British slang and its classification — страница 10

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20th century rhyming slang. Cock and hen - also cockerel and hen - has carried the rhyming slang meaning for the number ten for longer. Its transfer to ten pounds logically grew more popular through the inflationary 1900s as the ten pound amount and banknote became more common currency in people's wages and wallets, and therefore language. Cock and hen also gave raise to the variations cockeren, cockeren and hen, hen, and the natural rhyming slang short version, cock - all meaning ten pounds. commodore = fifteen pounds (£15). The origin is almost certainly London, and the clever and amusing derivation reflects the wit of Londoners: Cockney rhyming slang for five pounds is a 'lady', (from Lady Godiva = fiver); fifteen pounds is three-times five pounds (3x£5=£15); 'Three Times a

Lady' is a song recorded by the group The Commodores; and there you have it: Three Times a Lady = fifteen pounds = a commodore. (Thanks Simon Ladd, Jun 2007) cows = a pound, 1930s, from the rhyming slang 'cow's licker' = nicker (nicker means a pound). The word cows means a single pound since technically the word is cow's, from cow's licker. deep sea diver = fiver (£5), heard in use Oxfordshire late 1990s, this is rhyming slang dating from the 1940s. dosh = slang for a reasonable amount of spending money, for instance enough for a 'night-out'. Almost certainly and logically derived from the slang 'doss-house', meaning a very cheap hostel or room, from Elizabethan England when 'doss' was a straw bed, from 'dossel' meaning bundle of straw, in turn from the French 'dossier' meaning

bundle. dough = money. From the cockney rhyming slang and metaphoric use of 'bread'. dunop/doonup = pound, backslang from the mid-1800s, in which the slang is created from a reversal of the word sound, rather than the spelling, hence the loose correlation to the source word. flag = five pound note (£5), UK, notably in Manchester.The word flag has been used since the 1500s as a slang expression for various types of money, and more recently for certain notes. Originally (16th-19thC) the slang word flag was used for an English fourpenny groat coin, derived possibly from Middle Low German word 'Vleger' meaning a coin worth 'more than a Bremer groat' (Cassells). flim/flimsy = five pounds (£5), early 1900s, so called because of the thin and flimsy paper on which five pound notes of

the time were printed. folding/folding stuff/folding money/folding green = banknotes, especially to differentiate or emphasise an amount of money as would be impractical to carry or pay in coins, typically for a night out or to settle a bill. Folding, folding stuff and folding money are all popular slang in London. foont/funt = a pound (£1), from the mid-1900s, derived from the German word 'pfund' for the UK pound. french/french loaf = four pounds, most likely from the second half of the 1900s, cockney rhyming slang for rofe (french loaf = rofe), which is backslang for four, also meaning four pounds. Easy when you know how.. garden/garden gate = eight pounds (£8), cockney rhyming slang for eight, naturally extended to eight pounds. In spoken use 'a garden' is eight pounds.

Incidentally garden gate is also rhyming slang for magistrate, and the plural garden gates is rhyming slang for rates. The word garden features strongly in London, in famous place names such as Hatton Garden, the diamond quarter in the central City of London, and Covent Garden, the site of the old vegetable market in West London, and also the term appears in sexual euphemisms, such as 'sitting in the garden with the gate unlocked', which refers to a careless pregnancy. generalise/generalize = a shilling (1/-), from the mid 1800s, thought to be backslang. Also meant to lend a shilling, apparently used by the middle classes, presumably to avoid embarrassment. Given that backslang is based on phonetic word sound not spelling, the conversion of shilling to generalize is just about

understandable, if somewhat tenuous, and in the absence of other explanation is the only known possible derivation of this odd slang. gen net/net gen = ten shillings (1/-), backslang from the 1800s (from 'ten gen'). grand = a thousand pounds (£1,000 or $1,000) Not pluralised in full form. Shortened to 'G' (usually plural form also) or less commonly 'G's'. Originated in the USA in the 1920s, logically an association with the literal meaning - full or large. greens = money, usually old-style green coloured pound notes, but actully applying to all money or cash-earnings since the slang derives from the cockney rhyming slang: 'greengages' (= wages). 2.3 Phonetic peculiarities of slang While many slang words introduce new concepts, some of the most effective slang provides new