Rhyming slang is a form of slang word construction in the English language. It is especially prevalent in the UK, Ireland and Australia. It was first used in the early 19th century in the East End of London ; hence its alternative name, Cockney rhyming slang.
"Army and navy" (gravy)
Rhyming slang is believed to have originated in the midth century in the East End of London, with sources suggesting some time in the s. It dates from around among the predominantly Cockney population of the East End of London who are well-known for having a characteristic accent and speech patterns. It remains a matter of speculation whether rhyming slang was a linguistic accident, a game, or a cryptolect developed intentionally to confuse non-locals. If deliberate, it may also have been used to maintain a sense of community. It is possible that it was used in the marketplace to allow vendors to talk amongst themselves in order to facilitate collusion, without customers knowing what they were saying. Jonathan is a consummate Anglophile who launched Anglotopia. Londontopia is its sister publication dedicated to everything London. Could be a reference to the seventies and eighties when a lot of people had brass tacks on their fireplaces or walls because it was the thing to have at the time.
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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. Up until the late 20th Century, rhyming slang was also common in Australian slang, probably due to the formative influence of cockney on Australian English. It developed as a way of obscuring the meaning of sentences to those who did not understand the slang , though it remains a matter of speculation whether this was a linguistic accident, or whether it was developed intentionally to assist criminals or to maintain a particular community. Rhyming slang works by replacing the word to be obscured with the first word of a phrase that rhymes with that word. For instance, "face" would be replaced by "boat," because face rhymes with "boat race.