WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Cockney

We’re all familiar with this word, so let’s get right to the interesting bits.

Cockney (noun)

A nick name given to the citizens of London, or persons born within the sound of Bow bell, derived from the following story:

A citizen of London, being in the country, and hearing a horse neigh, exclaimed, Lord! how that horse laughs! A by-stander telling him that noise was called neighing, the next morning, when the cock crowed, the citizen, to shew he had not forgot what was told him, cried out, Do you hear how the cock neighs?

Also, a young person coaxed or conquered, made wanton; or a nestle cock, delicately bred and brought up, so as, when arrived a man’s estate, to be unable to bear the least hardship. Whatever may be the origin of this appellation, we learn from the following verses, attributed to Hugh Bigot, Earl of Norfolk, that it was in use in the time of King Henry II.

Was I in my castle at Bungay,
Fast by the river Waveney,
I would not care for the king of Cockney;

i.e. the king of London.

Easter Monday or the Cockney Hunt by Thomas Rowlandson, published 14 July 1811, Royal Collection Trust.

Easter Monday or the Cockney Hunt by Thomas Rowlandson, published 14 July 1811, Royal Collection Trust.

So cockney first describe a person or a sound, then gradually morphed to mean a language attributed to a certain set of people. It is both informative and vastly entertaining. I yield to Professor ‘enry ‘iggins.

Long to sound natural speaking of Pork Pies, Dickie Birds, and Donald Pears?

And just to start your week off well, here’s a little Daffadown Dilly Jackanory to make for a trifecta of cockney. D’ya Adam and Eve it?

 

Slang term taken from the 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue.

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2 thoughts on “WOW ~ Word of the Week ~ Cockney

    • I first thought of Miss Brahms from Are You Being Served, played by Wendy Richard, who also went on to EastEnders later. I thought about including the Dick Van Dyke clip of the world’s worst Cockney, but it’s such an ear bleeder I couldn’t do it 🙂

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