May 17th, 2004

WotD: Bit of a mess

Anyone that reads my personal LJ will know that I spent a rather debauched lunchtime, lounging by the Thames, sinking a few sherberts. Today’s WotD therefore reflects my personal state of being this afternoon ….

Two and eight Cockney rhyming slang
State (of anxiety, distress or excitement)

Such is the spread of Estuary English in Britiain today that many people use phrases such as two and eight without actually realising that they derive from Cockney Rhyming Slang (being the rhyming slang for state. It’s original meaning alluded to a state of mental distress, anxiety or excitement :

eg: John has got himself in a right two and eight about the wedding
Laura is in a real two and eight about her 21st Birthday etc

Now it equally applies to states of being or conditions … such as drunkenness!

eg: "He was in a right two and eight, having drunk 12 pints of lager in 3 hours"