Learn English slang | Apples and pears

Learn English slang with the popular rhyming expression apples and pears. What does it mean if someone says they're going up the apples and pears? Watch this video lesson to understand and use English slang better…

As I've said before, rhyming slang or Cockney rhyming slang goes back a long way and is a tradition, an important part of the history and culture of east London, so check out this very old Pathé News film from 1943 that tries to explain rhyming slang to people who don't understand it...

Have you seen Austin Powers? The third film Goldmember has a hilarious scene between Austin and his dad (played by British acting legend and Londoner Michael Caine) where they talk with each other in rhyming slang. The joke is that most people outside of London won't understand what they're saying, so they added subtitles to help! Listen out for apples and pears...

And just for fun, here's a Cockney sock puppet saying apples and pears!

So what do you do to learn English slang? Put your ideas in the comments below…

VIDEO TRANSCRIPT

This is probably the most common...the most famous rhyming slang expression. It's not used quite so much these days, but it's a very common example of how rhyming slang works.

So, apple and pears rhymes with...stairs.

So you could ask somebody, if you visit their house, you could say: "Where's the toilet?"

And they might say: "Up the apples and pears, turn left". Or they might shorten it to just apples. "Up the apples, turn left". Apples and pears - stairs.

If you have an accident and you fall down the stairs and your friend sees you in pain, he might say: "What happened to you?" And you might say: "I fell down the apples". "I fell down the apples and pears". I fell down the stairs.

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