Big Ben’s famous ockclay orkway
leads the countdown with a bong,
the signal for the ewnay earyay,
lit up brightly with irefay orkways –
until it all goes Pete Tong:
Big Ben’s creaking eargays
and revellers’ drunken fumbles.
You wake up in the orningmay
with a hangover and belly rumbles –
and nothing’s really changed.
Kim M. Russell, 30th December 2018
Björn is hosting the final prompt of 2018 this weekend and he tells us he’s been reading Anthony Burgess’s novel, A Clockwork Orange, which was written in an invented slang called Nadsat, a mixture of English, anglicised Russian and Cockney rhyming slang.
Björn’s prompt is to write a poem in slang: we can use slang we know well or create it from another language (or several) we know, include some rhyming slang, or even write a poem in Nadsat, making sure it’s written in such a way that it can be understood from the context of the poem.
I decided to write mine with some back-slang, which we used to speak at school and thought the teachers didn’t understand. I had to laugh to myself when I was a teacher and some children tried to use it in my classroom; their faces were priceless when I joined in fluently! If you don’t know how to use back-slang, just take a word, move the first consonant sound(s), ‘w’, to the end and add ‘ay’ to make ordway. See if you can work out what ‘to go Pete Tong’ means in Cockney rhyming slang!