Definition of cockney in English:

cockney

Line breaks: cock|ney
Pronunciation: /ˈkɒkni
 
/

noun (plural cockneys)

  • 1A native of East London, traditionally one born within hearing of Bow Bells: Charlie was a cockney by birth, but he’d spent a lot of time abroad
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    • A cockney by birth, he signed for United as a trainee in 1991.
    • A cockney by birth, he had been apprenticed to an engraver and had only become a soldier as a volunteer in the invasion scare of 1800.
    • This is usually cited as evidence of British fortitude - the attitude exemplified by cockneys in the heavily bombed East End who told Winston Churchill, ‘We can take it, but give it 'em back.’
  • 1.1 [mass noun] The dialect or accent typical of cockneys: his accent was a peculiar mixture of cockney and American
    More example sentences
    • Her accent is a mixture of English cockney and West Country.
    • English accents are not limited to cockney, upper-class twit or Mancunian.
    • It sounds like my friends and I are bunch of characters from Oliver Twist sitting around the table with cockney accents begging for more porridge.
  • 2Australian A young snapper fish (Chrysophrys auratus).

adjective

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  • Of or characteristic of cockneys or their dialect or accent: cockney humour
    More example sentences
    • Today he looks back on the chirpy cockney character of the director's earlier work with something approaching distaste.
    • I've got London blood so I haven't struggled with the cockney accent.
    • The woman's husband spoke with a cockney accent.

Origin

late Middle English (denoting a pampered child): origin uncertain; it is apparently not the same word as Middle English cokeney 'cock's egg', denoting a small misshapen egg (probably from cock1 + obsolete ey 'egg'). A later sense was 'a town-dweller regarded as affected or puny', from which the current sense arose in the early 17th century.

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