Without even realising it, conversations are occurring every day right across the UK that include Cockney rhyming slang. If you haven’t seen anyone for donkey’s, or think someone is telling porkies, or come down the apple and stairs for a cup of rosie lee, you are talking Cockney like a pro without giving it a second thought.
What about when you haven’t eaten for a while and you’re Hank Marvin? This is cockney rhyming slang for starving, and the latest ad from the leading brand of chilled snacks, Mattessons, taps into this particular phrase in the dictionary of rhyming slang to promote their delicious Fridge Raiders range of snacks.
It’s 3.30pm at Bedford’s Park Secondary School, the last bell goes and all the kids rise from their desks, lift up their guitars, and launch into Apache as they come down the stairs and go along the corridors towards the exit. Every girl and boy is sporting the instantly recognisable guise of the lead Shadow, Hank Marvin, and they continue playing the iconic tune as they make their way home through the streets.
They kick and head footballs, hold up traffic at crossings by doing the Shadows dance while crossing and this is a town packed full of teenage Hank Marvin’s. If you hadn’t grasped the gist of it already, all is explained when one boy arrives home and after putting down his guitar, enters the kitchen.
His mum declares that he must be Hank Marvin and hands him a tasty bag of Fridge Raiders. A couple of bites later and the boy is himself again, with the wig and glasses a distant memory. The message is clear and succinct; whenever you are feeling like Hank Marvin, chase the hunger pangs away by grabbing a packet of Mattessons satisfying Fridge Raiders.