Saturday, March 27, 2010

The Surrealist Alphabet

Every child learns the alphabet when growing up. I learned two.

The Alphabet (Translation)
A for 'orses (hay for horses)
B for mutton (beef or mutton)
C for 'th highlanders (Seaforth Highlanders)
D for 'ential (deferential)
E for Adam (Eve or Adam)
F for 'vescence (effervescence)
G for police (Chief of police)
H for respect; or

H 'fore beauty
(age for respect)

(age before beauty)
I for Novello; or

Ivor you or me
(Ivor Novello)

(Either you or me)
J for oranges (Jaffa oranges)
K for 'ancis; or

K for undressing
(Kay Francis), or

(K for undressing)
L for leather (Hell for leather)
M for 'sis (emphasis)
N for 'adig (in for a dig, or infradig)
O for the garden wall (over the garden wall)
P for a penny (pee for a penny)
Q for a song; or

Q for billiards
(cue for a song),

(cue for billiards)
R for mo' (half a mo' - ment)
S for you (it's for you)
T for two (tea for two)
U for films; or

U for mism
(UFA films)

V for La France (Vive La France)
W for quits (double you for quits)
X for breakfast (eggs for breakfast)
Y for Gawd's sake (why, for God's sake)
Z for breezes; or

Z for 'is 'hat
(zephyr breezes)

(His head for his hat)

See also: Cockney alphabet, which says:
The Cockney alphabet, also known as the Surrealist alphabet is a humorous recital of the alphabet, parodying the way the alphabet is taught to small children. The humour comes from forming unexpected words and phrases from the names of the various letters of the alphabet. In the 1930s, the comedy double act Clapham and Dwyer recorded the ... version {listed above}.
I grew up associating it with Arthur Askey or Ted Ray, English comedians.

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