If you follow us on Facebook or Twitter, you’ll know that last week uTalk became the world’s first Cockney language learning app! The traditional East London rhyming slang was launched at G Kelly pie shop on the Roman Road by the Pearly King of Forest Gate and Pearly Queen of Old Kent Road.
Some children from Olga Primary School popped in to put the uTalk app to the test. They had fun playing the games, and were keen to show our chairman Dick what they’d learnt.
And we finished with a good old-fashioned East End knees up, led by our Pearly King and Queen, pianist Mick Yarrow and the voice of uTalk Cockney, Patrick Mackervaie.
It was a fantastic day – thank you to everyone who got involved. Check out our video for more!
Our launch even made the news! As well as a feature on ITV London News on Thursday evening, our language expert Nat appeared on London Live with chairman Dick to talk about the app, and was interviewed with actor Patrick by Robert Elms on Friday morning for BBC Radio London (listen from 1 hour 40 mins onwards).
On Sunday we were back in the East End, giving Cockney lessons to visitors at the Roman Road Summer Festival. Patrick, who’s from Hackney, got the crowd warmed up with some Cockney quizzes (some harder than others), before inviting everyone to come and have a go with the app.
Want to have a go yourself? We’re giving away uTalk Cockney with the Evening Standard – and you get a free month’s subscription to all 133 other languages as well! Just visit eveningstandard.co.uk/offers to get started.
Enjoy! And we’d love to hear what you think – we know Cockney is constantly changing, and that not everyone has the same way of saying things. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or tweet us with #myCockney to join the discussion!
Travel around the UK a bit and you’ll find that tea is not just known as ‘tea’: so ubiquitous is it that there are plenty of regional and affectionate names for our favourite drink. A cuppa, a brew, a cup of char, a Rosy Lee (Cockney rhyming slang), a builder’s will all get you the same thing: a nice cup of steaming hot, milky tea. Lovely!
Tea is so important to us that it’s even filtered into our everyday language and is integral to some of our common idioms. Here are a few examples:
Not for all the tea in China!
You want me to do what?? Not for all the tea in China! Essentially meaning that you wouldn’t do something, no matter how good the reward.
It’s not my cup of tea.
Are you enjoying this programme? Not really- it’s not my cup of tea. Very simply, if something’s not your cup of tea, you don’t like it.
As useful as a chocolate teapot.
Fairly self-explanatory: not useful in the slightest.
Tea and sympathy
If someone’s upset, you might give them tea and sympathy (a nice strong cup of hot tea offering, of course, immeasurable comfort).
Oy! That tea leaf’s ‘alf-inched me wallet! In Cockney rhyming slang, a tea leaf is a thief! (And, in case you’re wondering, to half inch is to pinch.)
Can you think of anymore tea idioms? Lets us know on Twitter or Facebook.