rhyming slang


Definition of rhyming slang

: slang in which the word intended is replaced by a word or phrase that rhymes with it (such as loaf of bread for head) or the first part of the phrase (such as loaf for head)

Examples of rhyming slang in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

This otherwise unassuming East End street is transformed into a swathe of magnificent plant life, the air fragrant with blooms and the shouts of historic London's famous Cockney – that's English rhyming slang – stallholders. Ramsay Short, Condé Nast Traveler, "24 Best Things to Do in London," 3 Mar. 2018 That’s because much of the novel is written using Nadsat, a dystopian teenage subculture language fusing British rhyming slang and Russian that Burgess created for the book. Jason Daley, Smithsonian, "Anthony Burgess’ Legendary Dictionary of Slang Lives," 7 June 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'rhyming slang.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of rhyming slang

1859, in the meaning defined above

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about rhyming slang

Statistics for rhyming slang

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for rhyming slang

The first known use of rhyming slang was in 1859

See more words from the same year

More from Merriam-Webster on rhyming slang

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with rhyming slang

Comments on rhyming slang

What made you want to look up rhyming slang? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to move or obtain by small maneuvers

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Summer 2019 Words of the Day Quiz

  • a-bowl-of-peach-sorbet-with-cut-peaches-next-to-it
  • Which is a synonym of desideratum?
How Strong Is Your Vocabulary?

Test your vocabulary with our 10-question quiz!

Bee Cubed

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!