'Verbal Indigestion: A Guide to Cockney Rhyming Slang’ is a commission for the London issue of Ambrosia Magazine. The essay and accompanying photo series visualises the dual meanings of Cockney Rhyming Slang phrases from East London. This is a collaborative project between Isabel Lea and Aaron Bernstein and acts as a second iteration of the ‘Feast Your Eyes’ series exploring the intersect of food and language.
In 19th century Cockney Rhyming Slang, food phrases take on dual meaning as in the famous example ‘to fall down the apples & pears’ meaning ‘to fall down the stairs’. The photo-essay traced the linguistic history of these playful rhymes and brought the following phrases to life in a London pub aesthetic; ‘Custard & Jelly’ is ‘Telly’, ‘Bread & Honey’ is ‘Money’, ‘Mince Pies’ are ‘Eyes’, ‘Baked Bean’ means ‘The Queen’, ‘Tea Leaves’
‘Bread & Honey' means 'Money'
‘Apples and Pears' means 'Stairs'
‘Baked Bean’ means ‘The Queen’
‘Custard & Jelly’ is ‘Telly’
'Mince Pies' is 'Eyes'