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My old cock

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.

L