“Half memoir, half travel, A Yank Back to England...is an absolutely wonderful book, not only about going home again but also about love and family and tradition and the passage of the years.”
—Michael Dirda, Pulitzer Prize-winning literary critic (Washington
To see the entire quote, click here.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Teaching Frances Cockney rhyming slang

“I’m just going up the apples and pears,” said Lew, without explanation.
Frances looked puzzled. Lew pointed to me for the answer.
“You know, Cockney rhyming slang. He gets into it sometimes,” I said, still a bit morose.
“Oh, apples and pears, stairs – I got it.”
“She’s got it,” said Lew, chuckling to himself as he mounted the stairs.
“Where you off to then?” I asked.
“Just got to see a man about a dog.”
“A man about a dog?” asked Frances.
I pointed to the closing toilet door. Frances asked what was the rhyme in “man about a dog.” I told her, I did not have a clue. My old man and his expressions! But at least that one had caught me smiling again.


Anonymous said...

The phrase 'going to see a man about a dog' is one of my favouries actually; I also like sayings like "3 sheets to the wind", "Punching above ones weight", "Fit as a butchers dog", what's that got to do with the price of fish?" and "camp as a row of tents"

We have so many brilliant phrases it's hard to explain to someone what they all mean!

The Prodigal Tourist said...

'3 sheets to the wind' has some nautical history, and I know 'camp as a row of tents' (no need to explain that one!), but I don't know "punching above one's weight" or "fit as a butcher's dog," What do those mean? Love picking up new expressions!

Duchess of Tea said...

The only one I know is "3 sheets to the wind", the rest are lost on me!!

Maggie said...

The cockney rhyming slang makes my brain work to hard sometimes, but I find it charming to listen to! Maybe it would make more sense if I were "3 sheets to the wind"?

Marie Reed said...

This blog was a great bubble bath! It's like having a nice bowler hat with a china plate:)

Melissa said...

Your blog is so lovely.

Happy Sunday!