Word Origin & History
c.1600, from M.E. cokenei "spoiled child, milksop," orig. cokene-ey "cock's egg" (mid-14c.). Most likely disentangling of the etymology is to start from O.E. cocena "cock's egg" -- genitive plural of coc "cock" + æg "egg" -- medieval term for "runt of a clutch," extended derisively c.1520s to "town
dweller," gradually narrowing thereafter to residents of a particular neighborhood in the East End of London. The accent so called from 1890, but speech peculiarities were noted from 17c.