What is Cockney rhyming slang?

Cockney rhyming slang is a form of English slang which originated in the East End of London. Many of its expressions have passed into common language, and the creation of new ones is no longer restricted to Cockneys — the originators of the slang.

The construction 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 (which is thereafter implied), making the origin and meaning of the phrase elusive to listeners not in the know. However, the rhyming word is not always omitted, so Cockney expressions can vary in their construction, and it is simply a matter of convention which version is used.

Here are some examples of Cockney rhyming slang etymology:

cockney-raspberry_tart-etymology

cockney-china-etymology

cockney-jodrell-etymology

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