The UK is known for its diverse set of accents and dialects. We have all heard of Scottish and Welsh, but England itself has a lot of different accents to offer as well. Most famous of all is the Cockney accent, which originated in the East End of London, but has slowly spread over a large part of South East England.
Have a listen to a short clip on the Cockney accent.
So that’s what the Cockney accent sounds like. However the most fun part about the Cockney dialect is not the accent, but the rhyming slang!
COCKNEY RHYMING SLANG
Cockney Rhyming Slang is a very fun and interesting way of using language. It works by taking an expression which rhymes with a certain word and then using that expression instead of the word. For example the word ‘beer’ rhymes with ‘pig’s ear’. In many cases the rhyming word is even left out, so instead of ‘I like to drink some pig’s ears.’, people might say ‘I like to drink some pigs.’.
Now have a look at the following Cockney sentence and see what you can make of it.
‘Me trouble and strife was mum and dad, so I went to the bath and had some pigs.’
Now let’s see if you guessed correctly.
Translation: ‘My wife was mad, so I went to the pub and had some beers’.
Well that wasn’t that easy now was it. Let’s have a look at American rapper Ice Cube having a go at some Cockney rhyming slang.
LESSON PLAN AND EXTRA RESOURCES
As you probably noticed Cockney rhyming slang is a lot of fun and would make a perfect lesson on English culture, accents/dialects or as a just plain fun lesson.
So I went ahead and created some assignments which you can use in your class.
http://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk/ is a fantastic website, with an awful lot of information of Cockney rhyming slang. So definitely worth a butcher’s (look).
And to end with, here’s a nice little poster by Paul Bommer which you might hang up in your classroom.