The Slang Guide to London: Billingsgate

Jonathon Green returns to his series on London and slang with a visit to the fishwives of Billingsgate... Billingsgate. As in fish. As in Belin’s Gate which may memorialize one Belin, who, according to Charles Dickens Jr’s Dictionary of the Thames (1881) and quoting Geoffrey of Monmouth, was a king and ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: The Gaff

A ribald, rollicking historical treat for you this week, as Mr Slang brings to vivid life the world of the 'penny gaff' theatres of London... It is impossible to contemplate the ignorance and immorality of so numerous a class as that of the costermongers, without wishing to discover the cause of ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: The Jago

Jonathon Green continues his slang tour of London by venturing into an area just off Bethnal Green Road known as the "worst street in London"... So which was the worst street in London? Marked in the most stygian black (‘lowest class...occasional labourers, street sellers, loafers, criminals and semi-criminals’) on Charles Booth’s ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: Piccadilly

Jonathon Green continues his remarkable slang tour of London with a stroll down the Dilly, taking care to avoid a dose of the Piccadilly cramp... I’m Gilbert the Filbert, the knut with a k, The pride of Piccadilly, the blasé  roué. Oh Hades! the Ladies who leave their wooden huts,  For Gilbert the Filbert, ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: Limehouse

From Fu Manchu to Fred Astaire this week, as Jonathon Green continues his slang tour of London by venturing into the East End's Chinatown and the heady scents of opium and white slavery ...  It's not so much the slang coinage, because Limehouse as such didn't generate any (other than the rhyming slang ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: Tyburn

Death-sweats, Paddington spectacles and gallows humour this week, as Jonathon Green continues his slang tour of London with a trip to Tyburn... It is an old place. A crossroads where as we know wicked deeds assemble. It had a marker: Oswulf’s stone, seemingly pre-Roman and which may have been the meeting-place ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: St Giles

Jonathon Green continues his eye-popping slang tour of London with a look at St Giles, once described as offering ‘the lowest conditions under which human life is possible’...  The first time I saw the flaming mot, Was at the sign of the Porter Pot. I called for some purl, and we had it ... Read More...

The Slang Guide to London: Alsatia

After trawling Turnmill Street, Jonathon 'Mr Slang' Green continues his slang tour of London by seeking out Alsatia... It’s gone: Water Lane’s gone, not even the name. Mitre Lane’s gone, buried beneath some pile of glass. Ram Alley’s called Hare Court and shelters My Learned Friends. Whitefriars Street, now irony runs ... Read More...