- a person born in the East End of London, England, traditionally one born within the sound of “Bow Bells” (i.e., the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow) and speaking a characteristic dialect
- this dialect, characterized by extreme diphthongization, loss of the initial (h) sound, and use of an intrusive (r)
- loosely any person born or living in London: a humorous or disparaging usage
Origin of cockneyMiddle English cokenei, spoiled child, milksop; understood as coken-ey, literally , cock's egg from coken (OE cocena, genitive plural ), of cocks + ey (OE æg), egg; uncertain or unknown; perhaps influenced, influence by French acoquiné, idle, spoiled ( from coquin, rascal)
of or like cockneys or their dialect
nounpl. cock·neys, or Cock·neys
- A native of the East End of London.
- The dialect or accent of the natives of the East End of London.
Relating to cockneys or their dialect.
Origin of cockneyMiddle English cokenei cock's egg, pampered child, city dweller coken cock ( possibly blend of cok ; see cock 1. ) ( and chiken chicken ; see chicken . ) ei egg ( from Old English ǣg ; see awi- in Indo-European roots.)
- Traditionally, applies only to those born within earshot of the bells of St Mary-le-Bow, Cheapside
- of, or relating to these people or their accent
- From the East End of London.