The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party
2021 Season Pending Weekends Nov. 20 - Dec. 19 at the Cow Palace
The Great Dickens Christmas Fair and Victorian Holiday Party

Banner-Vendors and Performers

Upper Classes:

Vowel sounds:

  1. "a" is pronounced "aw," as in awful. Example: ask, answer, half, bath, can't, demand, master, France.
  2. "u" is pronounced "oo," as in boot. Example: duke, duty, news, tune, stupid, student

Consonant sounds:

  1. "r" at the beginning or middle of a word is rolled or flipped. Example: randy, rabbit, paltry, rose, red, terrible, Mary
  2. "r" at the end of a word is dropped. Example: park = pawk, father = fatha
  3. "t" and "h" are pronounced normally, not changed as in Cockney phrasing.

Sentences for the genteel:

  • A very happy Christmas, Madame, how can I be of assistance?
  • Good morning, Good Sir, and how may I serve you this day?
  • I trust that you've found everything to your liking?
  • If there is anything I can do to assist you in any way, do not hesitate to ask.
  • Please, feel free to browse about and peruse our merchandise.
  • Have a Happy Christmas and a very merry New Year!

Note: A nod of the head shows respect for your customers.

Useful short phrases for middle or upper class characters:

  • Compliments of the season!
  • Most excellent (as in "a most excellent fowl," "a most excellent evening")
  • Good riddance to bad rubbish.
  • As good as gold and as true as steel.
  • This is most irregular.
  • We had the most agreeable things to eat for tea.
  • I shan't think such things.
  • I daren't go out at night with these ruffians.
  • Stuff and nonsense, oh fiddlesticks!


  • Money – farthings, ha'penny, sixpence, shilling, half-a crown, pound sterling, sovereign, guinea
  • Candy – sweets, confectionary
  • Bathroom – water closet
  • Pants – trousers
  • Lawyer – barrister, solicitor
  • See – try ("Let's try how this works.")

Thoughtful thanks and pardons:

  • I beg your acceptance of my very hearty thanks.
  • I have great pleasure in being useful to you.
  • I thank you for your kind inquiries.
  • Why, the pleasure is all mine, I assure you.
  • Pray do not mention it, it's of no consequence.
  • You are most kind.
  • Permit me to thank you.
  • I thank you for the compliment.
  • My dear, you look radiant.
  • A thousand pardons.


Lower Classes (Cockney Language)

Vowel sounds:

  1. "a" is pronounced brightly as in hat. Example: can, ant, pan
  2. "o" and "u" are pronounced darkly as in off. Example: doff, often, cup, sup

Consonant sounds:

  1. "tt" in the middle of the word is glottal stopped. Example: Lit'le, pret'y
  2. "h" is dropped at the beginning of words. Example: 'appy, 'eart, 'ead, 'ome, 'opeful
  3. "h" is added to the beginning of words that start with a vowel. Example: hangel, hexample, hestraordinary
  4. "th" in the middle of a word is pronounced as an "f" or "v." Example: somfing, muver, anyfing
  5. "g" at the end of "ing" words is dropped or changed to a "k." Example: walkin', runnin', feelin', anyfink, thinkink, tryink.

Some useful phrases:

  • 'appy Christmas, Gov'ner. 'ow can I be of hassistance?
  • A lovely day, ain't it? 'ow's the misses and those lit'le ones?
  • Look about, look about and if you sees somfing you like, just give a nod.
  • Oo, your Lordship, what brings you 'ere? 'as somfing caught you eye?
  • Now, your Ladyship, you 'ave a 'appy Christmas and a merry New Year.

Note: Men should doff their hats to ladies and their betters; women should bob a quick curtsy to gentlemen and their betters.


  • In yer eye! – Are you kidding?
  • Cove/tuff/swell/guv'ner – Gentleman
  • Crusher/bobby/peeler – Policeman
  • Chimbley – Chimney
  • Rhino/tin/scratch – Money
  • Humbug – Nonsense
  • Get stuffed – Get lost
  • Get your collar felt – Arrested
  • A stunner/a looker – A beauty
  • Precious – Very, whole, real
  • Prime – Great
  • I does – I do
  • Stone Jug/clink – Prison
  • Nipper – Child
  • Me uncle's – Pawn shop
  • Cracked-up – Penniless
  • Jaw breakers – Long words
  • Flog it off – Sell it
  • I is – I am
  • Rum – Strange

Other phrases:

  • She's a dear old fing.
  • I'm in sommat reduced circumstances.
  • Look sharp.
  • Jolly good.
  • 'Ow cheeky of 'er!
  • We're done for!
  • I'll take the lot.
  • I can't afford 'em, they're too dear.
  • All hat one go.
  • Worse luck.
  • There's a love.


Victorian Advertising Slogans:

  • "As sold at exhibitions"
  • "A world-wide necessity"
  • "Has risen into favor by its merits alone"
  • "Unsurpassed for purity and delicacy of flavor" (food)
  • "Close personal attention assured"
  • "Handsome and useful presents"
  • "Sold at prices which will bear comparison with any other stores"
  • "Specially selected for purity of style and quality and will be found to harmonize with the prevailing taste"
  • "See our selection before making purchases elsewhere"
  • "For the convenience of country customers orders will be taken"
  • "Well known and appreciated in almost every household throughout the land"
  • "The proprietor begs to draw attention to . . . "
  • "Style, durability, and accurate fit guaranteed"
  • "No effort spared to place before our customers the newest and most fashionable production as each season approaches"
  • "Special orders executed with the utmost dispatch"
  • "Accuracy and dispatch may be relied upon, all items being sent by express tricycles and special messengers, at frequent intervals"
  • "Confidently recommended"
  • "The celebrated ________________"
  • "Not to be confused with ______________"
  • "The best and cheapest"