More from the British movie The Football Factory. In the following dialogue, the main character, a Cockney English speaker played by actor Danny Dyer, waxes philosophical about why he enjoys being a football hooligan and would rather do nothing else on a weekend:

What else are you gonna do on a Saturday? Sit in your fuckin' armchair wankin' off to Pop Idols? Then try and avoid your wife's gaze as you struggle to come to terms with your sexless marriage? Then go and spunk your wages on kebabs, fruit machines and brasses? Fuck that for a laugh! I know what I'd rather do. Tottenham away — love it!

I'm guessing this is slang of some sort, and I'd love to understand what he means by each word.

5 Answers 5


A kebab is a type of fast food; in the UK it's often associated with post-pub eating.

A fruit machine is a gambling device; in the UK you can often find one in a pub.

"Brass" in this context puzzles me, but Wiktionary suggests (see "Translations") that it can be a slang term for a prostitute. That seems the most likely interpretation of the ones I can find.

  • 6
    I think brasses is Cockney rhyming slang for prostitutes: "brass nail" => tail.
    – Robusto
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 12:27
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    @Robusto: Aye, brasses in that context does mean prostitutes or related stuff, strip club girls, etc.
    – Orbling
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 21:17
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    Kebab is not a slang term in any respect, just a Turkish/Greek fast food - there are kebab shops everywhere. A fruit machine is our phrase for what Americans call a slot machine, fruit because most of the earlier ones had fruit pictures on the reels and mainly still do.
    – Orbling
    Commented Apr 17, 2011 at 21:19

To add to Peter's answer, with the parts he did not cover.

The "spunk your wages" bit, spunk means ejaculate, it's an odd phrase, but people often say "blow your wages", meaning spend them quickly, waste them on nothing. "blow your load" also means ejaculate, so it is an easy crossover.


On the subject of Brasses: 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (please note that the link may not be entirely safe if your boss is at your shoulder.) gives this definition for 'Corinthian'

Corinthians. Frequenters of brothels. Also an impudent, brazen faced fellow, perhaps from the Corinthian brass.

(I found that by searching the dictionary for 'Brass') Which sent me off on a small journey of discovery to see what Corinthian brass was and if it had any obvious link to prostitution. It looks as though the corinthian reference is twofold. One aspect is that the customers were figuratively 'brazen' the other is that(according to the MacArthur New Testament Commentary)

Corinth was such an immoral city that its name became a byword for sexual vice; the verb to ‘Corinthianize’ meant to commit sexual immorality, and ‘corinthian girl' became a slang term for a prostitute.

So my speculation is that the phrases 'Corinthian Girl' and 'Corinthian Brass' met up in the brothels, became confused and we ended up with the meaning of one attached to the other.


Cockney Rhyme: "Brass Band" rhymes with "hand." He's referring to a handjob from a brothel or massage parlor.

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    Brass means a prostitute or easy sex, but exactly why, -- the connecting word -- is debated. There's a long association between immodesty and brass (cf brazen) as a contrast with gold as a cheap imitation.
    – Dan
    Commented Jan 30, 2015 at 21:00

The first two aren't slang terms; only the third is.

  1. Kebab means meat cooked on a skewer, generally from the Eastern Mediterranean.
  2. A fruit machine is a gambling machine, they used to be called one armed bandits.
  3. Brasses is a slang term and means prostitute.

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