Today on LetThemTalkTV you are going to learn everything you need to know
about the Cockney accent spoken in London. Now, as you know, I am a Londoner
but when I teach these lessons I teach standard British English which
is what I'm talking now by the way (more or less) anyway in London we have our
own accent and it's called Cockney now Cockney is a working-class accent that
originated around the city and the East End of London but now you'll find it all
over London and beyond. In the past Londoners tried to hide their cockney
accent. When they tried to rise the social ranks in polite society they were
mocked and shunned and having an accent, a cockney accent, could hold them back.
But not anymore now it's cool to have a cockney accent. It's worn as a badge of
pride and you'll find it's everywhere in the media on the BBC in Hollywood.
Lots of famous people are (or were) Cockneys for example Adele,
Jason Statham, Amy Winehouse, Russell Brand, Michael Caine and many more
now I'm an English teacher, so of course, when I teach English I use standard
British English. I'll try that again standard British English. It's
often called RP "received pronunciation." Now this is the English
you'll find in English textbooks and dictionaries but today with a little
help from my cousin Bob - say hello Bob "Hello" we're going to learn some
Cockney so if you're planning to visit London, speak to a Londoner, listen to a
Londoner or just have an interest in the accent of this great city then stay tuned.
Hello and welcome to LetThemTalk and today we're going to look at the cockney
accent now I've tried to simplify this lesson and keep it relatively brief with as
little linguistic jargon as possible. We're going to look at the accent at
three levels and for that I have (at great expense) invested in a Cockneyometer
here it is! Every house should have one. You see Cockney is not just one thing
it's more of a spectrum of an accent so level one is just the pronunciation of
words and how they differ from RP. So here are some of things to look out for
Replacing the T sound with a glottal stop. The glottal stop is a sound made
from the throat rather than a T that comes from the front of the mouth. so for
example WATER becomes WA'ER. BUTTER becomes BU'ER. In cockney we drop the H
sound entirely so HEA becomes 'ED. HAT becomes 'A' "ME 'a' is on me 'ead" the
unvoiced TH sound, that's when you put your tongue between your teeth and blow,
in such words as THANKS, THINK, THURSDAY that's replaced by an F. FANKS, FINK,
FURSDAY. If it's a voiced TH and it comes in the middle of a word such as
BROTHER, WEATHER it's pronounced like V sound
BROVVER, WEVVER the final L becomes a W "Me brovver's new girwfriend." So here I
am with my cousin Bob and he's gonna speak in Cockney while I speak in
standard English RP, if you like. Now we're going to move the cockneyometer
to level one.
At level one we're just looking at pronunciation changes taking into
account the sounds changes I already mentioned so you should understand most
of what Bob says. are you ready? yes? let's go
cousin Bob are you ready?
Hello how are you? I'm a it's a beautiful day isn't it
It's a beautiful day isn't it?
Beau'iful day, inni'
Harry Potter brought his new girlfriend to our
house to meet my mother
Harry Potter broug'- 'is new girwfriend to our ause to mee' me muvver
I'm going to have a shower in Liverpool Street Station
I'm gonna 'av a shower in Liv'poow Stree' Station
I can't go south of the river my friend
because I haven't been vaccinated.
I can't go sarf of the river mate cuz I ain't vaccina'ed.
Thanks for the butter but now I feel ill I hope I'll be better
Fanks for the bu'er but naw I feew iw
I 'ope I'll be be'er by Fursday
the weather in Hackney is lovely in autumn.
the weather in 'acney is lovely in au'umn
Did you get that? Interesting just a few sound changes from standard British
English and you've got it but I'm warning you it gets more difficult
because now we're going to move the dial on the Cockneyometer up to level 2
On level two in addition to pronunciation changes we're going to
look at some cockney expressions and vocabulary which are different from
standard English and not just pronunciation
you should still understand quite a lot but it's getting difficult
Wow! the pretty girl I met in the West End is very rich
Cor blimey! that fit bird I met up West is well minted.
£10 for (a beer and) a tub of jellied eels that's ridiculous!
10 quid for a pint and a tub of jellied eels! Do me a favour!
The gentleman was smoking cigarettes in the toilets I said "stop it my friend
that's not right please leave immediately."
This bloke was smoking fags in the bog I said "leave it out mate your bang out of order
now sling your hook"
I bought my car from a suspicious gentleman on the Old Kent Road
for 250 pounds
I bought me motor from this dodgy geezer on the Old Kent
Road for half a monkey.
What are you doing? Are you flirting with my girlfriend?
what's your game sunshine? were you chatting up me missus?
It's getting difficult isn't it but we've not finished yet now we're going to move the dial on the
Cockneyometer up to the maximum, to level three.
Now at Level 3 as well as the other changes
we are going to use Cockney rhyming slang now this is
a particular type of slang which is unique to London
Let me explain. Let's look at this phrase LEMON AND LIME it means
TIME. huh? why does it mean time? simply because the second word in the phrase
rhymes with TIME. Lemons and limes have nothing to do with
time it's all about the rhyme so in a phrase you substitute the words TIME
with LEMON AND LIME so what's the time? becomes what's the lemon and lime? you
got it but sometimes that's not obscure enough so just say the first word of the
pair what's the lemon? Oi What's the lemon? - Half past nine. You get it
Another example "Can I use your dog and bone to call me missus?" Dog and bone?
What do you think that means? Phone of course DOG AND BONE = PHONE
BONE rhymes with PHONE can we drop the first word of the pair? yes we can. "My battery
is dead can I use your dog to call the missus". Sometimes we can just use the first
word of the pair and sometimes we need to use both for example "He's brown bread"
means "he's dead" but you can't say "he's brown" Why? I don't know but it's like
that sometimes you have to use both so "my battery is brown bread can
use your dog to call the missus" You get it when you have several rhymes in a
sentence it becomes really difficult to understand and why is so difficult?
Because that's how it's supposed to be. back in the day we didn't want the
police or any other outsiders prying into our business so if you understand
that let's look at some more examples with Bob but this time you might need to
read the subtitles for an explanation
That's a bit of luck I found the five
pound notes on the road
That's a bit of Friar Tuck I found Lady Godiva on the Frog
A thief stole my hat from my car
some tea leaf half-inched my tit-for-tat from my jam car.
I'm tired I'm going to bed
I'm cream crackered I'm going to uncle Ted
'Really! You paid £25 for two
beers are you joking
What! You paid a pony for two Brittanys are you having a Turkish?
Can you move your arse I can't see the television.
Move your Kyber I can't see the custard
I'm sorry my friend but that Rolex is a fake and I'm not lying
sorry me 'ole China but that Rolex is a Sexton Blake and I'm not telling porkies neither
So he cut off his hair and got a tattoo of his wife on his face
So he cut off his Barnet and Got a tattoo of his trouble and strife on his boat.
I'm broke. Can you cash me a cheque?
I'm boracic can you sausage me a Gregory?
so jungle tribe our solar panel give us a hunger strike or leave a Clark Kent
and see you next lemon.
What the f*** are you talking about?