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Mockney (a portmanteau of "mock" and "Cockney") is an affected accent and form of speech in imitation of Cockney or working class London speech, or a person with such an accent. A stereotypical Mockney speaker comes from an upper-middle class background.[1]

A person speaking with a Mockney accent might adopt Cockney pronunciation but retain standard grammatical forms whereas the genuine Cockney speaker would use non-standard forms (e.g. negative concord).


The first published use of the word according to the Oxford English Dictionary was in 1967.[2]

It is an affectation sometimes adopted for aesthetic or theatric purposes, other times just to sound “cool”, generate street credibility or give the false impression that the speaker rose from humble beginnings and became prominent through some innate talent rather than the education, contacts and other advantages a privileged background tends to bring. Britpop band Blur was said to have “Blur's mockney, down-the-dogs blokey charm”.[2] Mick Jagger is often accused of having been the first celebrity in modern times to overplay his regional accent in order to boost his street credibility.[3]

One explanation of dialect adoption given in social linguistics is prestige. A person is likely to adopt speech patterns (including accent, vocabulary, dialect or even language) which they perceive as 'prestigious'.

The concept of communication accommodation, either upwards or downwards in idiolect, can be seen in many social interactions. One can put someone at ease by speaking in a familiar tone or intonation, or one can intimidate or alienate someone by speaking more formally. For example, in a courtroom, a more formal register with technical legal jargon can be used to intimidate a defendant. In contrast, Mockney seeks to lower the perceived socio-economic class of the speaker.

Notable persons described as Mockney[edit]

Being a 'Mockney', is some one from an upper middle class background, and/or from an area other than London. So a few of people listed below including; Danny Dyer, Damon Albarn, Kate Nash, and Plan B are in fact not Mockneys. The reasons being; they are all from, either inner or outer areas of London. The aforementioned are also all from working class, or lower middle class backgrounds. Another point to mention is the fact that Tim Lovejoy, (although being from northwest London) does not talk in a cockney or working class London accent. Better research is required in future.

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Rogaliński, Paweł (2 March 2011). "British accents: Cockney and mockney |". Retrieved 29 December 2014. 
  2. ^ a b "mockney, n. and adj.". Oxford English Dictionary. Retrieved 23 June 2014. 
  3. ^ Redmond, Camilla (4 June 2010). "Radio catchup: Jagger's Jukebox, Adam Buxton's breakup tips and the power of Charlie Brooker". London: The Guardian. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  4. ^ "The Streets – Original Pirate Material | Album Reviews". musicOMH. 25 February 2002. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  5. ^ [1][dead link]
  6. ^ "Tim Lovejoy and The Allstars". Digital Spy Forums. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  7. ^ Sullivan, Caroline (12 May 2006). "Lily Allen, Notting Hill Arts Club, London". The Guardian. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  8. ^ [2][dead link]
  9. ^ McNulty, Bernadette (17 November 2008). "Let's hear it for the British pop babes". London: The Telegraph. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  10. ^ Thomas, Liz (21 October 2009). "Guy Ritchie, the mockney with a king in the family". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  11. ^ "The virtual linguist: Mockney". 20 March 2009. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  12. ^ Swann, Yvonne (1 January 2010). "Me and my school photo: Johnny Vaughan remembers his boarding school beatings and drama classes with Rowan Atkinson". London: Mail Online. Retrieved 28 November 2013. 
  13. ^ [3][dead link]

External links[edit]