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Who Are London Cockneys?

Updated on October 10, 2014
Pearly King and Queen
Pearly King and Queen | Source

Cockneys - Londoners Through and Through

When you hear of Londoners, you probably think of Cockneys but not everybody who is born or lives in the capital city is a Cockney. The tradition has been that it only applied to somebody born within the sound of Bow bells.

There are traditions and activities associated with Cockneys: the Pearly Kings and Queens, rhyming slang, a great sense of community and neighbourliness, quick humorous repartee, sense of humour, market trading, taxi drivers, criminals, stock exchange traders...

The Tower St Mary-le-Bow
The Tower St Mary-le-Bow | Source

Born within the Sound of Bow Bells

The traditional definition of Cockneys is that they should be born within the sound of Bow bells. There is one big problem with that: when the Second World War broke out, church bells no longer rang except as a warning. Another problem is that the bell tower of St Mary le Bow in Cheapside, London, that housed Bow bells, was hit by a German bomb in 1941. It wasn't rebuilt until 1961. Does this mean no Cockneys were born in those 20 years because nobody could hear Bow bells?

In fact, nowadays, there is very little residential property around St Mary le Bow and it's unlikely there are many babies born within earshot of it. The church itself says it is "...serving all who work in and visit the City of London. The church opens at 7.00am each weekday..." rather suggesting it has few local residential parishioners.

There still seems to be plenty of Cockneys in London and they aren't all over 67 years old either, so there must be some other definition.

Rag Fair in Petticoat Lane

Rag Fair in Petticoat Lane by Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827) Most of the people in the picture would be Cockneys.
Rag Fair in Petticoat Lane by Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827) Most of the people in the picture would be Cockneys. | Source

So Who is a Cockney?

It seems that anybody born in the East End of London can consider him or herself a Cockney. This can include people of any race or religion too. There are Muslims, Afro-Caribbeans, and many others of non-English descent, who sound and act as much like a Cockney as any white Londoner born next door to St Mary le Bow and who sat in an air raid shelter during the Blitz in World War Two.

Maybe being a Cockney depends more on a state of mind and an attitude rather than any geographical or racial condition.

A Cockney is usually thought to be a bouncy, humorous character, somebody who can and will stand up for themselves and others they care about. They have the gift of the gab with an opinion on everything. Just ask your Cockney taxi driver his opinion on anything at all and he'll have one and give it to you at length.

Traditionally they lived in places like Bethnal Green, Bow, Poplar, Wapping, Whitechapel and Mile End.

When I lived in London, my neighbours were typical Cockneys and I found them a bit shocking sometimes but, when I was ill, they did everything they could for me, far more than anyone could reasonably expect. That is also in line with their reputation for being good neighbours.

My neighbours owned a petrol station and workshop in Mile End (London) and they told me the story of the day the notorious Kray Twins (see below) came to their business. These were literally murderous thugs who ended up in prison. They were renowned for their gratuitous violence. The mother of my neighbour (the husband) told them in no uncertain terms to get out of her business and they went. That's just typical of the Cockney attitude to bullies.

London Market - Trader Calling his Wares

What Do Cockneys Do for a Living?

Traditional Occupations for Cockneys

Nowadays you can find a Cockney in any job or career but traditionally they were often market traders or costermongers. This is probably where their reputation for having the gift of the gab and for quick repartee comes from.

Market Traders

If you go down to Petticoat Lane Market (Middlesex Street, nearest tube station Aldgate East) on a Sunday, you will usually find over 1000 stalls, many of them run by genuine Cockneys of all religions and racial backgrounds. The market has been in existence for centuries and got its name from the petticoats and lace sold here by Huguenots in the late 17th and 18th century.

You'll still hear the kind of sales 'patter' that I heard when I was taken there occasionally as a child. "'Ere look, missus. I'm not asking you for £20, I'm not asking for £15, I'm not even asking for £10, you can 'ave the lot for just a fiver." If people looked away and started moving, he'd add, "AND I'll give you this and this and this as well, all for a fiver. I can't say fairer than that, can I?" As he said this, he'd start putting more things on top of whatever he's trying to sell. You'd usually get somebody holding up a £5 note and then more people would buy as well.

You'll hear them 'calling their wares', that is shouting out, almost chanting, what they've got but you'll probably have trouble understanding them because they've done it for so long that the words run into each other. It's probably something like "Bananas, lovely, ripe bananas."

Typical London Black Cab

This is a London black cab, officially known as a Hackney Carriage
This is a London black cab, officially known as a Hackney Carriage | Source

Black Cab Drivers

The black cab drivers are licensed taxi drivers and this is another job that traditionally Cockneys have done.

To drive a black cab, they have to pass the 'knowledge'. This is a very difficult examination, taken over months or years. You'll see men and women going round London on low-powered motorbikes with a clipboard stuck on the handlebars. They are doing the 'knowledge', ie learning every street and landmark in Central London and the routes between them. They are tested on their knowledge of Central London. It sounds impossible but that is what they have to do to get their licence.

It means if you get a black cab in London, you will almost never have to give directions to the driver if your destination is in Central London. Not only do they know the main routes, they know the shortcuts and alternative ways to go if there are traffic jams or other problems. They usually know all the hotels, restaurants, pubs and ofther places of interest.

Stock Market Traders

When the London Stock Exchange abandoned tradition and embraced technology, it also opened the door to what are often described by envious people as 'East End barrowboys' (barrowboys means market street traders). They had the street smarts to do well in the cut throat business of buying and selling stocks and shares and many of them made a great deal of money.


The Krays: The Final Countdown: The Ultimate Biography of Ron, Reg & Charlie Kray
The Krays: The Final Countdown: The Ultimate Biography of Ron, Reg & Charlie Kray

Learn about two of London's most violent and famous criminals.

 

Criminals

The East End of London has spawned many criminals probably because, over the centuries, it was an area with high levels of severe poverty. The River Thames is tidal into London and the Docks here in the East End were once very important to the economy of the city. Imported and exported goods lead to theft unless security is very good and in the early years of the British Empire, London didn't even have a proper police force. It was also an area with high numbers of prostitutes and consequent crime including the infamous Jack the Ripper murders.

The Notorious Krays and their Gang

In the 1960s, it was the London criminal gangs that ruled the East End. Most famous were the Kray Brothers (mentioned above). There were three brothers, the eldest was Charlie and then the twins, Ronnie and Reggie. Reg was later said to be a paranoid schizophrenic and it is definitely known he was the more vicious and violent of the three. They ran protection rackets, nightclubs, armed robberies and all manner of criminal activities.

The police had problems getting witnesses to testify because of fear of reprisals. In 1968 the police rounded up the three brothers and 16 gang members and arrested them all. They were all held on remand without bail so allowing witnesses to come forward which they did.

Charlie Kray was sentenced to just 10 years imprisonment while Ron and Reg were sentenced to life without the option of parole for a minimum of 30 years. Reggie Kray was released from prison in August 2000 and died on October 1st 2000 from cancer. Ronnie Kray had died in prison from a massive heart attack five years earlier in March 1995. He had served the last years of his sentence in Broadmoor Hospital for the criminally insane.

Guess the Meaning of Some Cockney Rhyming Slang

Cockneys vs Zombies - a Movie

Cockneys Vs. Zombies (DVD/Digital Copy)
Cockneys Vs. Zombies (DVD/Digital Copy)

This is a fun movie showing the battle between Cockneys and Zombies who are trying to take over London.

 

Cockney Rhyming Slang

Most people with any interest in London have heard of Cockney rhyming slang and may know several examples even if they have never set foot in the city. It is said to have started as a way for costermongers (street and market sellers) to communicate without letting their customers know what they were saying. There is another school of thought that maintains it originated amongst London's criminals.

The slang usually consists of two words, e.g. butcher's hook = look but sometimes only the first word is used in conversation. For example, someone might say "I had a butchers at her barnet and her titfer" meaning I had a look at her hair (barnet fair) and her hat (tit for tat).

You have to know, though, when to use the whole phrase and when to abbreviate. Another example: "Would you Adam and Eve it? I was on me Jack Jones when I saw me old china half inching a whistle from the market. Well, I ain't no grass and he's borassic, so I kept me north and south shut." Translation:"Would you believe it? I was on my own when I saw my old mate (friend) pinching (stealing) a suit from the market. Well, I'm not a nark (informer) and he's skint (got no money, hard up) so I kept my mouth shut."

New phrases are added all the time and you can even make up your own!

If you are going to use rhyming slang, get the pronunciation right. Tit for tat is pronounced titfertat, shortened to titfer. Joanna is pronounced joanner. The letter H is usually dropped from the beginning of words eg ham becomes 'am, half becomes 'alf which, in turn sounds more like 'arff'. You've got to listen to Cockneys to hear the accent and don't use the slang in front of a Cockney unless you're sure you can say it properly otherwise they'll laugh their almonds off (socks).

Two Pearly Kings

Two pearly kings taking a break.
Two pearly kings taking a break. | Source
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of British Cooking: A classic collection of best-loved traditional recipes from the countries of the British Isles with 1500 beautiful step-by-step photographs
The Illustrated Encyclopedia of British Cooking: A classic collection of best-loved traditional recipes from the countries of the British Isles with 1500 beautiful step-by-step photographs

Here's q well-illustrated cookbook with a good range of British recipes from all over the UK. With 360 recipes, it's probably stretching it to call it an encyclopaedia, though.

 

The History of Pearly Kings and Queens


The tradition of Pearly Kings and Queens is said to have begun with one man, Henry Croft, a poor boy raised in a London orphanage. Like other orphans at the time, he left the orphanage aged 13 and he began work as a road sweeper. He got to know costermongers (market traders) whose custom was to sew small pearl buttons along the seams of their clothes.

Henry admired the costermongers and the way they supported each other in times of need. When he found pearl buttons, as he swept the streets, he saved them, learned to sew and then sewed the buttons on his own clothes - first, on his cap and then on his suit.

He went on to become a Pearly King and to raise money for charity. He died in 1930 at the age of 68 having raised about £5000 for London's hospitals, workhouses and orphanages, the equivalent today of £200,000.

Other men and women joined him and became Pearly Kings and Queens and the tradition has been carried on through generations of many of the original families.

Pearly Traditions

Because Henry Croft sewed the pearl buttons on his clothes himself, it is now traditional for the men to design the patterns made by the buttons and to sew them on their own clothes.

There are a number of traditional patterns too, many passed from one generation of a family to the next. The designs have meanings, eg horseshoe means luck, doves for peace, a heart for charity, an anchor for hope and a cross for faith.

There are two kinds of Pearly King and Queen suit. One is a smother suit where it is literally smothered in pearl buttons so very little of the original fabric is visible. The other is a skeleton suit where the buttons are sewn on showing quite a lot of fabric.

There were originally 28 Pearly families, one for each London borough plus the City of London and the City of Westminster and some still continue the tradition of raising money for charity.

Cockney Food

There are certain foods that are particularly associated with the East End of London and Cockneys. Here are some of them.

Pie and mash with the traditional green liquor
Pie and mash with the traditional green liquor | Source

Pie and Mash

This is pie and mash and you can still find pie and mash shops in the East End of London although they are not as numerous as they were once.

It's just a meat pie, maybe made on the premises, maybe made commercially, mashed potato (could be instant mash) and green parsley sauce or liquor - non alcoholic, it just means liquid. I've eaten pie and mash like this and it can be OK if the pie is good.

Jellied eels - they taste better than they look
Jellied eels - they taste better than they look | Source

Jellied Eels - Yum!

This yummy looking stuff is the world famous Jellied Eels. Doesn't it look good?

Oddly enough, most people won't even try them. I think you probably have to be given them when you are too young to be repulsed by the look of them. People who do like them say they are delicious. If you don't believe them, you could always taste some for yourself.

Cockles - shellfish - ready to eat
Cockles - shellfish - ready to eat | Source

Cockles

Cockles - a shellfish - are good if eaten with vinegar and a side order of bread and butter.

From a London stall, or at the seaside, they are traditionally served in these little shallow dishes. You either eat them with a small wooden fork or your fingers.

Mussels - ready to eat shellfish
Mussels - ready to eat shellfish | Source

Ready to Eat Mussels

Whelks are not the prettiest shellfish but they are popular. I will eat them but don't like them as much as cockles. They have a rubbery texture which I find off-putting.

These are just three of the foods that are traditionally popular in the East End of London. You can find jellied eels, cockles and whelks in seaside resorts too but rarely find a London style pie and mash shop outside the capital.

© 2008 Carol Fisher

Release your inner Cockney, use rhyming slang to leave comments, if you like!

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    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 3 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @philip-markham-12: Did you actually read what I wrote about Cockneys and Bow Bells? I was writing about the tradition of Cockneys being born within the sound of Bow Bells. I wasn't saying that was the definition of a Cockney. In fact, I said quite the reverse. I suggest it's not a good idea to skim read or read just one sentence before criticising.

    • profile image

      philip-markham-12 3 years ago

      re. Born within the sound of Bow bells. What a load of cobblers, the term expresses a geographical area which in the 18thC included the city and it's environs. On higher ground the bells of London can be heard far easier than at ground level - remember the tradition of Dick Whittington on Highgate Hill? The spread includes a distance westwards as far as Trafalgar Sq and eastwards as far as Whitechaple. Northwards up to Mount Pleasant, but with pockets of audibility around Primrose, Parliament and Highgate Hills. Southwards the the first quartermile of the Thames bank between London Bridge and Waterloo is the probable limit. The author clearly knows little about London, Barts Hospital, with maternity wards, is just the other side of St Pauls Cathedral!

    • Arachnea profile image

      Tanya Jones 3 years ago from Texas USA

      I don't dare try. I'd probably say just the wrong thing. Great lens though.

    • Dawnyasasse profile image

      Dawnyasasse 3 years ago

      I loved seeing this list of Cockney slang. When I am over there I have to really think about what in the heck they are saying. Never ask for directions from a Cockney. :)

    • Fiorenza profile image

      Fiorenza 4 years ago from UK

      When I was a nipper, we used to say Tilburies for socks, from 'Tilbury Docks'. I suppose that one's out of date now because of the redevelopment of Docklands, which must be why you've got almond rocks here instead? A fun read anyway.

    • peterb6001 profile image

      Peter Badham 4 years ago from England

      I was recently in London with a Greek girlfriend of mine and we saw a Pearly King. She asked if they were some kind of music fan like Micheal Jacksons or something. Luckily my Bubble and Squeak Ocean Pearl now rabbits in slang.

    • profile image

      anonymous 4 years ago

      @anonymous: theres plenty in east london, black white n browns,

    • tonybonura profile image

      Tony Bonura 5 years ago from Tickfaw, Louisiana

      Before this lens the only thing I knew about Cockneys was that they, to my ear, talk funny like Lisa Doolittle before her transformation. Thanks for sharing.

      TonyB

    • craftycollector profile image

      craftycollector 5 years ago

      Love the pics and the information. I used to buy fabrics in the East End for my Curtain shop. In those days the wholesalers there were mainly Jewish, and I made some good friends amongst them. It's a colourful area, full of life and interest.

    • Rankography profile image

      Rankography 5 years ago

      Very interesting lens. I learned a lot, thanks. Blessings

    • Badbreathguy profile image

      Badbreathguy 5 years ago

      Cockneys, definitely unique to London. Thanks for the information.

    • profile image

      sdmary 5 years ago

      I visited this lens awhile back but tonight after watching the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, I saw a brief glimpse of a parading Cockney Pearly King & Queen -- and instead of wondering what they were, I knew immediately. So another thanks for educating the rest of us - Cheerio!

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      myamya 5 years ago

      Very nice lens, I love it!

    • Alfiesgirl LM profile image

      Alfiesgirl LM 5 years ago

      Cor blimey...what a treat this was for me' mincers I can tell ya that straight up...anyway enuff of this slang milake...what I really want to say is that this lens is 24 carat. 5 stars from me x

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      @anonymous: no cockneys left in east end!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 5 years ago

      In the Cockney Rhyming slang list above, fields of wheat = Street, has been left out and this one is really common and londoners in teddington still use this today.

    • dave-sutton profile image

      dave-sutton 5 years ago

      I love jellied eels, cockles and whelks. I'm not a cockney but brought up in deptford. My mum was a cockney.

      I have got a very good friend called Jimmy Tippett, ex professional boxer, now in his seventies and the Kray twins used watch his boxing bouts.

    • JohnTannahill profile image

      John Tannahill 5 years ago from Somewhere in England

      I had a bubble (bubble bath) - giraffe - know what I mean?

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 5 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      I know that I hear this word from family and friends from England so I am glad to understand it better now.

    • DonD LM profile image

      DonD LM 5 years ago

      Your lense is very informative and I enjoyed reading it. The videos are worth watching and the set up of the lense is cool.

    • profile image

      blislank 5 years ago

      Wow! Really nice lens you got here.

    • profile image

      seegreen 5 years ago

      I really haven't thought about who Cockney's are. I always thought it was just a way of talking. I certainly have learned a lot today and I loved ready about the Pearly Kings and Queens.

    • Ram Ramakrishnan profile image

      Ram Ramakrishnan 5 years ago

      Loved this lens, particularly the part on cockney slang.

    • profile image

      fishwholesalers 6 years ago

      i enjoyed reading through your lens...it's very interesting and learned so much from it. thanks. don't forget to buy the freshest fish and seafood from your trusted fish wholesalers

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      you would be hard pressed to find any cockneys in the east end now!

    • BobBlackUK profile image

      BobBlackUK 6 years ago

      I'm a true Cockney and I love this lens. I was born in Southwark in 1938 and lived in East Ham (now Newham) until I was 14. I learned all the old cockney and wartime songs from my family who all lived in the East End of London and thankfully all came through the Blitz unscathed. Some of them worked in the Docks which was bombed unmercifully. As a kid I played on the bombed buildings after the war and eventually became a bit of a wheeler-dealer. I now write about my childhood experiences to record that period of our history and the wonderful culture it engendered.

    • gregoryolney lm profile image

      gregoryolney lm 6 years ago

      Very nice lens ! Bet you daren't publish some of the rude slang ! Not that you'd know that of course !

    • profile image

      JoshK47 6 years ago

      Very interesting! I hardly knew anything about Cockney culture, but this offered some great insight!

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 6 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      I had to visit this page again and read about the London Cockneys. I like the bright colours, the explanation of rhyming slang and the lowdown of iconic Cockney food. (It's very funny too)

    • MargoPArrowsmith profile image

      MargoPArrowsmith 6 years ago

      I recently heard an interview (about the wedding, blush) and the English person interviewed said that the Queen can do a pretty good Cockney accent. I hope its out of respect ...

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      up the apples and pears *stairs*!

      I met my first ever cockney when I landed in London from the States. I remember at the time there were all these issues with Heathrow Terminal 5 and he was just moaning and moaning about it - calling it a 'ruddy disgrace'. haha

      I'll never forget my first encounter with a 'local'

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      As a foreigner I rarely understood a lot of people in the North of England, but coming down to London I understood even less these cockney people! There was one guy actually, when I stayed in a hotel near London Bridge, who was in the room down the hall from me, he had a book on cockney rhyming slang - he taught me the one:

      You're having a bubble - as in you're having a bubble bath = laugh!

    • LondonWanderer profile image

      LondonWanderer 6 years ago

      Hugely informative and entertaining lens! How do I bless lenses, I'm relatively new to squidoo?

    • TonyPayne profile image

      Tony Payne 6 years ago from Southampton, UK

      Excellent lens. When I lived in Islington in the late 1970s, I stayed in a bedsit for a few months, and the next door neighbours were Cockney identical twins married to identical twins. They used to go out dressed alike, appeared on tv etc, and would sometimes be seen as Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Blessed by an angel, and well deserved too.

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      navasri 6 years ago

      Hi, nice lens,, you given us information about very yummy food

    • justholidays profile image

      justholidays 6 years ago

      Gosh! We need some Cockneys in Brussels, to teach our cab drivers how to know the shortest way to go from one place to another! Here they just know the LONGEST one... and when I say longest it isn't just the longest in miles but it is also the most expensive for your bank account ;)

      Other than that, I enjoyed reading this page about London Cockneys. It's easy to read, interesting, well detailed and... I knew that all Londone weren't Cockneys but I didn't know what was required to be a real one! Thanks to this amazing page, now, I know.

    • rachsue lm profile image

      rachsue lm 7 years ago

      So much information, I am Canadian and I have only heard the expression 1 or 2 times before. Now I know hat it means

    • Stazjia profile image
      Author

      Carol Fisher 7 years ago from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK

      @corax: I never thought about the sound of the bells carrying so far.

    • profile image

      corax 7 years ago

      brilliant I'm a cockney born and bred. just a bit of trivia. It is said that before the area was built up, on a clear day the sound carried for about 6 miles, so anybody born with in a 6 mile radius is technicly a cockney. however only those from east london are seen as cockneys

    • profile image

      GeoffSteen 7 years ago

      Brilliant, love all the original content - obviously a lot of hard work has gone into this lens. (Though as a northerner, I can't go as far as using rhyming slang - my family would disown me!)

    • HomeDecoratingD profile image

      HomeDecoratingD 7 years ago

      Lot's of great information! Thank you.

    • aesta1 profile image

      Mary Norton 7 years ago from Ontario, Canada

      Love this. I often hear these said of our English friends but never had a good idea of it. Now, I understand more. What well put together lens.

    • Specialeetees profile image

      Specialeetees 7 years ago

      A great lens, it did make me laugh in a lot of places. My grandfather and his family were cockneys, born in the heart of the East End but bombed out of their home during the war. Some of the stories about my great grandfathers antics at Petticoat Lane market, filling turkeys with pebbles to make them weigh more! would be right at home here LOL, A big thumbs up :)

    • profile image

      pairadice3007 7 years ago

      Haha I found this lens hilariously entertaining with the Cockney rhyming slang! Wonderful!

    • Gloriousconfusion profile image

      Diana Grant 7 years ago from United Kingdom

      Did I like this lens? Are you 'avin a barf? What is there not to like - course I liked it, not 'arf! Yer'd ave ter be a real miserable git not to like this. Good on yer, mate. 'Ave one on me!

      Have you tried my Quiz on Cockney Slang? Best wishes, Diana

    • profile image

      London_apartments 7 years ago

      Absolutely great . I love your lenses. They are so insightful!

      London furnished apartments blog

    • profile image

      HannahDavis 7 years ago

      How fascinating! Makes me want to visit London! Someday!

    • profile image

      anonymous 7 years ago

      Coooor, Pie, Mash and Liquor!!!! Best eaten with lots of malt vinegar splashed all over it though!

      Great pie and mash shop down on Walthamstow High Street (where they have the market)

    • Suzie-Shine profile image

      Suzie-Shine 8 years ago

      Super lens. My grandad was a cockney, or so he told us, and grandma dressed up as a Pearly Queen a couple of times though she wasn't a real one. He was such a fun, a lovely man and the life and soul of any party. The lens is now a favourite.

      Suzie

    • chefkeem profile image

      Achim Thiemermann 8 years ago from Austin, Texas

      Whew - it took me while to get to the bottom of this lens, but I enjoyed every last bit of jellied eels. Blessed by a Squid Angel tonight! :-)

    • CuriousTravelle1 profile image

      CuriousTravelle1 8 years ago

      More familiar with West London than East but this is a fantastic examination of the Cockneys and who and what they are. "Only Fools and Horses" is also of course the best TV programme ever made.

      Great lens!

    • DougP LM profile image

      DougP LM 8 years ago

      "Would you Adam and Eve it? I was on me Jack Jones when I saw me old china half inching a whistle from the market. Well, I ain't no grass and he's borassic, so I kept me north and south shut."

      I just wanted to repeat that. Thanks, and five stars!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 8 years ago

      Just dropped by to re-bless this wonderful lens.

    • Janusz LM profile image

      Janusz LM 8 years ago

      Wonderful Lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

    • profile image

      California_Dreamin 8 years ago

      Thanks for making this wonderfully informative and entertaining lens. I especially liked the rhyming slang list. The Cockney rhyming slang I knew was, "Me trouble and strife came the apples and pears", meaning my wife fell down the stairs, and "Give us a laugh and a joke mate", which translated means, "Could I please have a cigarette."

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 8 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      This is a brilliant lens and beautiful. One of the very, very best. Now blessed

    • profile image

      Oosquid 8 years ago

      Blimey gal, this is a blinding good lens, not 'arf it ain't. 5 stars to ya and you deserves every blooming one of 'em.

    • profile image

      anonymous 8 years ago

      Want a real cockney pub, visit the army & navy pub in Plaistow E13

      nice pub.

    • Tiddledeewinks LM profile image

      Tiddledeewinks LM 8 years ago

      I love the look of those "pearly" suits, but yuk to jellied eels!

    • PaulHassing LM profile image

      Paul Hassing 9 years ago

      Struth! This is one ripper lens. I've been ploughing through a dry tome called The East End and this is just the antidote I needed. Wonderful content, organisation, writing... the works! 6 stars (if they'll let me). Many thanks! P. :)

    • aquariann profile image

      aquariann 9 years ago

      Interesting 5-star lens with lots of content! The rhyming slang and the songs sound so much fun.

    • Steve Dizmon profile image

      Steve Dizmon 9 years ago from Nashville, TN

      This is really a fun lens. I found it because you had left a comment on one of my lenses (Thanks) and I'm glad I did.

      Being an American, ignorant of many things British, I thought a Cockney was just a lower social class of London society. The truth, as usual, is much more interesting.

      'Gotta leave 5 stars for brightening my day with facts.

    • Mihaela Vrban profile image

      Mihaela Vrban 9 years ago from Croatia

      This is so fun! Educational too. It's always great to learn a bit more about someones tradition and culture!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Really a great page you have put together. The slang at times has me utterly lost when I am in the UK, cockney or otherwise!

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      I can't rhyme. But I do love to gab!!

    • The Homeopath profile image

      The Homeopath 9 years ago

      I can't rhyme. But I do love to gab!!

    • Robyco profile image

      Robyco 9 years ago

      Wonderful lens, I miss living in London.

    • James20 profile image

      James20 9 years ago

      I like to go to London someday. I did fly over England when I went to Germany in 2001 on a Mission trip.

      James

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      saraht43 9 years ago

      Very nice lens. I would love to visit London someday. My very best friend is originally from Harrow. I enjoyed reading the cockney slang. Reminds me sort of---of "pig-Latin" a made up language here in the states often used by kids, when they don't want others to know what they are saying.

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      dandepp 9 years ago

      Great lens - I whiled away a good ten minutes reading all the cockney slang and Im from London myself! 5 stars. Good work!

    • MatCauthon profile image

      MatCauthon 9 years ago

      Pie and Mash... I can't get them out of my head. 5*

    • AslanBooks profile image

      AslanBooks 9 years ago

      I think I've been educated today...

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      CubicleJoe 9 years ago

      Very nice lens. If I only came across this several days ago. I have a friend of mine who is right now on vacation in London. Why couldn't it be me (lol)????

    • Haveagood1 profile image

      Haveagood1 9 years ago

      This is probably my favorite lens - incredible.

    • ArtByLinda profile image

      Linda Hoxie 9 years ago from Idaho

      Fantastic lens, I don't want to hear any "pork pies" from anyone's lips! lol Very interesting lens, I would love to visit London someday! Linda

    • MarcoG profile image

      Marc 9 years ago from Edinburgh

      Cor blimey guv, this is a right top lens if ever I saw one :) But where's the clip of Dick Van Dyke doing the worst cockney ever in 'Ma-wee Pap-pins'?? :)

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      Allan R. Wallace 9 years ago from Wherever Human Rights Reign

      Jellied Eels is a must try. Disney once had a pearly band, mainly brass, I wonder if they made the costumes themselves? Their leader, a trombonist, had a taste for creativity. Be nice to visit the originals.

      Perhaps you could include a link to one of their favored charities?

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      ChristiannaGarrett-Martin 9 years ago

      A brilliant lens!! and a very nosyalgic one for me :) Love the East End meals: Jellied eels, pie and mash. Good British food :)

      I also like the list of Cockney Rhyming Slang. An excellent lens all round in fact.

      5 stars

      Christianna

    • profile image

      ChristiannaGarrett-Martin 9 years ago

      A brilliant lens!! and a very nosyalgic one for me :) Love the East End meals: Jellied eels, pie and mash. Good British food :)

      I also like the list of Cockney Rhyming Slang. An excellent lens all round in fAact.

      5 stars

      Christianna

    • YourCover Mama profile image

      YourCover Mama 9 years ago

      From America, and WOULD LOVE to travel to London! Hopefully some day...and I will keep this in mind, thank you :o) Interesting & Informative lens!

    • Paula Atwell profile image

      Paula Atwell 9 years ago from Cleveland, OH

      Really interesting.

    • profile image

      steerpyke 9 years ago

      flippin' marvelous

    • Angelina Howard profile image

      Angelina Howard 9 years ago

      I live in America but I love learing about British traditions. I like this lens. Especially the Pearly King and Queen. 5*****

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      What a great lens. Enjoyed learning more about Cockneys.

    • profile image

      beachbum_gabby 9 years ago

      very interesting lens since I have not been to London, this is a must see!

    • profile image

      Marinadxb 9 years ago

      Hilariou! I'm a Londoner, but have lived in Dubai for a long time... which I love. Really nice to read funny things about home... even the disgusting pie, mash and liquor!

      Good job

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      anonymous 9 years ago

      For most of my life I have lived within an easy train ride to London but because I was born "sarth of the river", my accent is very different. However, I love Cockney Rhyming slang and on one occasion played the Pantomime part of "Fairy Tinkle of Bow Bells, King Rat I'll thwart your wicked spells".

      I note you do not include the Cockney Rhyming slang phrase "Horse and cart" in your list - but my Surrey modesty prevents me from saying what it means!

      Lovely, fun lens. 5*s and lensrolled to my Pantomime - a Great British Tradition lens & a link added as well.

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      harryfielder 9 years ago

      I was born just across the road from Hoxton E1.

      I lived in London for 53 years and am now retired out to the sticks of Hertfordshire but I still go to London once a years and have a few drinks with some of my old school mates.

      I was brought up on pie and mash snd eels and as I'm writing this I could just fancy some...lol

      Aitch,

    • AlisonMeacham profile image

      AlisonMeacham 9 years ago

      Great lens. I am from the UK but have lived in the US for a long time - so now only visit London as a tourist.

      You have been Blessed by a Squid Angel

    • Andy-Po profile image

      Andy 9 years ago from London, England

      Excellent lens.

      I'm not quite a Cockney, although I can see the London Eye from my kitchen.

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Fabulous lens. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing the pictures except for the jellied eels. yuk. 5*

    • OhMe profile image

      Nancy Tate Hellams 9 years ago from Pendleton, SC

      Fabulous lens. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing the pictures except for the jellied eels. yuk. 5*

    • Haveagood1 profile image

      Haveagood1 9 years ago

      This was the most incredible lens I've ever seen. Gorgeous. Wish I could give it 10 stars!

    • debnet profile image

      Debbie 9 years ago from England

      Love it, love it, love it!! Lensrolled to 'Only Fools And Horses' AND 'Fish & Chips'!! % shiny stars for you me old china!!

    • lisawillard lm profile image

      lisawillard lm 9 years ago

      Excellent Lens. Thanks for sharing.

    • teamlane profile image

      teamlane 9 years ago

      Excellent lens Stazjia! Luv the introduction module pic! A Squid Angel Blessing at ya! ~ Colleen :)

    • SusannaDuffy profile image

      Susanna Duffy 9 years ago from Melbourne Australia

      Look here China, don't get lemon with me, I fair get the Earthas (arabian nights) to hear Aussie called 'cockney'- it's Australian! Geeezzaa! Know what I mean? A real constantino rocca and brings me temper to the conan doyle. Anyhow, bonza lens, treacle. 5*

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      Eloquent47 9 years ago

      Thoroughly enjoyed it! Particularly as I have just completed 11 years in an office on Mansell Street!!

    • profile image

      anonymous 9 years ago

      Lovely Lens and thanks for submitting it to Travelmania Group 5*.

      Online travel booking and worldwide destination guides

    • Dianne Loomos profile image

      Dianne Loomos 9 years ago

      Great lens! Nice picture of pie and mash and I love the Pearly Kings and Queens. 5* faved and a lensroll.