The knack: How to talk in rhyming slang, by Robert Strudwick
Saturday 27 February 1999
It is thought that Cockney rhyming slang developed between English and Irish workers in the early 19th century, when the Cockneys created a secret language to fool the Irish. There is nothing like a bit of laddish rivalry to encourage people to use and create slang, and this is still true today. If you want to learn slang first hand, you will need to mingle with a young social group in which the conversation is always on an informal level. Slang will not flourish between unrelaxed polite people. A pub or certain office environments are your best bet. If you decide to gain a knowledge of slang from a dictionary, choose wisely. Avoid the flimsy books found at bookshop tills. These novelty works are largely aimed at tourists and are full of cliched or incorrect terms." Interview by Fiona McClymont
Robert Strudwick is the webmaster of the London Slang Page at http://www.geezer.demon.co.uk
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