cock·​ney | \ ˈkäk-nē How to pronounce cockney (audio) \
plural cockneys

Definition of cockney

1 obsolete
a : a spoiled child
b : a squeamish woman
2 often capitalized
a : a native of London and especially of the East End of London
b : the dialect of London or of the East End of London

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Other Words from cockney

cockney adjective
cockneyfy \ ˈkäk-​ni-​ˌfī How to pronounce cockney (audio) \ transitive verb
cockneyish \ ˈkäk-​nē-​ish How to pronounce cockney (audio) \ adjective
cockneyism \ ˈkäk-​nē-​ˌi-​zəm How to pronounce cockney (audio) \ noun

Examples of cockney in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web In My Fair Lady, the movie adaptation of the play Pygmalion, a flower vendor with a cockney accent receives voice lessons to sound like a member of the nobility. Neanda Salvaterra, WSJ, "We’re Terribly Sorry, but You Sound a Bit Too British for Britain," 18 Nov. 2018 Harry Hadden-Paton is a superb and witty bully, oblivious of anyone’s feelings but his own; his mission is to create a woman, to make Eliza, a cockney flowergirl, into an elegant lady who can pass for a duchess at the Embassy Ball. Toby Zinman,, "What a Broadway weekend!: 'St. Joan' and 'My Fair Lady'!," 27 Apr. 2018 Its wry tone and story, about a swaggering, coldhearted cockney Lothario who works as a chauffeur for the rich, appealed to Mr. Gilbert. Harrison Smith, Washington Post, "Lewis Gilbert, director of James Bond movies and Michael Caine hit ‘Alfie,’ dies at 97," 27 Feb. 2018 Most unfortunate use of a British thespian: Sir Anthony Hopkins in 'Transformers: The Last Knight' Dame Helen Mirren as a cockney gangster in The Fate of the Furious, that worked. Bryan Alexander, USA TODAY, "The best, the worst and the most disappointing of summer 2017 movies," 23 Aug. 2017 There are also a few characters around the edges who feel extraneous to the central story: an annoying energy drink pusher played by Seth MacFarlane with a cockney accent, a gravel-voiced FBI investigator played by Hilary Swank. Katie Walsh, Detroit Free Press, "Review: It’s hard to resist blue-collar comedy ‘Logan Lucky’," 17 Aug. 2017 His accent careens from unconvincing cockney to erratic southern drawl. Mia Leonin, miamiherald, "Can two African American sisters thrive in the old west?," 12 June 2017 Rossetti’s friends were scandalized by his open relationship with a working-class woman with a Cockney accent. Erin Blakemore, Smithsonian, "Newly Digitized Archives Reveal the Inner Lives of Artists," 15 May 2017 Cockney and British accents have punctuated classroom discussions. Denise Coffey, Courant Community, "PHS Production Of "Mary Poppins" Promises Singing, Dancing, Magic," 2 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'cockney.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of cockney

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

History and Etymology for cockney

Middle English cokeney, literally, cocks' egg, from coken (genitive plural of cok cock) + ey egg, from Old English ǣg

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Time Traveler for cockney

Time Traveler

The first known use of cockney was in the 15th century

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Cite this Entry

“Cockney.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 16 Jan. 2021.

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More Definitions for cockney


How to pronounce cockney (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of cockney

: a person from the East End of London
: the way of speaking that is typical of cockneys

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