Cockney dictionary

A ...for 'orses


absobloodylutely - couldn't agree more!

ace - the best

akkas/ackers - money (From the Egyptian coin)

aggro - (i) difficulties (ii) violence

ain't half - very (As in 'it ain't 'alf hot')

all over the shop - very erratic movement, or figuratively, behaviour

all 'round the houses - where cabbies take you if they think you're a


alright, John? - typical contemporary greeting (to somone of unknown name)

ammers - West Ham United Football Club

'andsome - very nice!

another day, another dollar - the cabbie's refrain (Often used as or with a

greeting, like 'nice day')

ankle-biters - children (Variation of nipper (qv))

any joy? - have you been successful?

Archer - 2000 pounds sterling (As in 'I won an Archer on the gee-gees!)

arse over tit - rude variation of 'head over heels'

as it goes - as it happens, in the sense of 'in fact'

ask me one on sport - not really knowing what someone's on about (Source:



B ...for 'amburgers


back'ander - bribe

bag of mystery - sausage

ball and chain - one of many terms for wife

(to go) ballistic - to go crazy, ususally with rage

bangers - sausages (As in give us a bash at the bangers an' mash me muvver

useter make)

barmy - extremely foolish; mad

Bank of Dunlop - on which dodgy goose's are drawn

barney - row, violent argument

be-ave - behave, in the sense of 'be sensible'

bees knees - similar to the dog's bollocks (qv)

be lucky - a parting salutation

bell - call on the telephone

bender - (i) a drinking spree (ii) a passive homosexual

biddy - woman (Derogatory; sometimes used to mean 'tart', often 'old


Bimmer - BMW motor car

bingo! - a successful conclusion (After the numbers betting game)

bit of alright - something approved of (As in 'she's a bit of alright')

bit of fluff/stuff/crackling - (desirable) girl

bird - girl, girlfriend (See also Rhyming Slang)

black as Newgate's knocker - very dirty (After the long-demolished debtors'


bleedin' - mild swearing used for emphasis (As in 'what a bleedin' game,


(cor) blimey - corruption of the oath 'God blind me' (Sometimes 'blimey


blinder - 'dazzling' performance (As in 'the boy played a blinder')

blinding - brilliant

bloke - man

bloody well - emphatically so (As in 'I should bloody well fink so an'


bloomin' - very mild swearing used for emphasis (As in 'it's a bloomin

lark, innit?')

blower - telephone

bob - shilling(s) (old money)

Bob's yer uncle - indicates a successful outcome, similar to bingo (qv))

bobbing and weaving - boxing term used to describe how to survive life's

ups and downs

bollocks - universily used to mean 'nonsense'

bonce - head

boozer - public house

bosh - to apply liberally, e.g. plaster (As in 'bosh bosh zhoom zhoom...')

bottle - grit, or nerve

(to) bottle it - to lose the nerve

bounce-up - an altercation

bovver - trouble, usually fighting

brass monkeys - cold (As in 'it's brass monkeys, innit?')

breadbasket - stomach (antique)

brothel creepers - suede shoes

bubble (and squeak) - fried leftover potatoes with other vegetables (esp.


Buck House - Buckingham Palace

buckshee - free

bunk - 'disappear' expediently (As in 'e's done a bunk' or 'bunking off


bunk-up - sexual intercourse

bundle - (i) a fight (ii) a lot (As in 'I don't go a bundle on that' = 'I

don't like it much')

(go for a) Burton - come a cropper; be the victim of an accident or


(the) business - seriously good


C ...for miles


cady - hat (antique)

cakehole - mouth

cat's mother - indicates dislike of being referred to in the third person

(As in 'she ain't the cat's muvver')

Caw - abbreviated corruption of the oath 'God blind me', an all-purpose


chancer - risk-taker

char - tea

chavvy - form of address to male (As in 'watcha chavvy')

cheap and cheerful - functional as opposed to luxurious

cheeky - obviously not exclusively Cockney, but much used in phrases like

'cheeky sod'

chief - form of address to male, in the sense of a tradesman to a customer

chipper - in good health and buoyant mood

choked - (i) very disappointed (ii) overcome with emotion generally (Also

as noun choker)

chronic - terrible, unpleasant; similar idiom to diabolical (qv)

chuffed - highly delighted

clear off! - go away!

clip rahnd the ear'ole/lug'ole - to strike someone's ear with the flat of

the hand

clobber - clothes, kit

to clock - to see and recognize (As in 'Old Bill's clocked us!')

cock - universal form of address, usually (but not always) to one of

unknown name

cock sparrow - affectionate form of address, usually to male child

(Pronounced 'sparrah')

come again? - what did you say?

come off it - expression of emphatic disbelief

come the old acid - pretend to have authority, 'try it on' (As in 'don't

come the old acid wiv me')

come up lovely - how something apparently beyond redemption might be


constibule/occifer - comical and mildly derogotary form of address to


to cop - to take, get (As in 'to cop an elephant's' (qv))

to cop hold - to take hold

to cop off - to make an excuse to avoid something

copshop - police station

copper - policeman

cotton on - catch on, understand

crack on - get on with some work

crikey - corruption of Christ, used as an exclamation

cuppa - a cup of tea

cushy - easy (As in 'e's always 'ad it cushy')

cushty - fine; going well, sorted (qv))


D ...for ential


darlin' - typical address to female (of unknown name)

dave - bloke dahn the pub

dead - very (As in 'it's dead easy')

dear - typical address to male or female, (of known or unknown name,

excluding male to male)

dekko - look (As in 'let's 'ave a dekko')

delooks - good quality (Comical rendering of 'de luxe')

diabolical - terrible (Often rendered as 'absolutely diabolical', usually

as hyperbole)

diamond geezer - high praise reserved for loyal and trusted mate

dip - pickpocket

do a runner - leave an area unexpectedly, or the scene of a crime promptly

do me a favour - short for 'do me a favour, don't bother' (to continue what

you're saying or doing)

do the off - leave

do what? - what did you say?

doddle - something easy

dodgy - dubious, of dubious merit; most likely illegal

(the) dogs - greyhound racing stadium

(the) dog's bollocks - last word in excellence (As in 'finks 'e's the dog's

bollocks nah')

dog's dinner - overdressed or made up (As in 'done up like a dog's dinner')

doing a bit - working for a living

dolled up to the eyebrows - made up to look very glamorous

done - (i) arrested and charged (ii) swindled

done over - beaten up

done us proud - to have laid on something, such as a function, extremely


don't half - certainly do (As in 'I don't arf 'ate vis wevver')

doolally tap - crazy (Not exclusively Cockney)

dosh - money

dosser - down-and-out, tramp

drinker - pub

duck, ducks - another all-purpose form of address to male or female

ducking and diving - similar to bobbing and weaving (qv) (See also Rhyming

Slang) dunkie - condom


E ...for brick


earner - a source of income (Used broadly: not necessarily earned in the

strict sense)

ear'ole - ear

effing and blinding - using foul language

end of - end of story = and that's all abaht it.

'er indoors - the missus!


F ...for vescent


fags - cigarettes

fair go - an even stand-up fight

fell off the back of a lorry - goods come by dubiously, 'nuff said

fancy - much used instead of like (As in 'fancy a drink?' or 'she fancies


fancy that! - similar to 'well I never' or 'would you believe it?'

fiver - 5 pounds sterling

flanker - indirect tactic used to outmanoeuvre someone (Usually 'work a


(the) flicks - the pictures = the cinema

flippin' 'eck/'ell - exclamation of surprise and/or annoyance

fourpenny one - a blow well landed (As in 'give 'im a fourpenny one')


G ...for lemon


gaffer - boss

garn - go on = expression of disagreement and disbelief

(the) gee-gees - horses; a race meeting

geezer - bloke

gelt - money (One of a number of Yiddish words in common useage)

gehr - get out, usually as an expression of surprise

gehrcha! - get out you, mostly used in the sense of (i) I don't believe a

word of it, or (ii) mild threat

gerrahtuvit - bugger off

get your finger out - stop slacking, advice famously given to the working

class by Prince Philip

git - contemptuous term for objectionable person

giving it some of that - has various meanings depending on accompanying

hand gesture

go down a treat - enjoyable

to gob (on) - to spit

gombo - somone lacking astuteness

Gooners - Arsenal FC

goosegogs - gooseberries

Gordon Bennet! - an exclamation, like 'bloody hell!' (Probably a corrupted


grief - problems, hassle (As in 'he's been giving me grief')

grub - food

guts for garters - used as a dire threat (As in 'I'll 'ave yer guts fer


gutted - emotionally overwhelmed by events

guv'nor - boss, or anyone perceived as being 'in authority'


H ...for bless you (Usually dropped!)


had an eyeful? - have you seen enough? = don't keep looking

had a few - ironic euphemism for drunk

half a bar - ten shillings (old money)

half a dollar - half a crown = two shillings and sixpence (old money)

handy Harry - useful, especially conveniently

hang about - pause or wait, in the sense of 'just wait a minute'

happy as Larry - very contented

have a banana - comic nonsense, originally from the song 'Let's All Go Down

The Strand'

have a pop - attack, verbally or physically

hark - often used instead of listen (As in ' 'ark at 'im!' = who does he

think he is?

Her Majesty - Queen Elizabeth II (In deference, an effort may be made not

to drop the aitch)

herbert - a bit of a joker

hiding - beating (As in 'give 'im a good 'iding', often used by villains to

denote punishment)

hold up - similar to hang about (qv)

home, James (and don't spare the horses) - used to affect 'swank', usually


hooter - nose (antique)

hop - often used for 'go' (As in 'hop out to the shops' or 'hop it!' =

clear off (qv))

how's yer father - sexual activity

(the) hump - fed up (As in 'she's giving me the hump' = she's making me

feel fed up)


I ...for Novello


I gehcha - I get you = I follow your meaning, I understand

I got su'ink o'yourn? - do I have something belonging to you? = why are you

staring at me?

I tell yer - much used in conversation to mean 'I assure you I mean what I


iffy - dubious

in stook - in trouble, usually in the financial sense

innit - is it not

it's got a back to it - this item is only being loaned, not given


J ...for oranges


Jack The Lad - bit of a geezer = reknowned for bravado

jam sandwich - police car

jammy - lucky (As in 'jammy bleeder!')

jiggered - very tired

joey - (silver) threepenny piece (old money)

John - typical address to male (of unknown name)

johnnie - condom, one of the most common terms

juicer - variation of drinker (qv) = pub


K ...for restaurant


keep yer 'air/wig on! - calm down!

khazi - lavatory (From the Indian)

kick the bucket - die, decease, to be no more, join the choir invisible


kicking - to be given 'a kicking' is to be beaten up, not necessarily

actually kicked

kip - sleep

knackered - exhausted (knackers =testicles)

knees-up - party

knock it on the head - stop doing something (Similar to leave it aht (qv))

knocker - street salesman

knocking it out - selling goods on the streets

knockout - absolutely terrific (qv)

(the) Knowledge - knowledge of London streets a cabbie must learn to get a



L ...for leather


lah-di-dah - posh, or affecting a superior air (See also Rhyming Slang)

lairy - gaudy

language - obscene language (As in 'I don't want to 'ear no language')

large ones - thousands, of pounds sterling

large portion - indicates a strong liking (Beloved of Hale & Pace: 'a large

portion, yes!')

lark - fun, funny trick (As in 'it was only a lark')

to lark about - to behave frivolously

later, yeh? - contemporary form of 'see yer later'

laugh to see a pudding crawl - easily amused

leave it aht! - don't say/do that!

leave off - ditto

leg-over - to have sexual intercourse (Refers exclusively to male)

legit - common shortening of 'legitimate', often 'strictly legit'

legless - very drunk

lip - cheek(iness) = insolence (As in 'Oi! Less uv yer lip')

littl'uns - children

Liz - Queen Elizabeth II

look-out - used to mean problem or concern (As in 'that's *your* look-out')

to lose it - to lose your grip on a situation (As in 'you've lost it


lumme - corruption of the oath 'Lord love me' (antique)

luv - another typical address to female (of unknown name)

luvverly - very nice

luvverly jubberly - comical elaboration of above


M ...for sis


mah son - affectionate address to male (As to a footballer: 'Go on, mah


mate - (i) typical address to male (of unknown name); (ii) a good friend

maulers - hands

mazuma - money

merchant - peddlar, but used broadly and figuratively (As in wind-up

merchant (qv))

Mickey Mouse - second-rate or inferior (Can be applied to anything from a

car to a country)

miffed - annoyed

minger - someone hygienically and stylistically challenged (Source:


mitts - hands

missus - wife (usually 'the' missus)

monika - name (As in 'stick yer monika on that' = sign here)

monkey - 500 pounds sterling (Indian Raj: a 500 rupee note pictured a


(don't give) a monkey's (uncle) - couldn't care less

more rabbit than Sainsbury - talks too much (See Rhyming Slang)

mouldy - worthless (As in 'five mouldy nicker's all 'e giv me')

mouthy - inclined to rabbit (Pronounced 'maafy')

mush - typical address to male (of unknown name)

musn't grumble - typical response to 'how are you?'

muzeltov - good luck (a toast)


N ...for lope


naff - poor quality, or unfashionable

naff off - go away

narked/narky - annoyed, cross

never - often used instead of 'didn't' (As in 'no I never!')

nice one - well done

nicker - pounds sterling

niff - smell, usually unpleasant

nifty - (i) neatly functional (ii) 50 pounds sterling

nine-bob note - homosexual (Usually 'bent as a nine-bob note')

nipper - child

nosh - food, a meal

not half - strong agreement (See also ain't half, don't half (qv))

not likely - certainly not

not many - more contemporary variation of 'not half' (Sometimes 'not many,


notes - pounds sterling

nut - head

nutter - headcase!


O ...for the wings of a dove


off your rocker - insane (Often used to denote a general lack of confidence

in someone's thinking)

oggs - fruit stones

oi - used to attract attention, like 'hey!' Can be friendly or aggressive,

depending on emphasis

oi oi - (i) wotcher, how's it going? (ii) 'hold up, (qv) what's this?'

old - rarely used literally, usually indicates familiarity and/or affection

old girl - affectionate address to wife

old man/old woman - husband/wife (Often affectionate possessive, as in 'my

old man')

on the knocker - selling door-to-door

on the piss - out drinking, perhaps in several different boozers

on yer bike! - go away immediately, and quickly

(the) one and nines - cinema (from a long-standing price of admission, 1s

9d real money)

out of it - not properly conscious

over the moon - deliriously happy (As in 'I was over the moon, Brian')


P ...for relief


palaver - a fuss or bother, usually prolonged

(to go) pear-shaped - to go wrong

piece of cake/piss - something easily done

pikey - someone of no fixed address, usually a tinker or traveller

pissed - drunk

pissed on your strawberries/sandwiches - brought down a peg, perhaps


plastered - drunk (again!)

playing away - footballing metaphor for committing adultery

plonk - (i)cheap wine - see Rhyming Slang; (ii) a blow (As in 'plonk 'im


plonker - (i) penis (ii) inept person

ponce - (i) pimp (ii) effeminate male (iii) to cadge

poncing abaht - behaving (i) effeminately or (ii) generally ineffectively

pong - a nasty niff (qv)

pony - 25 pounds sterling

pop - like hop (qv) often used for 'go' (As in 'just poppin' aht luv')

posh - upper class (See FAQ)

posh git - objectionable member of the upper classes

potless = broke (As in 'ain't got a pot to piss in')

poxy - lousy, no good

pudding basin - describes a 'rough and ready' haircut, effected by placing

same over the head

pull - to liase successfully with one of the opposite sex

punch up the bracket - to strike in the face (antique)

purfick - perfect, just right (Cockney/Kentish)

push-bike - usual term for a bicycle

put a sock in it - blunt instruction to be quiet


Q ...for ages


Queenie - affectionate term for Her Majesty

Queensbury rules - sometimes used as a phrase to suggest a fair fight to

settle a dispute

(in) Queer Street - in difficulty or trouble

quid - one pound sterling


R ...for mo


rat-arsed - extremely drunk

razzle (dazzle) - a lively night out (up West (qv), possibly)

(the) readies - ready cash

result - successful conclusion (As in 'we 'ad a right result')

right - word often used to give emphasis instead of 'very' (As in 'a right

good hiding')

Ron and Reggie - angels (As in 'they was luvverly boys...')

round the bend/twist - mad, barmy

rozzers - police officers (Perhaps not exclusively Cockney)

to rubbish - to speak negatively about

ruck - fight, or argument

rumble - discover, reveal (As in 'we've bin rumbled')


S ...for Rantzen


Saafend - Southend, an Essex seaside resort

sarky - sarcastic (Often 'sarky git, inne?')

schmutter - clothing

score - twenty (Not slang, except when applied to 20 pounds sterling)

scrap - fight

scrote - term of abuse (Presumably from 'scrotum')

scumbag - someone of low moral character

seeing to - sexual intercourse (As in 'gave 'er a good seeing to')

shagged out - exhausted (Shag = to have intercourse)

she's a real lady - term of highest praise for female

shell-like - ear (As in 'a word in your shell-like')

shemozzle - row, confusion

sherbet - all-purpose term for drink (As in 'let's go and 'ave a few


shindy - fight

shout - round of drinks in the pub (As in 'it's my shout')

shufti - look (As in 'take a shufti')

(all at) sixes and sevens - to be disorganized or disorientated

(to have a) skinful - to drink an excess

skint - penniless

slap - much used in the sense of to bring someone to order (As in 'he's

asking for a bit of a slap')

slap and tickle - sexual activity (antique)

slaphead - bald geezer

slapper - loose woman of fading looks (As in 'she's a right old slapper')

sling yer 'ook - go away

smatter? - what's wrong?

snitch - to inform or tell tales; an informant

so-and-so - term indicating dislike (As in 'he's a real so-and-so')

sorted - one word sentance declaring resolution of a difficulty

sovs - sovereigns (Redundant coinage worth one pound sterling, the term is

still used)

splosh - a nice lot of money

spondulicks - money (antique)

spot of bother - some trouble (Often used as an understatement)

squire - form of address to male, not usually used as deferentially as it

might sound

stone the crows - expression of amazement (Often bloody crows)

straight (up) - really, seriously; can be as a question as well as response

strides - trousers

stroll on! - you'll be lucky! = definitely not

stroppy - difficult, moody and unco-operative

struth - an exclamation, corruption of 'God's truth'

stumm - silent, in the sense of 'reveal nothing' (Often as one-word

command; from German = dumb)

swank - show off

sweet as a nut - absolutely perfect!

sweet F A - sweet Fanny Adams (A euphemism for 'fuck all' = nothing)

sweet'eart - typical address to female, usually of unknown name


T ...for two


tail - prostitute

tanner - sixpence (old money)

tash - moustache

tasty - (i) very good, or very capable (Often 'a bit tasty') (ii) desirable

tenner - 10 pounds sterling

terrific - much used to indicate strong approval; equally often


threads - clothes

tidy - much used to mean 'nice condition' (As in 'tidy motah, John')

tip-up - a drink (usually alcahol)

toff - upper-class person (Possibly from 'toffee-nose' = one affecting

superior air)

tom - prostitute (See FAQ)

ton - a hundred (As in 'do a ton' = travel at a hundred miles per hour)

tosser - foolish or inept (male) person (From to toss = to masturbate)

tot, totting - scrap, collecting scrap = waste materials (As in 'sling off

a bit of tot')

Tranny - not a transistor radio, but the immortal Ford Transit van

tumble - realise (As in 'e's tumbled to it')

turn-up - unexpected event or outcome (Often 'that's a bit of a turn-up'

(for the books))

two and a kick - two shillings and sixpence (old money)

tyke - often used to refer to (naughty) kids


U ...for me


up for it - willing, game

up yours - an abusive rejoinder

up West - refers to the West End of London

useful - good at rucking (qv)


V ...for Espania


verbals - talk, in the sense of inappropriate or disrespectful comments

Virtual London - follow this link


W ...for quits


wallop - (i) a blow (ii) beer (As in 'giv us a pint of wallop, Bert')

wally - (i) foolish or inept person (again!) (ii) gherkin, a pickled

delicacy from the chip shop

watch it - be careful

well - very (Much used, in phrases like 'well out of order' 'well gutted'

and so on

what is o-ccurring - either 'what the hell's going on', or more lightly

'what's happening'

what's the score? - what's the current situation; what's happening?

whopper - a lie (As in 'telling whoppers')

wicked - seriously good, ultra-cool

wind-up - something done or said deliberately to annoy or upset

wind-up merchant - somone habitually perpetrating the above

(to throw a) wobbler - to lose control of the emotions

wossname - all-purpose term for something not remembered

wossup? - what's the matter?

wot's wot - worldly understanding (As in Max Miller's 'now you're married

now you know wot's wot')

wotcha/wotcher - hello (Often 'wotcha cock', 'wotcher mush' etc; from the

old phrase 'what cheer?')


X ...for breakfast


x - there ain't no bleedin' x, is there? Hang about though...

x's - expenses (Cash up front for a job)



Y ...for wherefore


yob - trouble-making youth (backslang for 'boy')

you're a scholar and a gent - typical polite compliment to someone viewed


you're having me on - you're joking


Z ...for Zodiac


zeds - sleep (zzzzzz...)

zhoom zhoom - see 'bosh bosh'