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1. a native of London, esp of the working class born in the East End, speaking a characteristic dialect of English. Traditionally defined as someone born within the sound of the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow church
2. Austral a young snapper fish
Collins Discovery Encyclopedia, 1st edition © HarperCollins Publishers 2005
famous bell in East End of London; “only one who is born within the bell’s sound is a true Cockney.” [Br. Hist.: NCE, 347]
Weller, Tony and Samuel
Cockney girl taught by professor to imitate aristocracy. [Br. Lit.: Pygmalion]
father and son, coachman and bootblack, with colorful lingo. [Br. Lit.: Dickens Pickwick Papers]
Allusions—Cultural, Literary, Biblical, and Historical: A Thematic Dictionary. Copyright 2008 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.