Law1 min ago
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Thanks QM - I'm older than I look and younger than I feel!
My grandmother had never been to London - in fact she never once left Bradford in her entire life. That was my reason for saying I didn't think it was a cockney expression. I heard other Yorkshire people saying it when I visisted there as a child. My mum was evacuated to Bradford during the war as a child of 4 and yet she picked up the expression in Yorkshire, despite being born within the sound of Bow Bells herself!
Certainly, it seems that it started life in London's East End in the early 19th century, but since then it has constantly been created by people from the other end of the country or even the other end of the world as well. Australians, apparently, sometimes refer to their arms as 'Warwicks', based on the fact that there is a racecourse in Sydney called 'Warwick Farm'.
Thus, it's quite possible that the 'dogs are barking' one started life as "Yorkshire rhyming slang"! Cheers