The World of Ephemera #9 – The Cockney Alphabet & Railway Porter’s Prayer

I rediscovered these whilst sorting out a pile of cuttings and other assorted papers I’d built up the other day.  They come from articles in old editions of the Folio Society magazine.

The Cockney Alphabet

I love the this, yet apparently there are millions of variations on it – so here are two, the first traditional, the second more modern and illustrated (click on the pic to enlarge it).  Love them both.  Sometimes you’ll need to say the letter phonetically rather than it’s name (e.g. Use a hard G) and if you run it all together saying fer rather than for, it often becomes clearer more quickly!

A for ‘Orses
B for Mutton
C forth Highlanders  (A scottish regiment)
D ferential
E for Adam
F fervescence
G for Police
H for Respect
I for Novello
J for Oranges
K(ay) Francis
L for Leather
M for Sis
N fradig
O for the Wings of a Dove
P for Relief
Q for a Song
R for Mo’
S for You
T for Two
U for Me
V for La France
W for Quits
X for Breakfast
Y for Mistress
Z for Breezes

If you need any more explanations, let me know and I’ll dig out the article again.

Which brings me to the second cutting. Being from the South London/Surrey borders,  I’m pleased to note the town of my birth (Purley) included in the following.  Again there must be many different ‘prayers’ using the Lord’s Prayer as a basis, but I do like this one…

The Railway Porter’s Prayer

Our Farhham, which art in Hendon, Harrow be thy name. Thy Kingston come, thy Wimbledon, in Erith as it is in Hendon. Give us this day our Leatherhead and lead us not into Thames Ditton, but deliver us from Ealing, for thine is the Kingston, the Purley and the Crawley, for Iver and Iver, Crouch End.


2 thoughts on “The World of Ephemera #9 – The Cockney Alphabet & Railway Porter’s Prayer

  1. Hi there,

    Stumbled across your blog while trying to trace an old friend from Purley – where I spent much of my youth way back when…

    I loved the Cockney items you took up, especially the porter’s prayer and thought of sharing this with my FB friends – need to tread carefully in the internet world, since I am an ignoramus on the copyright laws in this context. So, if there’s no copyright, are you comfortable with me pasting the Porter’s Prayer onto my wall?



    • I’m Purley born and bred Alan … don’t know your name though so assume we didn’t know each other!

      Feel free to copy – I got the railway porter’s prayer from the internet anyway, and there are so many different versions of the Cockney alphabet.

      If you include a link to my blog that’d be wonderful!

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