See also: cockney

English edit

Alternative forms edit

Etymology edit

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).

Pronunciation edit

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

Adjective edit

Cockney (not comparable)

  1. (UK) From the East End of London, or London generally.
  2. Of or relating to people from this area or their speech style, traditionally known for its rhyming slang.

Noun edit

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. [], volumes (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 noun edit


  1. The dialect or accent of such Londoners.

Derived terms edit

Further reading edit