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COCKNEY The term *Cockney* has both geographical and linguistic associations.

Geographically and culturally, it often refers to working class Londoners, particularly those in the East End. Linguistically, it refers to the form of English spoken by this group. According to traditional definition, a "true" Cockney is someone born within earshot of the Bow Bells, i.e. the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow church in Cheapside in the City of London (which is not itself in the East End ). However, the bells were silent from the outbreak of World War II until 1961. Also, as the general din in London has increased, the area in which the bells can be heard has contracted. Formerly it included the City, Clerkenwell, Finsbury, Shoreditch, Hoxton, Stepney, Bethnal Green, Limehouse, Mile End, Wapping, Whitechapel, Shadwell, Bermondsey, Rotherhithe, Surrey Quays and The Borough, although according to the legend of Dick Whittington the bells could also be heard from as far away as Highgate. The association with Cockney and the East End in the public imagination may be due to many people assuming that Bow Bells are to be found in the district of Bow, rather than the lesser known St Mary-le-Bow church. A traditional costume associated with Cockneys is that of the pearly King (or pearly Queen) worn by London costermongers who sewed thousands of pearl buttons onto their clothing in elaborate patterns. ETYMOLOGY The term was used to describe those born within earshot of the Bow Bells as early as 1600. John Minsheu (or Minshew) was the first lexicographer to define the word in this sense, in his Ductor in Linguas (1617), where he referred to 'A Cockney or Cockny, applied only to one born within the sound of Bow bell, that is in the City of London'. However, the etymologies he gave (from 'cock' and 'neigh', or from Latin /incoctus/, raw) were just guesses, and the OED later authoritatively explained the term as originating from /cock/ and /egg/ (Middle English 'cokeney' < 'coken' + 'ey', lit. cocks' egg), meaning first a misshapen egg (1362), then a person ignorant of country ways (1521), then the senses mentioned above. Francis Grose's A Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue (1785) derives the term from the following story: /A citizen of London, being in the country, and hearing a horse neigh, exclaimed, Lord! how that horse laughs! A bystander telling him that noise was called Neighing, the next morning, when the cock crowed, the citizen to show he had not forgotten what was told him, cried out, Do you hear how the Cock Neighs? An alternative derivation of the word can be found in Webster's New Universal Unabridged Dictionary: London was referred to by the Normans as the "Land of Sugar Cake" (Old French: pais de cocaigne), an imaginary land of idleness and

luxury. A humorous appellation, the word "Cocaigne" referred to all of London and its suburbs, and over time had a number of spellings: Cocagne, Cockayne and, in Middle English , Cocknay and Cockney. The latter two spellings could be used to refer to both pampered children, and residents of London, and to pamper or spoil a child was 'to cocker' him. (See, for example, John Locke, "...that most children's constitutions are either spoiled or at least harmed, by cockering and tenderness." from Some Thoughts Concerning Education, 1693) Cockney Area The region in which "Cockneys" reside has changed over time, and is no longer the whole of London. As mentioned in the introduction, the traditional definition is that in order to be a Cockney, one must have been born within earshot of the Bow Bells. However, the church of St. Mary-le-Bow was destroyed in 1666 by the Great Fire of London and rebuilt by Sir Christopher Wren. After the bells were destroyed again in 1941 in The Blitz of World War II, and before they were replaced in 1961, there was a period when by this definition no 'Bow-bell' Cockneys could be born. The use of such a literal definition produces other problems, since the area around the church is no longer residential and the noise of the area makes it unlikely that many people would be born within earshot of the bells anymore. A study was carried by the city in 2000 to see how far the Bow Bells could be heard, and it was estimated that the bells would have been heard six miles to the east, five miles to the north, three miles to the south, and four miles to the west. Thus while all East Enders are Cockneys, not all Cockneys are East Enders. The traditional core neighbourhoods of the East End are Bethnal Green, Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Stepney, Wapping, Limehouse, Poplar, Millwall, Hackney, Shoreditch, Bow and Mile End. The area gradually expanded to include East Ham, Stratford, West Ham and Plaistow as more land was built upon. Migration of Cockneys has also led to migration of the dialect. Migration and Evolution Today, certain elements of Cockney English are declining in usage within the area it is most associated with, displaced by a Jamaican Creole-influenced variety gaining popularity amongst young Londoners (sometimes referred to as "Jafaican" or "Multicultural London English"), particularly, though far from exclusively, those of Afro-Caribbean descent. Nevertheless, the glottal stop, double negatives, and the vocalization of the dark L (and other features of traditional Cockney speech), along with some rhyming slang terms are still in common usage. As cockneys have moved out of London, they have often taken their dialect with them. There may actually be more speakers of the Cockney

dialect in Dagenham than in Whitechapel, even though the former is not in the traditional Cockney area. Cockney Speech Cockney speakers have a distinctive accent and dialect, and frequently use Cockney rhyming slang. Typical Features H-dropping Broad // is used when the letter a precedes /f/, /s/, // and sometimes /nd/ (in words such as /bath, path, demand/, etc), which originated in London but has now spread across the south-east and into Received Pronunciation. T-glottalisation : Use of the glottal stop as an allophone of /t/ in various positions, including after a stressed syllable. /t/ may also be flapped intervocalically. Glottal stops also occur, albeit less frequently for /k/ and /p/, and occasionally for mid-word consonants. For example, Richard Whiteing spelt "Hyde Park" as /Hy' Par'/. /Like/ and /light/ can be homophones. "Clapham" can be said as /Cla'am/. Loss of dental fricatives: [mfs] "maths". Sometimes, this occurs mid-word, as "Bethnal Green" can become /Befnal Green/. Besides, th as in mother becomes [v] in all environments except word-initially when it is [d]. [bv] "bother," [d] "they." Diphthong alterations: ei > ai; ai > oi Cockney has been occasionally described as replacing /r/ with /w/. For example, /thwee/ instead of /three/, /fwasty/ instead of /frosty/. Peter Wright, a Survey of English Dialects fieldworker, concluded that this was not a universal feature of Cockneys but that it was more common to hear this in the London area than anywhere else in Britain. As with many urban dialects, Cockney is non-rhotic. A final /-er/ is often pronounced. Words such as /car, far, park/, etc. can have an open r. Grammatical features: Use of /me/ instead of /my/, for example, "At's me book you got 'ere ". Cannot be used when "my" is emphasised (i.e., "At's _/my/_ book you got 'ere" (and not "his")). Use of /ain't/ instead of /isn't/, /am not/, /are not/, /has not/, and /have not/

Use of double negatives, for example "I didn't see nothing." Most of the features mentioned above have, in recent years, partly spread into more general southeastern speech, giving the accent called Estuary English; an Estuary speaker will use some but not all of the Cockney sounds. Spread of Cockney English Scotland Studies have indicated that working-class adolescents in areas such as Glasgow have begun to use certain aspects of Cockney and other Anglicisms in their speech, infiltrating traditional Glasgow speech. Researches suggest the use of English speech characteristics is likely the influence of London and South East England accents featuring heavily on television.