Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Cockney, from a word originally meaning an egg, then perhaps a small egg (still popularly termed a cock's egg); hence the term came to be applied to a weak, squeamish child; from this arose the term "King of Cockneys" confused with King of Cockaigne, or London. Henry III. was alluded to as the King of Cockneie. Later it was applied to Londoners born, that is, if they were born within the sound of Bow bells in Cheapside, and later still as an adjective to any distinct London peculiarity. But in these days of universal travelling and shifting populations the word carries no clear meaning.