Uploaded by Katarzyna Zalisz

Cockney

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Cockney
London English Dialect
Classification & historical background:
Cockney
The traditional East End and its language
Classification
• accent – describes „aspects of pronunciation that identify where an
individual speaker is from, regionally or socially” (Yule 2010: 240)
• dialect – used to describe „features of grammar and vocabulary as
well as aspects of pronunciation” (Yule 2010: 240)
• „Dialects are both regional and social. (…) what sort of dialect you
speak depends on your social and regional background.” (Trudgill 2001: 5)
Cockney can be called either an accent or a dialect,
depending upon what you are focusing on.
Historical background:
What is Cockney?
 a regional dialect of the English
language
 geographic area: the East End of
London
 true Cockneys – „born within the
sound of Bow Bells” (Wells)
St Mary-le-Bow Church in Cheapside, London
Etymology
 Middle English cockeney – cock’s egg, a small or
misshapen egg
„a synonym for anything that was odd” (Wright)
Cockney
Basic pronunciation features
(Wells; Sivertsen)
1) VOWELS & DIPHTHONGS
Received Pronunciation (RP)
Cockney
Examples
/æ/
/ɛ/
trap, cat, bad
/ʌ/
/ɑ/
love, run, fun
/eɪ/
/ɑɪ/
paper, say, day
2) CONSONANTS
examples
RP
Cockney
house
/hɑʊs/
/’ɑʊs/
think
bother
/θɪŋk/
/bɒðə/
/fɪŋk/
/bɒvə/
butter
/bʌtə/
/bʌʔə/
butterfly
bottle
battle
what if
milk
/mɪlk/
/mɪʊk/
How about a glass of milk?
a. H-Dropping
b. TH-Fronting
c. Glottalization
d. /ɫ/ -> /ɪʊ/
Have you heard the news about the match?
//æv jʉ ɜːd və nʉːz əbæʊʔ və mætʃ//
Ray Winstone bet365 Advert
(source: drummondcentral.co.uk)
Cockney
Rhyming Slang
What is Cockney Rhyming Slang?
 coded or secret language
 originated in 19th Century
 used by street traders and criminals to disguise what
they were talking about
How it works?
 think of an expression which rhymes with a word you would
like to hide (e.g. look rhymes with butcher’s hook*)
… use that expression instead of the word!
*shortened: butcher’s
Take a butcher’s at that hat!
(Take a look at that hat!)
meaning: believe
I don’t Adam and Eve it!
Cockney: Bacon and Eggs
meaning: legs
You have got a lovely set of Bacons.
Cockney: Apples and Pears
meaning: stairs
Get your Bacons up the Apples and Pears.
Cockney: Bees and Honey
meaning: money
I've run out of Bees and Honey.
Cockney: Donkey’s Ears
meaning: Years
I haven’t seen you in Donkeys!
Summary
Learn the Cockney accent with Jason Statham
(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WvIwkL8oLc)
Bibliography and references:
• Sivertsen, E. 1960. Cockney Phonology. Oslo: Oslo University Press.
• Trudgill, P. 2001. Dialects (Language Workbooks). The Taylor & Francis e-Library.
• Wells, J.C. 1982. Accents of England. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
• Wright, P. 1981. Cockney Dialect and Slang. Bratsford.
• Yule, G. 2010. The Study of Language (4th edition). New York: Cambridge University Press.
• Websites:
http://cockney.co.uk/
http://www.cockneyrhymingslang.co.uk
• Videos:
1) Ray Winstone bet365 Advert: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Z7SmaezgwT8
2) Learn the Cockney accent with Jason Statham https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1WvIwkL8oLc