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A cockney is a person from the East End region of London. The word also applies to the distinctive accent and slang (Cockney rhyming slang) associated with the region. A website says:

To be a true Londoner - A Cockney, you have to be born within hearing distance of the bells of St. Mary Le Bow, Cheapside, in the City of London 'Cockney' or 'cock's egg' was a 14th Century term applied contemptuously by rural people to native Londoners who lived rather by their wits than their muscle. Today's natives of London, especially its East End use the term with pride - 'Cockney Pride'.[1]

Examples of Cockney rhyming slang

Normally only the first part (not in parethesis) is said - the rest of the phrase is "understood" and so the rhyme works, like this:

  • apples (apples and pears) = stairs
  • butchers (butcher's hook) = look
  • titfer (tit-for-tat) = hat
  • septic (septic tank) = yank (American)
  • plates (of meat) = feet