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Jimmywoodser  (Level: 28.1 - Posts: 15)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 1:44 AM


I wonder if anyone here is familiar with this old alphabet that was current during my mother's schooldays. I can't remember all of it and perhaps somebody can fill in the gaps. Some of the letters ("R" for instance) suggest that it originated in the UK. The purists may view this message as being "off-topic" but they can hardly deny that it's trivial.

A for 'orses
B for mutton
C for yourself
D for dumb
E for or
F ????
G for police
H ?????
I for Novello
J for orange
K ???
L for leather
M for sis
N ???
O for the garden wall
P for relief
Q for tickets
R for Askey
S for Williams
T for two
U ???
V ???
W for a pound
X for breakfast
Y for goodness' sake
Z ????

Maurlin  (Level: 221.5 - Posts: 2718)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 6:27 AM

F for vescence (effervescence)
H for respect (age for respect)
K for teria (cafeteria)
N for lope (envelope)
U for me (You for me)
V for La France (Viva La France)
Z for breeze (Zephyr breeze)

I found other versions online that refer to this as the Cockney Alphaber. I had never seen thes before. Way cool!!!

Zeedee  (Level: 235.6 - Posts: 1088)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 6:32 AM

I have not seen this alphabet before -- but if I had to guess, I say "U for me" (especially since it follows "T for two").

Suzer22  (Level: 166.3 - Posts: 1983)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 10:25 AM

How's about a few more translations:

These are the ones I can't figure out:

E for or (Heathrow?)
I for Novello (I'm for no fellow?)
J for orange
R for Askey

I think "W for a pound" is either a wager (double you for a pound) or begging (trouble you for a pound?)

And what the heck is a "Zephyr Breeze?"

Tuzilla  (Level: 146.6 - Posts: 3848)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 10:56 AM

Zephyr Breeze is a sailing term for a easy westerly breeze.

maybe...j for orange --- Jaffa orange from Israel.

Ricksdusa  (Level: 22.6 - Posts: 69)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 12:32 PM

I for Novello = Ivor Novello - The songwriter (Ivor Novello awards)
R for Askey = Arthur Askey - Entertainer (music hall, movies tv)
J for orange = jaffa orange

Jimmywoodser  (Level: 28.1 - Posts: 15)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 5:05 PM

I've always assumed that "E for or" means "either/or". Another interesting aspect of this alphabet is that although, as I said at the beginning, much of it suggests an English origin, at least one letter that's been put forward ("Z for breezes") seems likely to have originated in the USA, where the 26th letter of the alphabet is, so I'm told, pronounced "zee" and not "zed".

Larrybus  (Level: 320.4 - Posts: 385)
Tue, 25th Mar '08 7:44 PM

"Zephyr" is pronounced ˈze-fər or zeh'fur, which is closer to "zed for" than "zee for".

Audio pronunciation at

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