Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Would You Adam and Eve It, He's Got a Gordon on His George Bush!

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Would You Adam and Eve It, He's Got a Gordon on His George Bush!

Article excerpt

Byline: PETE CLARK

IF YOU can Adam and Eve it, rhyming slang is undergoing a renaissance.

According to a new study, Shame About the Boat Race, a wave of celebrities is being dragooned into liguistic service.

Kate Moss designates lost, while you might need a Wallace (and Gromit) after overindulging.

James Blunt appears in such an obvious context that further elaboration is redundant.

No one knows precisely why the English language was given a secret subtext in the 19th century, but it is generally agreed that the cockneys were the instigators of it. These cockneys were people born within the sound of Bow Bells, and their crafty ways included having it away with the language. The name, incidentally, was originally a derogatory one bestowed on townsfolk by country dwellers who considered the former to be coddled and effeminate.

Cockney is a contraction of cocks's egg, a small and malformed ovoid which was jokingly attributed to the male bird.

Turning an insult into a badge of pride, cockneys proceeded to devise a cunning plan to ensure that no one from rural areas would ever know what they were talking about. Slang - itself a contraction of secret language - was made more impenetrable by the addition of rhymes - apples and pears, meaning stairs, or boat race, meaning face - so that the

original word came to be represented by one which rhymed with it. …

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