Kettle and Hob Cockney Rhyming Slang
Kettle and Hob is cockney rhyming slang for watch
💬 “Nice new Kettle you’re wearing mate.“
Perhaps the most confusing of all rhyming slang expression, because the derivation of kettle from the word “watch” is unclear – until you know a little bit about the history of watches that is.
Kettle is the shortened form of kettle and hob – think of the oven range in an old fashioned house, with its kettle boiling away on the hob.
When pocket watches first became fashionable, they were held against the body by use of a small chain. The watch then slipped into the pocket and could be easily extracted without dropping it. These were called fob watches, and it’s from this expression that we get kettle and hob for watch.
Reader Paul H suggests that this phrase might be related to the saying “A watched kettle never boils”.
And the controversy doesn’t end there. Reader EDDIE argues that the rhyme is in fact kettle of Scotch, which rhymes with watch. “A kettle of Scotch was a measurement of Scotch whisky. ” Again this seems not quite right to us. Because the kettle must be the huge copper kettles used in the distilling process, not a measurement. And that is unlikely to be referred to as a kettle of Scotch.
Reader RICHARD says the word comes from copper kettle. There’s no rhyme there Richard so that doesn’t make sense to us.
Reader Martin Rogers says: “Now according to my Old Pot and Pan, who knew a bit of Cockney slang, this isn’t actually rhyming.” Meaning the phrase is just kettle with no rhyming part.
Reader A90Six agrees that this phrase means watch and the rhyme is fob. But they argue that the phrase is usually said kettle on the hob.
Submitted by the following 11 peeps:
- Paul H,
- Noble Nia,
- steve Beechey,
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