Definition of rhyming slang in English:

rhyming slang


  • [mass noun] A type of slang that replaces words with rhyming words or phrases, typically with the rhyming element omitted. For example butcher's, short for butcher's hook, means ‘look’ in Cockney rhyming slang.

    • ‘Her name is Cockney rhyming slang for rain of course.’
    • ‘Trouble & Strife is cockney rhyming slang for wife.’
    • ‘Words from Romany (originally an Indian dialect), Shelta (the cant of the Irish tinkers), Yiddish, back slang, rhyming slang and other non-standard English are interspersed with words of Italian origin.’
    • ‘Perhaps she was trying to distance herself from the Chloe image, but the outfits, which included T-shirts with cockney rhyming slang, went down like a lead balloon.’
    • ‘Cockney rhyming slang is enjoying a renaissance, so you may hear a series of very strange sounding phrases whose meaning is fairly obscure.’
    • ‘‘The custard’, incidentally, is supposedly cockney rhyming slang for telly: custard and jelly.’
    • ‘It tends to be very colourful in its metaphors, and use of such devices as rhyming slang is quite common.’
    • ‘For those readers not familiar with 1970s UK police series, or Cockney rhyming slang, ‘tea leaf’ = thief.’
    • ‘He is a refreshing change from the spate of cockney rhyming slang characters and bumbling ex-footballer hardmen that riddled previous gangster films.’
    • ‘Of all types of slang, perhaps the best known is Cockney rhyming slang.’
    • ‘He would use rhyming slang for words that were slang already.’
    • ‘Swayze, it turns out, is Cockney rhyming slang for ‘crazy’.’
    • ‘In the backstreets of London, his unofficial languages included rhyming slang, back slang, and a variant of London back slang known as ‘aiga’.’
    • ‘I taught him Cockney rhyming slang, like ‘apples and pears, dog and bone, whistle and flute’.’
    • ‘For our American readers, ‘barnet’ is Cockney rhyming slang for hair (as in Barnet Fair).’
    • ‘Related to reduplicates is Cockney rhyming slang, one of my favorite ‘features’ of the English language.’
    • ‘There are some interesting Australian examples of this truncated rhyming slang.’
    • ‘Named after the Londoners who invented it, Cockney rhyming slang uses a group of words, the last of which rhymes with whatever's being referred to.’
    • ‘Now that it's become part of mainstream culture, Cockney rhyming slang is being used in an ingenious way to promote an institution on the wane in Britain - the church.’
    • ‘He went round the office saying, ‘What is that cockney rhyming slang for?’’


rhyming slang