London Did You Know? No. 2 – Cabbies

London

The first trip after a cabbie passes his Knowledge test is free to the customer. I’ve never found one yet. Cabbies have to learn about public buildings as well as roads, and remember roads for their test knowledge with mnemonics. Cutting through Covent Garden is ‘Wet T-Shirts’ – Wellington, Tavistock, Southampton, Henrietta.

Many cabbies have slang for different bits of London. For example, ‘Hot & Cold Corner’ is by the Royal Geographical Society’s statues of David Livingstone and Ernest Shackleton

A cabbie expression is ‘on the cotton’, which means you decide on a route, draw it on a map and get a piece of cotton to see how straight your line was. If you were as close as you could be, you’re ‘on the cotton’.

Not many tourists know that some London cabbies can be hired as guides for the day at a flat rate.

7 comments on “London Did You Know? No. 2 – Cabbies”

  1. Vickie Farrar says:

    Fun factoids! I love black taxis (mostly Armstrong…)

  2. Gretta says:

    I love learning this kind of stuff. Thank you, admin.

    Oh, and speaking of thank yous, thank you for putting me onto Judge Dee. Finished Judge Dee at Work a couple of days back, and thoroughly enjoyed it. I seem to have a soft spot for grumpy old men.

  3. Steve says:

    Black cabs are the only way to travel in London as far as we’re concerned.

  4. jan says:

    when cabbies have completed the knowlege they are supposed to on their first journey go to touch nelsons nose which you can see inside admiralty arch just off trafalgar square. you can see the ‘nose’ which is actually a better height for a horsedrawn cab – as indeed the first cabs where horse drawn

  5. jan says:

    when cabbies have completed the knowlege they are supposed to on their first journey go to touch nelsons nose which you can see inside admiralty arch just off trafalgar square. you can see the ‘nose’ which is actually a better height for a horsedrawn cab – as indeed the first cabs where horse drawn

  6. Helen Martin says:

    Aah! We had Nelson’s nose about a year ago and this is a neat addition to that. We still don’t know why touching the nose is supposed to be lucky. And it would seem, Chris, that Admiralty Arch is a good place to hail a cab if you want a freebie.

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