tuition fees I would Nick Clegg, borrow or steal my way to university"

David Cameron demonstrates to Nick Clegg how to nick clegg from Nick Clegg

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Wombles

The Wombles are creatures that live underground around the world.

They were also the basis of books and TV programmes written by Elizabeth Beresford. The central Wombles of the TV programme and the books lived under Wimbledon Common in London.

The Wombles were the original recyclers, making good use of the things that they find, rather like the fictional characters in The Borrowers.

Characters in the TV programmes included Great Uncle Bulgaria, Madame Cholet, Orinoco, Tomsk, Wellington and Bungo.

Several of The Wombles formed a band and had a series of hits in the 1970s, aided by songwriter Mike Batt, number one hits included Remember You're A Womble

I once owned a full length Wombles suit (it was Orinoco).

The TV series was narrated by Bernard Cribbins and here's an episode.

After several years underground, The Wombles ventured out again in 2011 to perform at Glastonbury, surprisingly the years had been kind to them.


Saturday, August 6, 2011

The Mr. Men with Arthur Lowe's narration

The Mr. Men by Roger Hargreaves. In the early 1970s they were made into simple animations. The narration was by the marvellous Arthur Lowe, most famous for playing Captain Mainwaring in Dad's Army. He also appeared in Coronation Street as Leonard Swindley who was jilted at the altar by Emily Nugent (now Bishop).

In 1970 Lowe narrated a story on Jackanory, The Emperor's Oblong Pancake by Peter Hughes, otherwise prior to the Mr Men there doesn't appear to be any other narration work.

If you ever hear me telling a story I often have Arthur Lowe in my head!

Well here's my favourite, Mr Topsy-Turvy

Friday, August 5, 2011

Ian Dury's My Old Man and My Old Man

Ian Dury's My Old Man appeared on the album New Boots and Panties.

An emotional and amusing song, talking about his dad and their relationship.

It was also recorded by Suggs on the tribute album Brand New Boots and Panties

and My Old Man quite often a reason for me to be cheerful. Funny, cheeky, loud, kind, understanding, trusting, and a million other adjectives, some good, some bad, he was many things to many people.
My old man, August 5th 1935 - August 5th 2005.

Arnold Wagman

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Ruby Murray

Probably one of the more common of Cockney rhyming slang in everyday use.

Ruby Murray

Ruby Murray herself was born in 1935 and was something of a child star in her native Belfast.

By 1955 she was number one in the British singles chart with Softly Softly. She held a record of 5 records in the top 20 of the charts, a record that no other female artist has even matched. Her chart career was overtaken by the advent of rock & roll and the more commercial pop songs of the 60s but she remained a popular touring artist.

A Ruby Murray as Cockney rhyming slang for Britain's most famous food, the curry made it in 2005 into the Oxford English dictionary.

Ruby died in 1996 and her name was synonymous with the dish then, whether she was pleased with being remembered for having a name that rhymed rather than her singing career is unclear.