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Word on the street - digital book
Image: Time Out

‘Word on the Street’ – the book

The most outrageous things Londoners have overheard in London

Chris Waywell
Written by
Chris Waywell

Apart from ‘Is there a secret exclusive cheap late-night bar in Soho to take a date to where you can always get a table?’ the question we most get asked at Time Out is ‘Are the things in Word on the Street really real?’

Me take drugs? I can’t even handle chickpeas

Since the column first appeared in Time Out in about 1 million years BC it has documented the overheard sayings of Londoners. On the tube and buses. In parks and shops. In hospitals and doctors’ surgeries. In many, many pubs. And – yes – on the street. The products of this haul have been frequently bizarre, occasionally a bit sweet if you sort-of squint and consistently horrifying. It’s not just what the proud subjects of the capital appear to be getting up to, but the fact that they seem more than happy to discuss it out loud, in detail, in public. Maybe it’s a kind of collective therapy.

Even successive lockdowns didn’t stem the flow across our social channels. Londoners seem endlessly inventive in their random perversions, creepy eating habits (peri peri otter?) and repellent observations (cheese with a penis?). They apparently don’t even need to be in the physical company of other Londoners. So yeah, the things in ‘Word on the Street’ really are really real. Here’s a book of them to read on the toilet. Oh, and as for that bar…

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