A LONDONER Explains How to Speak COCKNEY (London accent)


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

Alright mate.

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

by Thursday

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?