Cockney (Grose 1811 Dictionary)
A nick name given to the citizens of London,
or persons born within the sound of Bow bell, derived
from the following story: A citizen of London, being in
the country, and hearing a horse neigh, exclaimed,
Lord! how that horse laughs! A by-stander telling him
that noise was called neighing, the next morning, when
the cock crowed, the citizen to shew he had not forgot
what was told him, cried out, Do you hear how the cock
neighs? The king of the cockneys is mentioned among
the regulations for the sports and shows formerly held in
the Middle Temple on Childermas Day, where he had
his officers, a marshal, constable, butler, &c.
Dugdale’s Origines Juridiciales, p. 247.—Ray says, the interpretation of
the word Cockney, is, a young person coaxed or conquered, made
wanton; or a nestle cock, delicately bred and brought up, so
as, when arrived at man’s estate, to be unable to bear the least
hardship. Whatever may be the origin of this appellation, we
learn from the following verses, attributed to Hugh Bigot, Earl
of Norfolk, that it was in use in the time of king Henry II.
Was I in my castle at Bungay,
Fast by the river Waveney,
I would not care for the king of Cockney;
i.e. the king of London.
Definition taken from
The 1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue,
originally by Francis Grose.
Cocker * Cockshut Time
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