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Rabbiting David 'ockney

Discover the history of cockney rhyming slang including the Jewish influences on many of the phrases that are common today. A talk by Brian Walker

‘Raining cats, dogs and fishing rods’, a new exhibition at Hackney Museum, explores the idioms and phrases we use everyday to describe what is happening to us. Hackney Museum’s staff have been working with local ESOL and community groups to collect phrases from some of the 100 languages that are spoken in Hackney today. The exhibition has been designed for families to share their language experiences through video, animations, text, stories and interactives including a giant jigsaw and an art table. Most importantly the exhibition also includes a display where you can add your own phrase or idiom, from English or your home language.

Throughout the exhibition there will be a series of events that explore language in Hackney today, from the Jewish roots of Cockney rhyming slang to the Yoruba and English influences on a contemporary rap artist. There is also a series of events for families including an opportunity to add to the computer animation of the phrases. This project has been funded by the Heritage Lottery Fund


Brian Walker | talks


Date and Time:

23 September 2004 at 6:30 pm


1 hour



Hackney Museum
Hackney TLC
1 Reading Lane
E8 1GQ
020 8356 3500

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Available from:

The event is free, but booking is essential. Call 020 8356 3500 or visit the museum for a free place.

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