Would you ‘Adam and Eve’ it! Cockney rhyming slang ain’t ‘brown bread’ yet
PUBLISHED: 07:00 25 October 2018 | UPDATED: 09:30 25 October 2018
Critics may claim that east London’s traditional Cockney rhyming slang is ‘brown bread’, or dead.
But the Museum of London Docklands in the heart of the traditional Cockney East End plans a festival that can prove it isn’t ‘cream crackered’ yet.
The museum’s two-day ‘Languages of London’ festival on November 3 and 4 has lessons in a second languages and workshops on Chinese calligraphy, Hebrew alphabet and even Sign language throughout the weekend.
The festival, with arts, crafts and music performances, is about diverse communities and the cultures they have brought to London over the centuries.
The East End is known around the world as the home of Cockney rhyming slang, the museum points out, but London’s eight-million citizens now speak 300 diverse languages, the festival at West India Quay in Canary Wharf will show.
It was Queen Mary University linguistics expert Dr Sue Fox who first declared the term ‘Cockney’ was now “irrelevant” in today’s East End.
A new ‘multicultural London English’ has emerged, with the more traditional speakers migrating to Essex, she found in her 2013 study.
“The ‘Cockney’ accent has undergone more rapid change than at any time in its long history,” she said at the time.
“Speech associated with ‘Cockney’ can still be heard, but the label seems less relevant with the East End’s multi-cultural diversity.”
The traditional dialect was more likely to be heard out in Barking or Basildon than in Aldgate or Whitechapel where it originated, she discovered. ‘Cockney’ had become synonymous with a much larger geographical region.