Learn Cockney

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About Cockney

Cockney is a dialect of English traditionally used by market traders in London’s East End. Its most distinctive feature is the use of rhyming slang, so a word like ‘telephone’ is replaced by a phrase which rhymes with it such as ‘dog and bone’. In conversation, the rhyming part of the new phrase gets left out, so you might hear locals say, ‘pick up the dog’ instead of ‘pick up the phone’.

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Planet Earth

Where is it spoken?


People Talking

Number of speakers

Not Applicable

Family Tree

Language family



West Germanic

Fun facts — English (Cockney)

  • Perhaps two of the best known examples of Cockney rhyming slang are 'trouble and strife', which means 'wife', and 'apples and pears', which means 'stairs'.
  • Some ATMs in East London offer Cockney as a language - if you choose it, you'll have the option of taking out a Lady Godiva for £5 or fiver, a speckled hen for £10 or a pony for £25.
  • To be a true Cockney, you have to have been born within the sound of Bow Bells (the bells of St Mary-le-Bow) in East London.

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