For Czech people coming to London, or Londoners coming to the Czech Republic, here’s a list of a few phrases that might help out a geezer in need.
First of all, if you’ve never heard of cockney, then shame on you my old china plate. But here’s a little explanation of what Cockney is and where it comes from:
What is cockney?
Traditionally, a cockney is someone born within the sound of Bow Bells in London. Nowadays the term is used to describe a wider range of people from London and the surrounding area with a Cockney accent or Cockney heritage.
You won’t hear a great deal of Cockney spoken in Central London anymore, but the phrases are well and truly alive in the outer boroughs, the suburbs and the surrounding counties such as Essex.
Cockney is a very distinctive set of phrases and expressions that replace words in everyday phrases. For instance, the word ‘look’ is often replaced with ‘butchers hook’ but you would only say the first word. So instead of saying ‘Have a look at that’ you would say ‘have a butchers at that!” There are many theories as to why Cockney rhyming slang evolved, with many saying that it was used originally to confuse the police, but no one really knows for sure. And, if by chance you were looking for a bible translated into Cockney, you can find it here.
(English) Hello mate, how are you?
(Czech) Ahoj kamaráde, jak se máš?
(Cockney) Alright my old China plate, how’s tricks?
(English) Excuse me sir, where is the barbers? I need a haircut.
(Czech) Prominte pane, mohu se zeptat kde je holicstvi? potrebuju ostrihat
(Cockney) Oi geezer, where can I get my barnet sorted?
(English) I don’t believe it!
(Czech) Neverim tomu!
(Cockney) Would you Adam and Eve it?
(English) I can’t go to the pub tonight, I don’t have any money.
(Czech) Nemohu jit dnes vecer do hospody, protoze nemam penize
(Cockney) I aint going the the battlecruiser tonight, I’m brassic lint.
(English) You can smoke upstairs.
(Czech) Můžete kouřit nahoru.
(Cockney) You can have an oily rag up the apple and pears.
(English) Can I use your phone?
(Czech) Muzu si pujcit Vas telefon?
(Cockney) Oi geezer, give us your dog and bone.
(English) I wouldn’t go to Chodov, you might get into trouble.
(Czech) Nesel bych na Chodov, muzes se dostat do problemu.
(Cockney) Don’t go Chodov; you’ll get in a barney rubble.
(English) We should go to the pub!
(Czech) Meli bychom jit do hospody!
(Cockney) We should Scapa Flo to the rub-a-dub.
(English) Let’s have a quick beer down the boozer.
(Czech) Pojdme si dat rychle pivo dolu do krcmy.
(Cockney) Let’s get a crafty sherbert down battlecruiser.
(English) Don’t get too excited!
(Czech) Nebud prilis nadseny!
(Cockney) Keep your Alan Whickers (knickers) on!
In all honesty I am not really sure when this would come in handy but it’s fun to try out. And, as a geezer from London, you should always respect your heritage and traditions; and it is seriously funny to hear people of other nationalities telling you to go up the ‘apple and pears’. Check out my Facebook page for more posts. You know it makes sense! Cushty.
Image credit: Hellbongo