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There's no doubt that every region of London has its accent, dialect and even language.

While it may all be English, to some untrained ears, it might not always sound like English.

Those used to the prim and proper of the Queen's English might be left solving riddles when they hear the traditional Cockney rhyming slang.

But no need to panic or duck and dive as these are 21 Cockney rhyming slang terms you need to know and what they mean.

21 Cockney rhyming slang terms you need to know

'Apples and pears'

Apples and pears is a classic, the term means 'stairs' and referees market stalls with fruit being displayed on levels, like stairs.

"That's a lot of apples and pears."

'Basin of gravy' 

Inspired by soft food that infants eat, basin and gravy means babies.

"The basin and gravy is at nursery."

Brent & Kilburn Times: That's a lot of apples and pearsThat's a lot of apples and pears (Image: Getty)

‘Coals and coke’

Coals and coke translates to broke, inspired by how coal and coke were once supplied in large blocks that had to be broken before use.

“That’s all coal and coke.”

Day's a-dawning’

Day’s a-dawning is a simple way to say it is morning.

“look the day’s a-dawning”

‘Duck and dive’

Duck and dive means hide, as in when a duck dives down to get food in the water.

“Don’t duck and dive.”

‘Early hours’

Surprisingly early hours does not mean morning, but actually flowers, as flower sellers had to get up earlier for Covenant Garden flower market.

“Wow, they are some lovely early hours.”

‘Give and take’

The term give and take means cake, whether the food item or money.

“That’s a good slice of give and take.”

Brent & Kilburn Times: What a basin of gravy.What a basin of gravy. (Image: Getty)

‘On the floor’

On the floor was used by housewives with no money, which means poor.

“They were on the floor.”

‘Rattle and clank’

Inspired by the noise of coins, rattle and clank means bank.

“Just going to the rattle and clank.”

‘Adam and Eve’

Another well-known classic is Adam and Eve, believe.

“I don’t Adam and Eve.”

‘Barney Rubble’

With the same name as the character from The Flintstones, Barney Rubble means trouble.

“I’m in a load of Barney Rubble.”

‘Frog and Toad’

Frog and Toad translate to road, and can be used together or just one of each.

“He’ll meet you down the frog and toad.”

‘Jack Jones’

Simple chosen because it rhymes, Jack Jones means own.

“He’s all on his Jack Jones.”

Brent & Kilburn Times: “I’ve just been Moby Dick.”“I’ve just been Moby Dick.” (Image: Getty)

‘Lemon Tart’

Another fun rhyming one, Lemon Tart means, smart. But you don’t have to use tart, you can just go with plain old lemon if you prefer.

“That’s very lemon tart.”

‘Kane and Able’

An old saying inspired by the bible story of Kane and Able, this Cockney term means table.

“Go sit at the Kane and Able.”

‘Moby Dick’

Inspired by the famous book, Moby Dick means sick.

“I’ve just been Moby Dick.”

‘Ruby Murray’

A popular meal for any night out, Ruby Murry translates to Curry.

“Let’s go for a Ruby Murray.”

‘Whistle and Flute’

Another one chosen for its rhyming, whistle and flute means suite, as in an outfit.

“That’s a lovely whistle and flute.”


Inspired by the loveable dog that helps solve mysteries, Scooby-Doo means clue.

“I haven’t a Scooby-Doo.”

‘Plates of Meat’

A more common Cockney term, plates of meat means feet.

“You’ve got some big plates of meat.”

‘Pork Pies’

A very fun one, pork pies translate to lies.

“Stop saying pork pies."