Do you want to go for a Charlie?

old fashioned car

My siblings will understand this but I was not sure if it was purely a family expression or one that was used by people in general.

We have had a bit of inclement weather here recently and rather than being stuck indoors I suggested that we go for a bit of a charlie.  It got me thinking about where the expression had originated as it was used in my family but it was not an expression my husband had been familiar with before he met me.

I did a bit of a search on the Internet under origins of sayings but couldn’t find anything there so I thought it might have been an expression associated with the Air Force, maybe something to do with the call sign alphabet but that didn’t seem to fit the bill either.

Eventually I thought it might be Cockney rhyming slang so did a search for that and sure enough, going for a charlie is Cockney for going for a ride, ( as in Charlie Pride). Here is the link to the Cockney Rhyming Slang.


5 thoughts on “Do you want to go for a Charlie?

  1. Hello friend in Metung… how are you?
    Any way, I have just read out your latest blog to my husband about “Going for a Charlie” as I had not heard of the expression, he shook his head and said he hadn’t either. I guess had we been born and raised in London we would have known about the saying, we are from the North of the UK. Up in the north of England there are some funny old sayings too, “ by gum…” being a really famous Yorkshire expression!
    Do always look what you are blogging about.
    Best wishes, Jay X

    • Hi Jay,
      We spent a bit of time in Yorkshire during our last visit to the UK and we loved the accent and sayings that could be heard in that part of the country.
      My dad was from the very north of Scotland but I assume he got the expression from his mates in the Air Force. Mum was from Musselburgh so I doubt if the expression came from her although now that I think about it she did work for a while as a chemist on Kings Road, Chelsea. Maybe it was my mum who was responsible for introducing the saying to our family. I will need to check with my older siblings, no doubt they will know…Heather

      • G’day Heather,
        I find it most interesting where little sayings and expressions originate from!
        The Scottish have some really authentic ones that couldn’t be from anywhere else in the world, “och eye the ono” much like the Australians… “you beauty”
        and some of the London cockney ones are just bonkers! (in a nice way!)
        Bye, Jay

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