Cockney Sparrow

This is a short supplement to the 'England - St George's Day' CST activities pages.

It focuses on the East End of London and Cockney rhyming slang.

Before we get to that, though ... 'Ave a butcher's at these quiz questions ...

To be called 'Cockney', where do you have to be born? - WITHIN EARSHOT OF THE BOW BELLS (Mary-Le-Bow Church in Cheapside)

What are Cocknies who dress in traditional costume and perform to raise money for East End charities called? - PEARLY KINGS AND QUEENS

What is the name of the TV soap set in the East End that has a pub called 'The Queen Victoria'? - EASTENDERS

Who starred as Peggy Mitchell in this soap? - BARBARA WINDSOR

What Christmas did Den and Angie Watts separate (he gave her divorce papers as a Christmas present)? - 1986 (30.1m viewers tuned in to watch!)

Which Cockney singing pair had hits with 'Rabbit', 'Gertcha' and 'Ain't No Pleasing' You'? - CHASE & DAVE

Which musical had Eliza Doolittle being taught 'proper' Queen's English by Henry Higgins? - MY FAIR LADY

Who starred in this 1964 movie? - AUDREY HEPBURN & REX HARRISON

What are the brown coloured street in the game of 'Monopoly'? - OLD KENT ROAD & WHITECHAPEL ROAD

The foremost perpetrators of organised crime in the 1950s and 60s in the East End were twin brothers. What were their names? - REGGIE & RONNIE KRAY

Which notorious serial killer was active in the Whitechapel area of the East End in 1888? - JACK THE RIPPER

Name some other UK accents? - GEORDIE, MANCUNIAN, BRUMMIE, YORKSHIRE etc

Who said, after Buckingham Palace was bombed in the Blitz, "I’m glad we’ve been bombed. It makes me feel I can look the East End in the face." - QUEEN ELIZABETH THE QUEEN MOTHER

Where did Eastenders take shelter during the Blitz? - THE LONDON UNDERGROUND

(Does anyone remember having an 'Anderson Shelter' in their garden?)

What food item is an East End delicacy? - JELLIED EELS

Which canal runs through the East End of London? - REGENT'S CANAL

Ask members to guess at what the Queen has to eat and drink each day?

@Indy100 said:

"The Queen meets with the head chef to the royal household twice a week, to decide what meals she fancies.

Breakfast: The Queen likes cereal, usually Special K, and fruit, or scrambled eggs with smoked salmon, according to a former chef.

Lunch: Former chef Owen Hodgson said he would often make the Queen mushrooms with a bit of Marmite, and crustless tuna sandwiches with thinly sliced cucumber and pepper.

Evening meals: She’ll often have an evening meal consisting of something like grilled sole with vegetables and salad.

To drink: The Queen likes a gin and Dubonnet with a slice of lemon and ice, and also likes wine and champagne with dinner."

Apparently, when on a long train or plane journey she also enjoys something simple, like a Fray Bentos pie!

Also, random information, she enjoys dancing to 'Dancing Queen' if at a function which involved dancing.

(Play Abba - 'Dancing Queen' if there is time.)

The nursery rhyme 'Oranges And Lemons' is about the churches in the East End of London. Try saying it together ...

Oranges and lemons,

Say the bells of St. Clement's.

You owe me five farthings,

Say the bells of St. Martin's.

When will you pay me?

Say the bells at Old Bailey.

When I grow rich,

Say the bells at Shoreditch.

When will that be?

Say the bells of Stepney.

I do not know,

Says the great bell at Bow.

Here comes a candle to light you to bed,

And here comes a chopper to chop off your head!

Chip chop chip chop the last man is dead.

Name the famous people in this 'Eastenders' picture, and what are they dressed as?


NORMAN SIMMONDS (GEORGE LAYTON) * Starred in 'It Ain't 'Alf Hot Mum' and 'Doctor In Charge'




Now have a go at guessing some of the meanings of these 'Top 100 Cockney Rhyming Slang Words and Phrases' (

(Take care. A few of these are a bit on the rude side. Maybe just choose a few?)

1. Adam and Eve – believe

2. Alan Whickers – knickers

3. Apples and pears – stairs

4. Artful Dodger – lodger

5. Ascot Races – braces

6. Aunt Joanna – piano

7. Baked Bean – queen

8. Baker’s Dozen – cousin

9. Ball and Chalk – walk

10. Barnaby Rudge – judge

11. Barnet Fair – hair

12. Barney Rubble – trouble

13. Battlecruiser – boozer

14. Bees and honey – money

15. Bird lime – time (in prison)

16. Boat Race – face

17. Bob Hope – soap

18. Bottle and glass – arse

19. Brahms and Liszt – pissed (drunk)

20. Brass tacks – facts

21. Bread and cheese – sneeze

22. Bread and honey – money

23. Bricks and mortar – daughter

24. Bristol City – breasts

25. Brown bread – dead

26. Bubble and squeak – Greek

27. Bubble bath – laugh

28. Butcher’s hook – a look

29. Chalfont St. Giles – piles

30. Chalk Farm – arm

31. China plate – mate (friend)

32. Cock and hen – ten

33. Cows and kisses – missus (wife)

34. Currant bun – sun (also The Sun, a British newspaper)

35. Custard and jelly – telly (television)

36. Daisy Roots – boots

37. Darby and Joan – moan

38. Dicky bird – word

39. Dicky dirt – shirt

40. Dinky doos – shoes

41. Dog and bone – phone

42. Dog’s meat – feet

43. Duck and dive – skive

44. Duke of Kent – rent

45. Dustbin lid – kid

46. Elephant’s trunk – drunk

47. Fireman’s hose – nose

48. Flowery dell – cell

49. Frog and toad – road

50. Gypsy’s kiss – piss

51. Half-inch – pinch (to steal)

52. Hampton wick – prick

53. Hank Marvin – starving

54. Irish pig – wig

55. Isle of Wight – tights

56. Jam-jar – car

57. Jimmy Riddle – piddle

58. Joanna – piano (pronounced ‘pianna’ in Cockney)

59. Khyber Pass – arse

60. Kick and prance – dance

61. Lady Godiva – fiver

62. Laugh n a joke – smoke

63. Lionel Blairs – flares

64. Loaf of bread – head

65. Loop the loop – soup

66. Mickey Bliss – piss

67. Mince pies – eyes

68. Mork and Mindy – windy

69. North and south – mouth

70. Orchestra stalls – balls

71. Pat and Mick – sick

72. Peckham rye – tie

73. Plates of meat – feet

74. Pony and trap – crap

75. Raspberry ripple – nipple

76. Raspberry tart – fart

77. Roast pork – fork

78. Rosy Lee – tea (drink)

79. Round the houses – trousers

80. Rub-a-dub – pub

81. Ruby Murray – curry

82. Sausage roll – goal

83. Septic tank – Yank

84. Sherbert (short for sherbert dab) – cab (taxi)

85. Skin and blister – sister

86. Sky rocket – pocket

87. Sweeney Todd – flying squad

88. Syrup of figs – wig (sic)

89. Tables and chairs – stairs

90. Tea leaf – thief

91. Tom and Dick – sick

92. Tom tit – shit

93. Tomfoolery – jewellery

94. Tommy Trinder – window

95. Trouble and strife – wife

96. Two and eight – state (of upset)

97. Vera Lynn – gin

98. Whistle and flute – suit (of clothes)

99. Wonga – cash

100. And of course, Rabbit and pork - TALK


Maybe It’s Because I’m A Londoner - Davy Jones

Davy Jones went on to be part of which group?


Underneath The Arches - The Andrews Sisters

Bud Flanagan wrote the theme song to which hit UK TV comedy about the 'Home Front'?


Dad's Army - TV Theme

Name the main characters?


Some of their catchphrases were ...

"They don't like it up them!"

"Don't panic!"

'We're doomed."

"You stupid boy!"

"Don't tell him Pike."

"Do you really think that's wise, sir?"

"Mum won't like it, Uncle Arthur."

"It fell off the back of a lorry, sir."

"Might I be excused sir?"

My Old Mans A Dustman - Lonnie Donegan

Which UK hit TV sitcom was based in 'Oil Drum Lane' and about a rag-and-bone business?


Don’t Dilly Dally On The Way - Fiona Harrison

What is a 'cock linnet'?


Lambeth Walk - Official Play Me Music

What musical is this song from?


Any Old Iron - Peter Sellers

Can anyone play the spoons? Have a go ...

Down At The Old Bull And Bush - Stanley Holloway

We mentioned the pub 'The Queen Victoria' from 'Eastenders', what are the pubs in 'Emmerdale' and 'Coronation Street'?



Knees Up Mother Brown - Mrs Mills

Who likes a good old knees up, or party? Ask members to maybe tell a story about the best party they ever went to?

Get Me To The Church On Time - 'My Fair Lady'

'My Fair Lady' was based on which 1913 play by George Bernard Shaw?


Wouldn't It Loverly - 'My Fair Lady'

What does Eliza Doolittle shout at the races?


You've Got To Pick A Pocket Or Two - 'Oliver'

Who was the 'receiver of stolen goods' in 'Oliver'?


I'd Do Anything - 'Oliver'

Who wrote 'Oliver Twist' in 1839?


I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles - Doris Day

Which football team in the East End has taken on this song?


Rabbit - Chas And Dave

What shop is mentioned in the lyrics?


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About Me

Simon O’Donovan MBE has worked in NHS Wales for most of his adult life, supporting people with dementia, their carers and families and developing and improving services to benefit this client group. 

He recently retired from working as a Community Mental Health Nurse within a Young Onset Dementia Service and continues to contribute to weekly CST 'Friendship Group' sessions as a volunteer co-facilitator.


He has been keeping a weekly 'Young Dementia CST Blog' to share and archive tried and tested activities resources, with the ultimate aim of providing an 'off the shelf' resource library of weekly themed CST sessions which can be used on rotation throughout the year. 


The main aim of this website is to share experience and resources freely, in order that others can dip in and out and use some or all of the materials provided in their own CST work. Thus it is hoped, facilitating and supporting the provision of uplifting and enjoyable sessions that optimise people with dementia's quality of life.

This site is not owned by or affiliated to any organisation. It’s a personal commitment, a not for profit exchange of ideas and a resource library which aims to enable more widespread use of CST approaches for people with dementia. 

To this end, 'Guest Blogs' are VERY welcome, but bearing in mind that no images of clients are to be used without their express written informed consent.

Please note that some images are reproduced on this blog from the internet under the 'fair use copyright' principle, in that they will only be used for educational purposes with disability groups and in no way will be linked to profit making activities.


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