from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A native of the East End of London.
  • noun The dialect or accent of the natives of the East End of London.
  • adjective Relating to cockneys or their dialect.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • To pamper; fondle; cocker.
  • noun A spoiled child; hence, a foolish or effeminate person; a simpleton: often used as a term of reproach without a very clear signification.
  • noun In the following passages the meaning of the word is uncertain. It is conjectured to mean, in the first three, “a cock” or “a cook,” etc.; in the last, “a cook.”
  • noun A native or a permanent resident of London: used slightingly or by way of contempt, and generally with allusion to peculiarities of pronunciation or insularity or narrowness of views.
  • noun [capitalized] Same as Cockaigne, 2 (where see extract).
  • Pertaining to or like cockneys or Londoners: as, cockney conceit; cockney speech.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun An effeminate person; a spoilt child.
  • noun A native or resident of the city of London, especially one living in the East End district; -- sometimes used contemptuously.
  • noun the distinctive dialect of a cockney{2}.
  • adjective Of or relating to, or like, cockneys.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun a native or inhabitant of parts of the East End of London
  • noun the accent and speech mannerisms of these people
  • adjective of, or relating to these people or their accent

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • noun the nonstandard dialect of natives of the east end of London
  • noun a native of the east end of London
  • adjective characteristic of Cockneys or their dialect
  • adjective relating to or resembling a cockney


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English cokenei, cock's egg, pampered child, city dweller : coken, cock (possibly blend of cok; see cock, and chiken, chicken; see chicken) + ei, egg (from Old English ǣg; see awi- in Indo-European roots).]



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  • in cockney rhyming slang, usually only the first word of the rhyme-pair is used, leading to mystification of non-cockney listeners.

    June 18, 2008