Monday, 19 October 2015

A for ‘orses – The Cockney Alphabet

Recent posts about nature words and Robert MacFarlane’s alphabet reminded me of another alphabet which we used to say in the playground at school. There are various versions of this – and some include the names of celebrities. These have certainly changed down the years – my grandmother would have recognised Arthur Askey, Ivor Novello, Eva Gabor and Esther Williams – but not Esther Rantzen or Kiefer Sutherland.


A for 'orses (hay for horses)

B for mutton (beef or mutton)

C for 'th highlanders (Seaforth Highlanders)

D for 'ential (deferential)

E for Adam (Eve or Adam)

F for 'vescence (effervescence)

G for police (chief of police)

H for a scratch (itch for a scratch)

I for looting (hifalutin’)

J for oranges (Jaffa oranges)

K for teria (cafeteria)

L for leather (Hell for leather)

M for 'sis (emphasis)

N for 'adig (infradig)

O for the wings of a dove

P for relief (pee for relief)

Q for a song (cue for a song)

R for mo' (half a mo')

S for you (it's for you)

T for two

U for mism (euphemism)

V for La France (vive la France)

W for a quid (double you for a quid)

X for breakfast (eggs for breakfast)

Y for mistress (wife or mistress)

Z for izat (his head for his hat)


E for Gabor (Eva Gabor)

I for Novello (Ivor Novello}

R for Askey (Arthur Askey)

S for Williams (Esther Williams)

K for Sutherland (Kiefer Sutherland)

S for Rantzen (Esther Rantzen)

Do you remember saying this in the playground – and how did YOUR alphabet vary from this one?

1 comment:

  1. Thank you for reminding me of this - I could only remember the first three!


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