Reference > Brewer’s Dictionary > Cockney.

 Cockledemoy (A).Cockney School. 
CONTENTS · BIBLIOGRAPHIC RECORD
E. Cobham Brewer 1810–1897. Dictionary of Phrase and Fable. 1898.
 
Cockney.
 
One born within sound of Bow-bells, London; one possessing London peculiarities of speech, etc.; one wholly ignorant of country sports, country life, farm animals, plants, and so on.   1
   Camden says the Thames was once called “the Cockney.”   2
   The word has been spelt Cockeney, Cockaneys, Cocknell, etc. “Cocknell” would be a little cock. “Puer in deliciis matris nutritus,” Anglice, a kokenay, a pampered child. “Niais” means a nestling, as faucon niais, and if this is the last syllable of “Cockney,” it confirms the idea that the word means an enfant gâté.   3
   Wedgwood suggests cocker, (to fondle), and says a cockerney or cockney is one pampered by city indulgence, in contradistinction to rustics hardened by outdoor work. (Dutch, kokkeler, to pamper; French, coqueliner, to dangle.)   4
   Chambers in his Journal derives the word from a French poem of the thirteenth century, called The Land of Cocagne, where the houses were made of barley-sugar and cakes, the streets paved with pastry, and the shops supplied goods without requiring money in payment. The French, at a very early period, called the English cocagne men, i.e. bons vivants (beef and pudding men).   5
        “Cry to it, nuncle, as the cockney did to the eels, when she put them into the paste alive.”—Shakespeare: Lear, ii. 4.
   The king of cockneys. A master of the revels chosen by students of Lincoln’s Inn on Childermas Day (Dec. 28th).   6
 


 Cockledemoy (A).Cockney School. 

 
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