December QUIZ: Answer!

Published: 06/01/2022 By Allan Fuller

December's Quiz Question: 

How well do you know Cockney rhyming slang?

The expression used for ‘eyes’ is better known as a Christmas treat eaten in various forms since the 12th century, what is it ?

Mince Pies

Rhyming slang is a form of slang word construction in the English language. It is especially prevalent in the UK, Ireland and Australia. It was first used in the early 19th century in the East End of London; hence its alternative name, supposedly to confuse, especially the law enforcement officers, old black and white movies will often have criminals referring to Police as ‘rozzers’, derived from Sunday roast dinner. 

The construction of rhyming slang involves replacing a common word with a phrase of two or more words, the last of which rhymes with the original word; then, in almost all cases, omitting, from the end of the phrase, the secondary rhyming word (which is thereafter implied), making the origin and meaning of the phrase elusive to listeners not in the know Examples are, tea leaf – thief, apples and pears – Stairs, north and south – mouth, plates of meat - feet.

A mince pie also mincemeat pie in New England, and fruit mince pie in Australia and New Zealand) is a sweet pie of English origin filled with mincemeat, a mixture of fruit and spices. It is traditionally served during the Christmas season in much of the English-speaking world. Its ingredients are traceable to the 13th century, when returning European crusaders brought with them Middle Eastern recipes containing meats, fruits, and spices; these contained the Christian symbolism of representing the gifts delivered to Jesus by the Biblical Magi.[1] Mince pies, at Christmastide, were traditionally shaped in an oblong shape, to resemble a manger and were often topped with a depiction of the Christ Child.

The early mince pie was known by several names, including "mutton pie", "shrid pie" and "Christmas pie". Typically its ingredients were a mixture of minced meat, suet, a range of fruits, and spices such as cinnamon, cloves and nutmeg. Served around Christmas, the savoury Christmas pie (as it became known) was associated with supposed Catholic "idolatry" and during the English Civil War was frowned on by the Puritan authorities. Nevertheless, the tradition of eating Christmas pie in December continued through to the Victorian era, although by then its recipe had become sweeter and its size markedly reduced from the large oblong shape once observed. 

Today the mince pie, usually made without meat (but often including suet or other animal fats), remains a popular seasonal treat enjoyed by many across the United Kingdom and Ireland.

Quiz winner 
Congratulations to Marcos Horton, whose name was picked out of the hat to win December's QUIZ - please contact to arrange the means of receiving the bottle of champagne.