Sunday School: Cockney rhyming slang

John Scott, known as The Pearly King of Mile End, proudly shows off his heritage.

John Scott, known as The Pearly King of Mile End, proudly shows off his heritage.

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If you have no idea what it means to "take a ball of chalk down the frog and toad", it's time to learn a little Cockney rhyming slang. Our Sunday School teacher is John Scott, who lives in East London, the traditional home of the Cockneys.

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John Scott and his wife.
Cockney Rhyming Slang is most commonly used in East London - hence its name. It involves:

"replacing a common word with a rhyming phrase of two or three words and then, in almost all cases, omitting the secondary rhyming word...making the origin and meaning of the phrase elusive to listeners not in the know," (Oxford Dictionary of Rhyming Slang).

Cockney slang can be commonly heard in movies like "Lock, Stock and Two Smoking Barrels" "Snatch" and especially with Don Cheadle's chracter in "Ocean's Eleven", Basher Tarr.

John Scott went to our CBC London studio, to teach Michael the basics of Cockney rhyming slang. Mr. Scott is also known as "The Pearly King of Mile End", wearing a traditional costume covered with buttons, as a way of raising money for charity.


Listen to this web-only "quick-clip" where John Scott gets a bit...cheeky:

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