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  • Writer's pictureGregg Maflin

HIDDEN LONDON [12] “Cockney Cashpoints of Olde London Town!“

To the uninitiated “Cockney Rhyming Slang ” could be seen as a problem and without knowing those who use it are often being profoundly rude! The once hidden language is now in common usage but it still has a whiff of secrecy. It’s distant origins may be lost, but most trace it back to the early C19th in the East End of London.

The basic idea of rhyming slang involves replacing a common word with a phrase of two or more words, the last of which rhymes with the original word; then, in almost all cases, omitting that word from the end of the phrase,

As in "Apples and Pears" meaning "stairs". Following the pattern "Pears" is dropped, thus the spoken phrase "I'm going up the apples" . There are much ruder examples which you can research, but I will say “Blowing a Raspberry” has a much earthier origin than many realise!

So what of the “Cockney Cashpoints “ you ask? Well in 2012 as part of the London Olympics someone had the bright idea that a few cashpoints would reflect the local East End patois, and so when asked to choose your language would give you the Cockney option. Visiting a

Machines the user is asked to present their “Bladder of Lard” (card) and enter their “Huckleberry Finn” (pin).

Once you’re in, you are asked if you’d like to get out some “Sausage and Mash” (cash) and once you’ve selected the amount, for example a “Lady Godiva” [£5] or a “Speckled Hen” (£10), then the machine says its contacting your “Cab Rank” (bank). Originally there were five machines set up, the most central machine in historic Spitalfields, famous for its market [Vintage on a Thursday] and near the sites of some of most notorious murders of the C19th by the infamous “Jack the Ripper” is currently under scaffolding, though others exist in East London. So perhaps go and take a “Butchers“ and get some "Bangers“.

“Cockney Cashpoints”

Walthamstow : 24 High Street, E17 7LD

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