- 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)
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.
Origin of cockneyMiddle English cokenei, cock's egg, pampered child, city dweller : coken, cock (possibly blend of cok; see cock1, and chiken, chicken; see chicken) + ei, egg (from Old English &aemac;g; 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.