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Now I want an explanation of the origins of the cockney, e.g. why is your PIN a "Huckleberry Finn"? A Google search just brings up news articles (from 2009) on this ATM change.
Mark Smith's profile photo
Cockney rhyming slang was a way for criminals to talk openly in public places without being understood by police or informants. The East End of London, which is where Cockneys come from was a pretty poor part of London, and therefore had a thriving criminal underclass.

Although the whole phrase rhymes with the target word, you don't use the rhyming part, making it harder to translate. You wouldn't enter your "Huckleberry Finn" into the ATM, you'd enter your "Huckleberry". In the same way, you might walk down your apples to answer the dog, ie. you'd walk down your 'apples and pears' (stairs) to answer your 'dog and bone' (phone).

And no, I've no idea of (a) the origin of the word 'cockney', or (b) why one phrase is chosen over another - I guess it's just the most memorable phrase.

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