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Who Are London Cockneys?

Pearly King and Queen

Pearly King and Queen

Cockneys - Londoners Through and Through

When you hear of Londoners, you probably think of Cockneys but not everybody who is born or lives in the capital city is a Cockney. The tradition has been that it only applied to somebody born within the sound of Bow bells.

There are traditions and activities associated with Cockneys: the Pearly Kings and Queens, rhyming slang, a great sense of community and neighbourliness, quick humorous repartee, sense of humour, market trading, taxi drivers, criminals, stock exchange traders...

The Tower St Mary-le-Bow

The Tower St Mary-le-Bow

Born within the Sound of Bow Bells

The traditional definition of Cockneys is that they should be born within the sound of Bow bells. There is one big problem with that: when the Second World War broke out, church bells no longer rang except as a warning. Another problem is that the bell tower of St Mary le Bow in Cheapside, London, that housed Bow bells, was hit by a German bomb in 1941. It wasn't rebuilt until 1961. Does this mean no Cockneys were born in those 20 years because nobody could hear Bow bells?

In fact, nowadays, there is very little residential property around St Mary le Bow and it's unlikely there are many babies born within earshot of it. The church itself says it is "...serving all who work in and visit the City of London. The church opens at 7.00am each weekday..." rather suggesting it has few local residential parishioners.

There still seems to be plenty of Cockneys in London and they aren't all over 67 years old either, so there must be some other definition.

Rag Fair in Petticoat Lane

Rag Fair in Petticoat Lane by Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827) Most of the people in the picture would be Cockneys.

Rag Fair in Petticoat Lane by Thomas Rowlandson (1756–1827) Most of the people in the picture would be Cockneys.

So Who is a Cockney?

It seems that anybody born in the East End of London can consider him or herself a Cockney. This can include people of any race or religion too. There are Muslims, Afro-Caribbeans, and many others of non-English descent, who sound and act as much like a Cockney as any white Londoner born next door to St Mary le Bow and who sat in an air raid shelter during the Blitz in World War Two.

Maybe being a Cockney depends more on a state of mind and an attitude rather than any geographical or racial condition.

A Cockney is usually thought to be a bouncy, humorous character, somebody who can and will stand up for themselves and others they care about. They have the gift of the gab with an opinion on everything. Just ask your Cockney taxi driver his opinion on anything at all and he'll have one and give it to you at length.

Traditionally they lived in places like Bethnal Green, Bow, Poplar, Wapping, Whitechapel and Mile End.

When I lived in London, my neighbours were typical Cockneys and I found them a bit shocking sometimes but, when I was ill, they did everything they could for me, far more than anyone could reasonably expect. That is also in line with their reputation for being good neighbours.

My neighbours owned a petrol station and workshop in Mile End (London) and they told me the story of the day the notorious Kray Twins (see below) came to their business. These were literally murderous thugs who ended up in prison. They were renowned for their gratuitous violence. The mother of my neighbour (the husband) told them in no uncertain terms to get out of her business and they went. That's just typical of the Cockney attitude to bullies.

London Market - Trader Calling his Wares

What Do Cockneys Do for a Living?

Traditional Occupations for Cockneys

Nowadays you can find a Cockney in any job or career but traditionally they were often market traders or costermongers. This is probably where their reputation for having the gift of the gab and for quick repartee comes from.

Market Traders

If you go down to Petticoat Lane Market (Middlesex Street, nearest tube station Aldgate East) on a Sunday, you will usually find over 1000 stalls, many of them run by genuine Cockneys of all religions and racial backgrounds. The market has been in existence for centuries and got its name from the petticoats and lace sold here by Huguenots in the late 17th and 18th century.

You'll still hear the kind of sales 'patter' that I heard when I was taken there occasionally as a child. "'Ere look, missus. I'm not asking you for £20, I'm not asking for £15, I'm not even asking for £10, you can 'ave the lot for just a fiver." If people looked away and started moving, he'd add, "AND I'll give you this and this and this as well, all for a fiver. I can't say fairer than that, can I?" As he said this, he'd start putting more things on top of whatever he's trying to sell. You'd usually get somebody holding up a £5 note and then more people would buy as well.

You'll hear them 'calling their wares', that is shouting out, almost chanting, what they've got but you'll probably have trouble understanding them because they've done it for so long that the words run into each other. It's probably something like "Bananas, lovely, ripe bananas."

Typical London Black Cab

This is a London black cab, officially known as a Hackney Carriage

This is a London black cab, officially known as a Hackney Carriage

Black Cab Drivers

The black cab drivers are licensed taxi drivers and this is another job that traditionally Cockneys have done.

To drive a black cab, they have to pass the 'knowledge'. This is a very difficult examination, taken over months or years. You'll see men and women going round London on low-powered motorbikes with a clipboard stuck on the handlebars. They are doing the 'knowledge', ie learning every street and landmark in Central London and the routes between them. They are tested on their knowledge of Central London. It sounds impossible but that is what they have to do to get their licence.

It means if you get a black cab in London, you will almost never have to give directions to the driver if your destination is in Central London. Not only do they know the main routes, they know the shortcuts and alternative ways to go if there are traffic jams or other problems. They usually know all the hotels, restaurants, pubs and ofther places of interest.

Stock Market Traders

When the London Stock Exchange abandoned tradition and embraced technology, it also opened the door to what are often described by envious people as 'East End barrowboys' (barrowboys means market street traders). They had the street smarts to do well in the cut throat business of buying and selling stocks and shares and many of them made a great deal of money.


Criminals

The East End of London has spawned many criminals probably because, over the centuries, it was an area with high levels of severe poverty. The River Thames is tidal into London and the Docks here in the East End were once very important to the economy of the city. Imported and exported goods lead to theft unless security is very good and in the early years of the British Empire, London didn't even have a proper police force. It was also an area with high numbers of prostitutes and consequent crime including the infamous Jack the Ripper murders.

The Notorious Krays and their Gang

In the 1960s, it was the London criminal gangs that ruled the East End. Most famous were the Kray Brothers (mentioned above). There were three brothers, the eldest was Charlie and then the twins, Ronnie and Reggie. Reg was later said to be a paranoid schizophrenic and it is definitely known he was the more vicious and violent of the three. They ran protection rackets, nightclubs, armed robberies and all manner of criminal activities.

The police had problems getting witnesses to testify because of fear of reprisals. In 1968 the police rounded up the three brothers and 16 gang members and arrested them all. They were all held on remand without bail so allowing witnesses to come forward which they did.

Charlie Kray was sentenced to just 10 years imprisonment while Ron and Reg were sentenced to life without the option of parole for a minimum of 30 years. Reggie Kray was released from prison in August 2000 and died on October 1st 2000 from cancer. Ronnie Kray had died in prison from a massive heart attack five years earlier in March 1995. He had served the last years of his sentence in Broadmoor Hospital for the criminally insane.

Guess the Meaning of Some Cockney Rhyming Slang

Cockneys vs Zombies - a Movie

Cockney Rhyming Slang

Most people with any interest in London have heard of Cockney rhyming slang and may know several examples even if they have never set foot in the city. It is said to have started as a way for costermongers (street and market sellers) to communicate without letting their customers know what they were saying. There is another school of thought that maintains it originated amongst London's criminals.

The slang usually consists of two words, e.g. butcher's hook = look but sometimes only the first word is used in conversation. For example, someone might say "I had a butchers at her barnet and her titfer" meaning I had a look at her hair (barnet fair) and her hat (tit for tat).

You have to know, though, when to use the whole phrase and when to abbreviate. Another example: "Would you Adam and Eve it? I was on me Jack Jones when I saw me old china half inching a whistle from the market. Well, I ain't no grass and he's borassic, so I kept me north and south shut." Translation:"Would you believe it? I was on my own when I saw my old mate (friend) pinching (stealing) a suit from the market. Well, I'm not a nark (informer) and he's skint (got no money, hard up) so I kept my mouth shut."

New phrases are added all the time and you can even make up your own!

If you are going to use rhyming slang, get the pronunciation right. Tit for tat is pronounced titfertat, shortened to titfer. Joanna is pronounced joanner. The letter H is usually dropped from the beginning of words eg ham becomes 'am, half becomes 'alf which, in turn sounds more like 'arff'. You've got to listen to Cockneys to hear the accent and don't use the slang in front of a Cockney unless you're sure you can say it properly otherwise they'll laugh their almonds off (socks).

Two Pearly Kings

Two pearly kings taking a break.

Two pearly kings taking a break.

The History of Pearly Kings and Queens


The tradition of Pearly Kings and Queens is said to have begun with one man, Henry Croft, a poor boy raised in a London orphanage. Like other orphans at the time, he left the orphanage aged 13 and he began work as a road sweeper. He got to know costermongers (market traders) whose custom was to sew small pearl buttons along the seams of their clothes.

Henry admired the costermongers and the way they supported each other in times of need. When he found pearl buttons, as he swept the streets, he saved them, learned to sew and then sewed the buttons on his own clothes - first, on his cap and then on his suit.

He went on to become a Pearly King and to raise money for charity. He died in 1930 at the age of 68 having raised about £5000 for London's hospitals, workhouses and orphanages, the equivalent today of £200,000.

Other men and women joined him and became Pearly Kings and Queens and the tradition has been carried on through generations of many of the original families.

Pearly Traditions

Because Henry Croft sewed the pearl buttons on his clothes himself, it is now traditional for the men to design the patterns made by the buttons and to sew them on their own clothes.

There are a number of traditional patterns too, many passed from one generation of a family to the next. The designs have meanings, eg horseshoe means luck, doves for peace, a heart for charity, an anchor for hope and a cross for faith.

There are two kinds of Pearly King and Queen suit. One is a smother suit where it is literally smothered in pearl buttons so very little of the original fabric is visible. The other is a skeleton suit where the buttons are sewn on showing quite a lot of fabric.

There were originally 28 Pearly families, one for each London borough plus the City of London and the City of Westminster and some still continue the tradition of raising money for charity.

Cockney Food

There are certain foods that are particularly associated with the East End of London and Cockneys. Here are some of them.

Pie and mash with the traditional green liquor

Pie and mash with the traditional green liquor

Pie and Mash

This is pie and mash and you can still find pie and mash shops in the East End of London although they are not as numerous as they were once.

It's just a meat pie, maybe made on the premises, maybe made commercially, mashed potato (could be instant mash) and green parsley sauce or liquor - non alcoholic, it just means liquid. I've eaten pie and mash like this and it can be OK if the pie is good.

Jellied eels - they taste better than they look

Jellied eels - they taste better than they look

Jellied Eels - Yum!

This yummy looking stuff is the world famous Jellied Eels. Doesn't it look good?

Oddly enough, most people won't even try them. I think you probably have to be given them when you are too young to be repulsed by the look of them. People who do like them say they are delicious. If you don't believe them, you could always taste some for yourself.

Cockles - shellfish - ready to eat

Cockles - shellfish - ready to eat

Cockles

Cockles - a shellfish - are good if eaten with vinegar and a side order of bread and butter.

From a London stall, or at the seaside, they are traditionally served in these little shallow dishes. You either eat them with a small wooden fork or your fingers.

Mussels - ready to eat shellfish

Mussels - ready to eat shellfish

Ready to Eat Mussels

Whelks are not the prettiest shellfish but they are popular. I will eat them but don't like them as much as cockles. They have a rubbery texture which I find off-putting.

These are just three of the foods that are traditionally popular in the East End of London. You can find jellied eels, cockles and whelks in seaside resorts too but rarely find a London style pie and mash shop outside the capital.

© 2008 Carol Fisher

Release your inner Cockney, use rhyming slang to leave comments, if you like!

David on August 12, 2019:

Cockney's are/were not just from the east of London. Bow bells could be heard in all four directions. My father was born a Cockney but my brother, my brother, sisters, and I spoke the older version of Cockney slang. The new slang is not the same linguistically and does not have the same feel about it as the older style did/does.

'nuf sed

Carol Fisher (author) from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK on May 05, 2014:

@philip-markham-12: Did you actually read what I wrote about Cockneys and Bow Bells? I was writing about the tradition of Cockneys being born within the sound of Bow Bells. I wasn't saying that was the definition of a Cockney. In fact, I said quite the reverse. I suggest it's not a good idea to skim read or read just one sentence before criticising.

philip-markham-12 on May 04, 2014:

re. Born within the sound of Bow bells. What a load of cobblers, the term expresses a geographical area which in the 18thC included the city and it's environs. On higher ground the bells of London can be heard far easier than at ground level - remember the tradition of Dick Whittington on Highgate Hill? The spread includes a distance westwards as far as Trafalgar Sq and eastwards as far as Whitechaple. Northwards up to Mount Pleasant, but with pockets of audibility around Primrose, Parliament and Highgate Hills. Southwards the the first quartermile of the Thames bank between London Bridge and Waterloo is the probable limit. The author clearly knows little about London, Barts Hospital, with maternity wards, is just the other side of St Pauls Cathedral!

Tanya Jones from Texas USA on March 07, 2014:

I don't dare try. I'd probably say just the wrong thing. Great lens though.

Dawnyasasse on January 11, 2014:

I loved seeing this list of Cockney slang. When I am over there I have to really think about what in the heck they are saying. Never ask for directions from a Cockney. :)

Fiorenza from UK on March 31, 2013:

When I was a nipper, we used to say Tilburies for socks, from 'Tilbury Docks'. I suppose that one's out of date now because of the redevelopment of Docklands, which must be why you've got almond rocks here instead? A fun read anyway.

Peter Badham from England on March 26, 2013:

I was recently in London with a Greek girlfriend of mine and we saw a Pearly King. She asked if they were some kind of music fan like Micheal Jacksons or something. Luckily my Bubble and Squeak Ocean Pearl now rabbits in slang.

anonymous on December 11, 2012:

@anonymous: theres plenty in east london, black white n browns,

Tony Bonura from Tickfaw, Louisiana on November 16, 2012:

Before this lens the only thing I knew about Cockneys was that they, to my ear, talk funny like Lisa Doolittle before her transformation. Thanks for sharing.

TonyB

craftycollector on November 03, 2012:

Love the pics and the information. I used to buy fabrics in the East End for my Curtain shop. In those days the wholesalers there were mainly Jewish, and I made some good friends amongst them. It's a colourful area, full of life and interest.

Rankography on September 13, 2012:

Very interesting lens. I learned a lot, thanks. Blessings

Badbreathguy on July 31, 2012:

Cockneys, definitely unique to London. Thanks for the information.

sdmary on July 27, 2012:

I visited this lens awhile back but tonight after watching the Opening Ceremonies of the 2012 Olympics, I saw a brief glimpse of a parading Cockney Pearly King & Queen -- and instead of wondering what they were, I knew immediately. So another thanks for educating the rest of us - Cheerio!

myamya on July 08, 2012:

Very nice lens, I love it!

Alfiesgirl LM on June 20, 2012:

Cor blimey...what a treat this was for me' mincers I can tell ya that straight up...anyway enuff of this slang milake...what I really want to say is that this lens is 24 carat. 5 stars from me x

anonymous on June 18, 2012:

@anonymous: no cockneys left in east end!!

anonymous on June 07, 2012:

In the Cockney Rhyming slang list above, fields of wheat = Street, has been left out and this one is really common and londoners in teddington still use this today.

dave-sutton on June 07, 2012:

I love jellied eels, cockles and whelks. I'm not a cockney but brought up in deptford. My mum was a cockney.

I have got a very good friend called Jimmy Tippett, ex professional boxer, now in his seventies and the Kray twins used watch his boxing bouts.

John Tannahill from Somewhere in England on May 25, 2012:

I had a bubble (bubble bath) - giraffe - know what I mean?

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on May 06, 2012:

I know that I hear this word from family and friends from England so I am glad to understand it better now.

DonD LM on January 30, 2012:

Your lense is very informative and I enjoyed reading it. The videos are worth watching and the set up of the lense is cool.

blislank on January 26, 2012:

Wow! Really nice lens you got here.

seegreen on January 16, 2012:

I really haven't thought about who Cockney's are. I always thought it was just a way of talking. I certainly have learned a lot today and I loved ready about the Pearly Kings and Queens.

Ram Ramakrishnan on January 16, 2012:

Loved this lens, particularly the part on cockney slang.

fishwholesalers on November 12, 2011:

i enjoyed reading through your lens...it's very interesting and learned so much from it. thanks. don't forget to buy the freshest fish and seafood from your trusted fish wholesalers

anonymous on October 04, 2011:

you would be hard pressed to find any cockneys in the east end now!

Bob Black from East Midlands, England, UK on October 02, 2011:

I'm a true Cockney and I love this lens. I was born in Southwark in 1938 and lived in East Ham (now Newham) until I was 14. I learned all the old cockney and wartime songs from my family who all lived in the East End of London and thankfully all came through the Blitz unscathed. Some of them worked in the Docks which was bombed unmercifully. As a kid I played on the bombed buildings after the war and eventually became a bit of a wheeler-dealer. I now write about my childhood experiences to record that period of our history and the wonderful culture it engendered.

gregoryolney lm on August 27, 2011:

Very nice lens ! Bet you daren't publish some of the rude slang ! Not that you'd know that of course !

JoshK47 on July 18, 2011:

Very interesting! I hardly knew anything about Cockney culture, but this offered some great insight!

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on June 26, 2011:

I had to visit this page again and read about the London Cockneys. I like the bright colours, the explanation of rhyming slang and the lowdown of iconic Cockney food. (It's very funny too)

MargoPArrowsmith on April 28, 2011:

I recently heard an interview (about the wedding, blush) and the English person interviewed said that the Queen can do a pretty good Cockney accent. I hope its out of respect ...

anonymous on April 27, 2011:

up the apples and pears *stairs*!

I met my first ever cockney when I landed in London from the States. I remember at the time there were all these issues with Heathrow Terminal 5 and he was just moaning and moaning about it - calling it a 'ruddy disgrace'. haha

I'll never forget my first encounter with a 'local'

anonymous on April 21, 2011:

As a foreigner I rarely understood a lot of people in the North of England, but coming down to London I understood even less these cockney people! There was one guy actually, when I stayed in a hotel near London Bridge, who was in the room down the hall from me, he had a book on cockney rhyming slang - he taught me the one:

You're having a bubble - as in you're having a bubble bath = laugh!

LondonWanderer on April 18, 2011:

Hugely informative and entertaining lens! How do I bless lenses, I'm relatively new to squidoo?

Tony Payne from Southampton, UK on April 01, 2011:

Excellent lens. When I lived in Islington in the late 1970s, I stayed in a bedsit for a few months, and the next door neighbours were Cockney identical twins married to identical twins. They used to go out dressed alike, appeared on tv etc, and would sometimes be seen as Tweedledum and Tweedledee. Blessed by an angel, and well deserved too.

navasri on March 30, 2011:

Hi, nice lens,, you given us information about very yummy food

justholidays on January 18, 2011:

Gosh! We need some Cockneys in Brussels, to teach our cab drivers how to know the shortest way to go from one place to another! Here they just know the LONGEST one... and when I say longest it isn't just the longest in miles but it is also the most expensive for your bank account ;)

Other than that, I enjoyed reading this page about London Cockneys. It's easy to read, interesting, well detailed and... I knew that all Londone weren't Cockneys but I didn't know what was required to be a real one! Thanks to this amazing page, now, I know.

rachsue lm on November 04, 2010:

So much information, I am Canadian and I have only heard the expression 1 or 2 times before. Now I know hat it means

Carol Fisher (author) from Warminster, Wiltshire, UK on November 03, 2010:

@corax: I never thought about the sound of the bells carrying so far.

corax on November 03, 2010:

brilliant I'm a cockney born and bred. just a bit of trivia. It is said that before the area was built up, on a clear day the sound carried for about 6 miles, so anybody born with in a 6 mile radius is technicly a cockney. however only those from east london are seen as cockneys

GeoffSteen on November 02, 2010:

Brilliant, love all the original content - obviously a lot of hard work has gone into this lens. (Though as a northerner, I can't go as far as using rhyming slang - my family would disown me!)

HomeDecoratingD on November 02, 2010:

Lot's of great information! Thank you.

Mary Norton from Ontario, Canada on October 21, 2010:

Love this. I often hear these said of our English friends but never had a good idea of it. Now, I understand more. What well put together lens.

Specialeetees on October 20, 2010:

A great lens, it did make me laugh in a lot of places. My grandfather and his family were cockneys, born in the heart of the East End but bombed out of their home during the war. Some of the stories about my great grandfathers antics at Petticoat Lane market, filling turkeys with pebbles to make them weigh more! would be right at home here LOL, A big thumbs up :)

pairadice3007 on July 11, 2010:

Haha I found this lens hilariously entertaining with the Cockney rhyming slang! Wonderful!

Diana Grant from United Kingdom on May 06, 2010:

Did I like this lens? Are you 'avin a barf? What is there not to like - course I liked it, not 'arf! Yer'd ave ter be a real miserable git not to like this. Good on yer, mate. 'Ave one on me!

Have you tried my Quiz on Cockney Slang? Best wishes, Diana

London_apartments on May 04, 2010:

Absolutely great . I love your lenses. They are so insightful!

London furnished apartments blog

HannahDavis on March 07, 2010:

How fascinating! Makes me want to visit London! Someday!

anonymous on January 23, 2010:

Coooor, Pie, Mash and Liquor!!!! Best eaten with lots of malt vinegar splashed all over it though!

Great pie and mash shop down on Walthamstow High Street (where they have the market)

Suzie-Shine on June 09, 2009:

Super lens. My grandad was a cockney, or so he told us, and grandma dressed up as a Pearly Queen a couple of times though she wasn't a real one. He was such a fun, a lovely man and the life and soul of any party. The lens is now a favourite.

Suzie

Achim Thiemermann from Austin, Texas on May 12, 2009:

Whew - it took me while to get to the bottom of this lens, but I enjoyed every last bit of jellied eels. Blessed by a Squid Angel tonight! :-)

CuriousTravelle1 on May 07, 2009:

More familiar with West London than East but this is a fantastic examination of the Cockneys and who and what they are. "Only Fools and Horses" is also of course the best TV programme ever made.

Great lens!

DougP LM on May 06, 2009:

"Would you Adam and Eve it? I was on me Jack Jones when I saw me old china half inching a whistle from the market. Well, I ain't no grass and he's borassic, so I kept me north and south shut."

I just wanted to repeat that. Thanks, and five stars!

KimGiancaterino on May 05, 2009:

Just dropped by to re-bless this wonderful lens.

Janusz LM on April 15, 2009:

Wonderful Lens! Blessed by a Squid Angel :)

California_Dreamin on April 12, 2009:

Thanks for making this wonderfully informative and entertaining lens. I especially liked the rhyming slang list. The Cockney rhyming slang I knew was, "Me trouble and strife came the apples and pears", meaning my wife fell down the stairs, and "Give us a laugh and a joke mate", which translated means, "Could I please have a cigarette."

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on April 06, 2009:

This is a brilliant lens and beautiful. One of the very, very best. Now blessed

Oosquid on March 24, 2009:

Blimey gal, this is a blinding good lens, not 'arf it ain't. 5 stars to ya and you deserves every blooming one of 'em.

anonymous on March 04, 2009:

Want a real cockney pub, visit the army & navy pub in Plaistow E13

nice pub.

Tiddledeewinks LM on January 18, 2009:

I love the look of those "pearly" suits, but yuk to jellied eels!

Paul Hassing on November 19, 2008:

Struth! This is one ripper lens. I've been ploughing through a dry tome called The East End and this is just the antidote I needed. Wonderful content, organisation, writing... the works! 6 stars (if they'll let me). Many thanks! P. :)

aquariann on October 09, 2008:

Interesting 5-star lens with lots of content! The rhyming slang and the songs sound so much fun.

Steve Dizmon from Nashville, TN on October 07, 2008:

This is really a fun lens. I found it because you had left a comment on one of my lenses (Thanks) and I'm glad I did.

Being an American, ignorant of many things British, I thought a Cockney was just a lower social class of London society. The truth, as usual, is much more interesting.

'Gotta leave 5 stars for brightening my day with facts.

Mihaela Vrban from Croatia on October 06, 2008:

This is so fun! Educational too. It's always great to learn a bit more about someones tradition and culture!

anonymous on October 05, 2008:

Really a great page you have put together. The slang at times has me utterly lost when I am in the UK, cockney or otherwise!

The Homeopath on October 04, 2008:

I can't rhyme. But I do love to gab!!

The Homeopath on October 04, 2008:

I can't rhyme. But I do love to gab!!

Robyco on October 04, 2008:

Wonderful lens, I miss living in London.

James20 on October 04, 2008:

I like to go to London someday. I did fly over England when I went to Germany in 2001 on a Mission trip.

James

saraht43 on October 03, 2008:

Very nice lens. I would love to visit London someday. My very best friend is originally from Harrow. I enjoyed reading the cockney slang. Reminds me sort of---of "pig-Latin" a made up language here in the states often used by kids, when they don't want others to know what they are saying.

dandepp on October 02, 2008:

Great lens - I whiled away a good ten minutes reading all the cockney slang and Im from London myself! 5 stars. Good work!

MatCauthon on October 02, 2008:

Pie and Mash... I can't get them out of my head. 5*

AslanBooks on October 01, 2008:

I think I've been educated today...

CubicleJoe on October 01, 2008:

Very nice lens. If I only came across this several days ago. I have a friend of mine who is right now on vacation in London. Why couldn't it be me (lol)????

Haveagood1 on October 01, 2008:

This is probably my favorite lens - incredible.

Linda Hoxie from Idaho on October 01, 2008:

Fantastic lens, I don't want to hear any "pork pies" from anyone's lips! lol Very interesting lens, I would love to visit London someday! Linda

Marc from Edinburgh on October 01, 2008:

Cor blimey guv, this is a right top lens if ever I saw one :) But where's the clip of Dick Van Dyke doing the worst cockney ever in 'Ma-wee Pap-pins'?? :)

Allan R. Wallace from Wherever Human Rights Reign on October 01, 2008:

Jellied Eels is a must try. Disney once had a pearly band, mainly brass, I wonder if they made the costumes themselves? Their leader, a trombonist, had a taste for creativity. Be nice to visit the originals.

Perhaps you could include a link to one of their favored charities?

ChristiannaGarrett-Martin on October 01, 2008:

A brilliant lens!! and a very nosyalgic one for me :) Love the East End meals: Jellied eels, pie and mash. Good British food :)

I also like the list of Cockney Rhyming Slang. An excellent lens all round in fact.

5 stars

Christianna

ChristiannaGarrett-Martin on October 01, 2008:

A brilliant lens!! and a very nosyalgic one for me :) Love the East End meals: Jellied eels, pie and mash. Good British food :)

I also like the list of Cockney Rhyming Slang. An excellent lens all round in fAact.

5 stars

Christianna

YourCover Mama on October 01, 2008:

From America, and WOULD LOVE to travel to London! Hopefully some day...and I will keep this in mind, thank you :o) Interesting & Informative lens!

Paula Atwell from Cleveland, OH on September 30, 2008:

Really interesting.

steerpyke on September 29, 2008:

flippin' marvelous

Angelina Howard on September 28, 2008:

I live in America but I love learing about British traditions. I like this lens. Especially the Pearly King and Queen. 5*****

anonymous on September 20, 2008:

What a great lens. Enjoyed learning more about Cockneys.

beachbum_gabby on September 18, 2008:

very interesting lens since I have not been to London, this is a must see!

Marinadxb on September 18, 2008:

Hilariou! I'm a Londoner, but have lived in Dubai for a long time... which I love. Really nice to read funny things about home... even the disgusting pie, mash and liquor!

Good job

anonymous on September 16, 2008:

For most of my life I have lived within an easy train ride to London but because I was born "sarth of the river", my accent is very different. However, I love Cockney Rhyming slang and on one occasion played the Pantomime part of "Fairy Tinkle of Bow Bells, King Rat I'll thwart your wicked spells".

I note you do not include the Cockney Rhyming slang phrase "Horse and cart" in your list - but my Surrey modesty prevents me from saying what it means!

Lovely, fun lens. 5*s and lensrolled to my Pantomime - a Great British Tradition lens & a link added as well.

harryfielder on September 14, 2008:

I was born just across the road from Hoxton E1.

I lived in London for 53 years and am now retired out to the sticks of Hertfordshire but I still go to London once a years and have a few drinks with some of my old school mates.

I was brought up on pie and mash snd eels and as I'm writing this I could just fancy some...lol

Aitch,

AlisonMeacham on September 11, 2008:

Great lens. I am from the UK but have lived in the US for a long time - so now only visit London as a tourist.

You have been Blessed by a Squid Angel

Andy-Po on September 09, 2008:

Excellent lens.

I'm not quite a Cockney, although I can see the London Eye from my kitchen.

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on September 09, 2008:

Fabulous lens. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing the pictures except for the jellied eels. yuk. 5*

Nancy Tate Hellams from Pendleton, SC on September 09, 2008:

Fabulous lens. I really enjoyed reading it and seeing the pictures except for the jellied eels. yuk. 5*

Haveagood1 on September 03, 2008:

This was the most incredible lens I've ever seen. Gorgeous. Wish I could give it 10 stars!

Debbie from England on August 29, 2008:

Love it, love it, love it!! Lensrolled to 'Only Fools And Horses' AND 'Fish & Chips'!! % shiny stars for you me old china!!

lisawillard lm on August 28, 2008:

Excellent Lens. Thanks for sharing.

teamlane on August 28, 2008:

Excellent lens Stazjia! Luv the introduction module pic! A Squid Angel Blessing at ya! ~ Colleen :)

Susanna Duffy from Melbourne Australia on August 27, 2008:

Look here China, don't get lemon with me, I fair get the Earthas (arabian nights) to hear Aussie called 'cockney'- it's Australian! Geeezzaa! Know what I mean? A real constantino rocca and brings me temper to the conan doyle. Anyhow, bonza lens, treacle. 5*

Eloquent47 on August 25, 2008:

Thoroughly enjoyed it! Particularly as I have just completed 11 years in an office on Mansell Street!!

anonymous on August 23, 2008:

Lovely Lens and thanks for submitting it to Travelmania Group 5*.

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