Posted by Lewis on February 24, 2006
In Reply to: My old cocker Posted by John lake on February 24, 2006
: any one know where the phrase"my old cocker" originates a term of endearment used by my dad
When I were a nipper, it was "me old cock sparra'" - i.e. cock-sparrow : a male sparrow. with sparrows being small birds - it appears to have implied somebody small and cheeky. Sparrows are quick, seemingly confident birds and I think that is why they are used in the expression. also the dual use of 'cockney' (East Londoner) and 'cock' (male) is a bit of elegance in the slang too.
in cockney rhyming slang, the best rhymes are related to the original word - such as 'plates o' meat' for 'feet'. if cock-sparra' is CRS, I don't know what it is the rhyme for, but it was certainly in wide use when I was a kid in the 1960s for a chirpy young male.