What or Who is a Cockney ?

In modern times this is taken to describe an inhabitant of London who was born within earshot of Bow Bells.

Notes and Queries Vol.4 (111) December 13 1851 Page 475, reports a reply to a question on its origin as follows: - 

“The following passages collected from various sources, will perhaps help to illustrate the origin and the several meanings of this word Cockney” 

Fuller’s first sense is: -

"One coaks’d or cockered, made a wanton or nestle cock of, delicately bred and brought up, so that when grown men or women

they can endure no hardship, nor comport with pains taking.” 

“’Tis not their fault, but our mother’s, our cockering mothers, who for their labour made us to be called Cockneys.”

{The person named as Fuller cannot be identified but was probably one of the first respondents to the query}