1) To be a proper Cockney, you must have been born in London, within earshot of the Bow Bells.
2) A good old Cockney way of donating money to charity, is via the Pearly Kings and Queens.
3) Cockneys speak using the increasingly well-known “Rhyming Slang” and also use other unusual phrases, some of which I have translated (for Americans) HERE.
4) Cockneys eat many delicious traditional foods (they might call it “luvverly grub”), such as “Bangers and Mash”, “Tripe and Onions”, “Steak and Kidney Pie”, “Pie Mash and Liquor (gravy)”, “Jellied Eels”, “Winkles” and, of course, “Fish and Chips”.
5) In the Old Days, Cockneys would be too poor to go on a real holiday – so instead they would go Hop Picking, in Kent. Hops are used to make beer and Londoners loved working in the fields for the Summer, staying in huts and drawing a small wage. Their kids got plenty of fresh air too, away from “The Smoke”. See this short film on YouTube.
6) When it comes to having fun, Cockneys like nothing better than a good old Knees up. Which is pretty much a session of drunken dancing.
7) Back in the 1950s and 1960s, the East End of London, (where Cockneys live) was run by gangsters such as The Kray Twins.
8) Performers Chas & Dave are famous for their slightly more modern take on Cockney style music, which they (rather distressingly, to my mind) call “Rockney”.
9) Cockneys are often called “chirpy” because of their irrepressible sense of humour, in the face of poverty and hardship.
10) Because the Cockney accent sounds cool and hard, actors (or posh kids) often try to copy it. This is normally a mistake, as it is very difficult to imitate and accidentally coming out with a “Mockney” accent is shameful.