11 November 2013

Want some moolah for your sky rocket? (Money for your pocket): Cockney Cash Machines

There is something intoxicating about London's East End - and I'm not just talking about the Gin Palaces. In between the living developing history, the family run pie, mash & liquor shops and barrow boy markets, there is a clear vibrancy and tradition to the area.
If you're lucky, you end up on a train or in a caff cafe (there is definitely no circumflexing in the East End) with a group of proper Cockney gals and geezers, getting to listen to their musical, melodical and almost nonsensical accent and phrases.
Well, if you luck out, don't worry as there is a rather practical solution.  
 (Excuse the wobbly pics, as I'm sure you can imagine catching these were a challenge...)
For someone to be knees-up Cockney London Geezer, you have to be born within the sound of Bow Bells. They have a language all of their own with their Cockney patois; a way of describing items with a collection of non-related words and rhyming slang. Take a Curry for instance. In Cockney slang it's called a "Ruby Murray". Go on, say it out loud with me "Ruby Murray - Curry" The slang was so successful as a unbreakable code, it allegedly used during WW2 to confuse the enemy intelligence as to the uninitiated it's intelligible.

I couldn't believe my eyes when I saw on Twitter via my blogger friend Selena the fact that there are cash machines in the East End with a Cockney Language option.

Oh yes, you read that correctly.
Selections available are:
- English
- Cockney
 ('scuse the poor quality pics, it was raining, the machine is a public one and we had to get them quickly. Admist much giggling.)

This little fella provided some fantastic entertainment on a rainy East End Saturday...

I swear I haven't lost my mind - even Mr Kiwi thought it was ace. It was initially thought of in 2007 by 'The Bank Company' who own the machines as a humourous draw. They ran with it for 3 months, only to re-instate it for the Olympics.
So the million dollar question is how do you find these machine the next time your wallet is empty? There seems to be a few (up to a possible 16) according to my research, but (at the time of writing) this one was found by turning right out of the second exit of Aldgate East tube, a short trot along Commercial Street and it's outside an Estate Agents.

Simply another mad reason why I love London. Fancy trying a few geeza?

Adam and Eve – believe ( would you Adam and Eve it?)
Barnet (Fair) – hair (commonly used without the rhyming of fair)
Ruby Murray – curry (I’m going d’ahn Brick Lane tonight for a ruby- can be said with or without murray)
Vincent Van Gogh – let’s be off (do you wanna do a Vincent?)
Trouble and Strife – wife (I’m in trouble with the old trouble and strife)
Lemon and Lime – time (what’s the lemon?)
Butcher’s Hook – look (let’s have a butchers)
Anneka Rice – advice (if you want some Anneka Rice)
Boat Race – face (she’s got a nice boat)
David Blaine – insane (you must be David Blaine)
Babe Ruth – truth (to tell you the babe)
Mexican Wave – shave (you need a Mexican)


  1. The first I had heard of this was "apples and pears" for stairs haha. So funny!

    1. It's a crazy, crazy world in East London.

  2. What in the world?!?! This is hysterical!! I had heard someone mention that the Cockney accent was different, but I had no idea they had a separate languages as well! Oh, and that ATM machine cracked me up. It's things like this that really make me love London!

    1. I know, right! I loved that you have an option English OR Cockney, like it's a language all of it's own.
      We couldn't resist photographing & blogging it even though the photos are pretty grim!

  3. THIS IS THE BEST THING EVER. I just read all of these out to my flat mates and we can't believe it.

    1. We actually didn't believe it ourselves. It was such a great pep to an otherwise rainy grey day.

  4. The cash machines have a language option for Cockney - cool!
    When I was in Rome, I saw an offer for a sandwhich named Brad Pitt - With my bit of Cockney, soo weird :)

  5. Oh I heard of this ages ago and forgot all about it. Looks like a lot of fun and think I'll need to hunt an ATM down! I love the little cockney run down at the bottom of the post- some of them I knew, but there were a few I use and didn't know they were cockney (butchers and barnet)!

    1. Yes, definitely - it'll put a twinkle in your mincer.
      Oh, really? That's awesome - there are loads I've never heard (and a few I suspect I have heard but they are made up...)

  6. I've heard about this, but not actually seen any.

    They're brilliant.

    Hmm maybe...

    1. They're just one of those hilarious things...

  7. I've had this explained to me before, but I swear if you didn't grow up with it, you'd never be able to pick Cockney up. Not for my feeble mind anyways. It's completely blown away by this.

    1. No, and to add to is, they make new ones up two. It is surprising how many have snuck into everyday chatter in the UK though - such as 'Let's have a butchers' It's a butchers hook, so you want a look.
      You won't need to know these, I swear.

  8. That is so funny! I've worked with two Cockney people before and they're hilarious. Love their silly rhymes and even their naughty ones!

    1. I love the really, really naughty ones, and take a particular delight in them :D So mature!


So, what do you think? Comments are blogging mana; short, sweet, long, loquacious, deep and meaningful...