Cockney Rhyming Slang

When you visit London, you might overhear people talking like this and feel extremely confused. However, don’t despair! You haven’t lost your ability to understand the English language. Yes, we did teach you real English at Scrambled Eggs!

This is ‘Cockney rhyming slang’, an English dialect that originated in the capital city during the early 19thcentury. Although it is rarely used day-to-day in contemporary times but it remains a unique part of London’s history and culture.

The word ‘Cockney’ originated as a pejorative term for Londoners in the 14thcentury but nowadays generally refers to a native or long-time resident of the city. Traditionally this has been defined as someone who was born within earshot (three to six miles distance) of the bells at the St. Mary-le-Bow church in London’s East-End.

Cockney rhyming slang’ developed in the slums of London and was used by the poorest social classes as a flamboyant form of expression and to converse in code. It was also a useful mode of communication for criminals wanting to evade the law! It has since come to be viewed as a language of the people and a symbol of the city of London.

The dialect combines common words and cultural references into rhymes and non-sensical phrases to form a new vocabulary. Often the second word in a rhyme will sound like the word it intends to mean. Perhaps one of the most famous is ‘apples and pears’, which means ‘stairs’. Sometimes, a part of the phrase is used to convey meaning. For example, ‘butcher’s hook’, which means ‘look’ can be used as ‘have a butcher’s’, which means to inspect something.

So how does a listener understand what a speaker is saying? Well, you have to learn the definitions of Cockney phrases and rhymes by heart. With that in mind, ‘let’s have a butcher’s’ at some useful Cockney rhyming slang for your next trip to London.

Cockney Rhyming Slang | Match

Match the Cockney phrases with their definitions.

So how did you score?

0-2 correct – ‘Please sir, can I take the test again?’

3-4 correct – ‘Pretty Polly’

5 correct – ‘Cor, blimey guv’nor!’

Cockney Rhyming Slang | True or False

Decide if the statement is true or false.

Learn English with the News | | John Cena Sparks Controversy in China Referring to Taiwan as a Country

John Cena, Hollywood superstar and… international diplomate? Maybe not yet! After recent remarks referring to Taiwan as a country, he has received massive criticism from one of the biggest film markets in the world, China. Fortunately for future ticket sales, he has apologized. Watch the video and then do the accompanying English language exercises !!

The news is a consistent source of entertainment, knowledge and discovery that never ceases to exist and always comes out with more and more material each day. Because it plays such a vital part in our lives and is so important to keep up with, it is without a doubt a piece of your everyday routine that can’t go ignored.

Whether it is to understand the ramifications of recent legislation passed, to hear about recent events and grasp the potential consequences to your country, or simply hear about what is happening in other countries in order to compare them to what’s happening in yours, the news is certainly a staple in our lives and the most consistent way to get information.

This is why Scrambled Eggs has decided to unite two of your biggest worlds: learning English and keeping up with what is happening in the world. We hope our challenging daily exercises, composed of listening, vocabulary and comprehension exercises in English, will satisfy both of those above worlds in a satisfactory and also entertaining way.

So enough about introductions, let’s get to today’s Learn English with the News topic:

Adapted from this article.

John Cena Sparks Controversy in China Referring to Taiwan as a Country - Definition Match

Put the following words to the correct definitions.

John Cena Sparks Controversy in China Referring to Taiwan as a Country - Fill in the Blank

Fill the empty spaces with the proper words.

John Cena Sparks Controversy in China Referring to Taiwan as a Country - True or False

Nice work! Did you get the result you were expecting? If not, feel free to take the quiz a second time!

Full Text:

“John Cena, the star of “F9,” professed his love for China after calling Taiwan a “country” during an interview. This action generated a backlash among fans in Hollywood’s most important international market.
The controversy unfolded after Cena gave an interview to a Taiwanese broadcaster promoting the film.
China claims Taiwan as its sovereign territory despite Taiwan being a self-governed democratic island. The two sides have been ruled separately since the end of the civil war over 70 years ago. According to China, Beijing specifically, any suggestion of Taiwan’s independence crosses its “red line.” China has increasingly been trying to use its economic power to police speech on the topic around the world.
Cena then offered an apology. Speaking in Mandarin, he did not refer to Taiwan by name or discuss the incident in detail, but he did say that it was a mistake.
Some critics are still angry about his remarks, and accused him of not going far enough in the apology.
Beijing often polices the way global brands talk about China or any of its political interests. In 2018, for example, the Chinese government demanded that several airline companies in the United States change the way they referred to Taiwan. Refusal to do so would risk sanctions for their companies in China, one of the world’s biggest markets for air travel. Also that year, hotel group Marriott’s website and app were blocked for a week after it listed Tibet, Hong Kong, Macau and Taiwan as separate “countries” in its emails and app.
While the controversy around Cena’s comment is likely to fade soon, Beijing’s attempt to control free speech around the world is unlikely to stop.”

Prepositions – A1 Level English Exercise

Al giorno d’oggi il corretto utilizzo della lingua inglese è un apripista decisivo per farsi strada nel mondo del lavoro, ma anche semplicemente per districarsi nella routine quotidiana di tutti i giorni. 

A chi non è mai capitato di imbattersi costantemente in qualche parola o termine che si ripete e di cui non sappiamo il significato? Magari guardando un video su Internet oppure leggendo gli avvisi sul treno mentre aspettiamo di scendere alla nostra fermata. 

Mind the gap BETWEEN the train and the platform“, dicevano…
Ecco – per tutti coloro che vogliono capirci di più dentro questa fantastica lingua che è l’inglese – Scrambled Eggs ha creato degli esercizi per principianti che vi avvicineranno, senza esagerare e un passo alla volta, alla conoscenza di tutti gli elementi basilari della lingua! 

Quest’oggi la nostra priorità è insegnarvi il corretto utilizzo delle preposizioni in lingua inglese! Presto, aiutatevi con il nostro schema qua sotto e poi cimentatevi con il quiz che vi proponiamo… Sarete in grado di farcela? 😉


Tutto chiaro? Provate adesso con l’esercizio qui sotto, e mi raccomando non sbirciate sopra!

Prepositions I

Look at the pictures of the ball and the box. Where is the ball?

Benvenuto a Scrambled Eggs, una scuola di inglese a Milano che mira ad aiutarti a migliorare il tuo inglese in modo divertente, accessibile e facile. Dai un’occhiata a tutti gli esercizi in lingua inglese che abbiamo compilato nel nostro database durante il corso degli anni, suddivisi in vari tipi e in vari livelli.

Sia che tu stia seguendo un corso di inglese qui a Milano o che tu voglia semplicemente migliorare le tue abilità linguistiche con un sacco di esercizi di lingua inglese online, Scrambled Eggs è qui per te! Dai un’occhiata alla nostra vasta raccolta che include centinaia di esercizi per tutti i livelli; e se pensi che ci siano ulteriori esercizi, argomenti o video che dovremmo aggiungere al nostro database, assicurati di avvisarci inviando un’e-mail a