See also: cockney


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Alternative formsEdit


First attested in Samuel Rowland's 1600 The Letting of Humours Blood in the Head-Vaine as "a Bowe-bell Cockney", from Middle English cokenay (a spoiled child; a milksop, an effeminate man), used in the 16th c. by English country folk as a term of disparagement for city dwellers, of uncertain etymology. Possibly from Middle English cokeney (a small, misshapen egg), from coken (cocks') + ey (egg) or from Cockney and Cocknay, variants of Cockaigne, a mythical land of luxury (first attested in 1305) eventually used as a humorous epithet of London. Compare cocker (to spoil a child).


  • (UK) IPA(key): /ˈkɒ
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ɒkni


Cockney (not comparable)

  1. From the East End of London, or London generally


Cockney (plural Cockneys)

  1. (UK slang) Any Londoner.
  2. (UK) A Londoner born within earshot of the city's Bow Bells, or (now generically) any working-class Londoner.
    • 1617, Fynes Moryson, An Itinerary
      Londoners, and all within the sound of Bow Bell, are in reproach called Cockneys.
    • 1617, John Minsheu, Ductor in Linguas
      A Cockney or Cocksie, applied only to one born within the sound of Bow bell, that is in the City of London.
    • 1848 November – 1850 December, William Makepeace Thackeray, chapter 26, in The History of Pendennis. [], volume (please specify |volume=I or II), London: Bradbury and Evans, [], published 1849–1850, →OCLC:
      “Charming place, ma’am,” said he, bowing to the widow; “noble prospect—delightful to us Cocknies, who seldom see anything but Pall Mall.”
    • 2000 December 18, BBC and Bafta Tribute to Michael Caine, 16:43–17:05:
      Parkinson: You made films before, but the part that really made your name was Zulu, wasn't it [] and there of course—against type—you played the toff, you played the officer.
      Caine: I played the officer, yeah, and everybody thought I was like that. Everyone was so shocked when they met me, this like Cockney guy had played this toffee-nosed git.

Proper nounEdit


  1. The dialect or accent of such Londoners.

Derived termsEdit