Cockney Rhyming Slang

In the East End of London there is an area known unofficially as Cockney. The local people developed their own slang based around rhyming words to replace regular words.

For example, “Apples” is Cockney slang for the English word “stairs”. Why? Well first the word “stairs” rhymes with “pears” (the fruit). Next, the word “pears” joins with a related word: “apples” to make “apples and pears”. Finally, the words “and pears” are cut – leaving “apples”=”stairs”. Example sentence: “I left my bag up the apples.” This term first appeared about 1850.

Other popularly known examples:
“Adam” or “Adam and Eve” = “believe”: “I couldn’t Adam and Eve it!”
“Butcher’s” or “Butcher’s hook” = “look”: “Take a butchers at that car.”
“Trouble” or “trouble and strife” = “wife”: “say hello to your trouble for me.”
“Dog” or “dog and bone” = “phone”: “Your’s always on the dog and bone!”
“Rub” or “Rub-a-dub” = “pub”: “Let’s go down the rub-a-dub tonight.” (“Rub-a-dub” has no meaning; it is from an old children’s rhyme.)
“Currant” or “currant bun” = “sun”: “You won’t see the currant bun today!” (A currant is similar to a raisin.)
“Scotch” or “scotch eggs” = “legs”: “My scotch eggs are really tired.” (A scotch egg is a savoury snack.)
“Apple” or “Apple cider” = “spider”:” Look at that huge apple cider with long scotch eggs!”
“Aprils” or “April showers” = “flowers”: “Oh, what a lovely bunch of April showers!.”

There is a very interesting website on this topic (only in English):