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British English Accents – 1. Cockney Accent

What comes into your mind first when you think about a British Accent? Most people would easily think about the accents you hear in ‘Harry Potter’ or ‘The Lord of the Rings’.

Britain really does have lots of different accents. Even inside of London, you’ll find people with a Cockney accent, an Estuary accent, a Neutral accent, and RP (Received Pronunciation) aka they speak with a posh accent. You can actually hear it in the famous film called ‘Kings man’ or the series ‘Game of Thrones’. If you have already watched ‘Kings man’, have you noticed the difference between ‘Eggsy’s’ (played Taron Egerton) and ‘Harry’s’ (Colin Firth) accent? You can hear that Eggsy has Cockney accent and Harry has a posh accent there.

British accent

What’s a cockney accent?

A cockney accent is traditionally spoken by working-class Londoners. In 1980s and 1990s, it had become part of South East English in London and it is also known as Estuary English. Apparently Cockney Rhyming slang was originally made to use like a secret code so that other listeners could not understand. Some of Cockney slang expressions are now in popular use all over Britain, not only in London. Also it is used by a lot of young people, not only working-class people. If you don’t know these slangs, you wouldn’t understand even a single sentence. For example, “let’s have a butchers mate.” Can you guess what it means? This ‘Butchers’ is from ‘Butcher’s hook’, and ‘Butcher’s’ means “Look” in Cockney Rhyming Slang. I will give you some more examples that are quite commonly used especially among young people.

  • China plate = Mate (“Hey, my china!”)
  • Apple and pear = Stairs (Get your arse up the apples!)
  • Adam and eve = Believe (Oh my god, do you adam and eve it?)
  • Barnet-Fair = hair. (Look at my new barnet!)
  • Bird-lime = time. (Oh! sorry I don’t have bird)
  • Britney Spears = Beers (Let’s have britney tonight!)
  • Bees and honey – money (“Can you lend me some bees? I am totally broke.”)
  • Twist and twirl = girl (“I will take the twist out tonight.”)
  • Ones and twos = shoes (“Get your ones on, we are going out now!”)
  • Tea leaf = thief (“Some tea-leaf nicked my wallet!”)
  • Porky pies= lies (“my ex-boyfriend was full of porky pies.”)
  • Storm and strife = wife (“Guys sorry I have to go. The storm is on the way.”)
  • Loaf of bread = head (“Get your loaf out of the clouds!”)
  • Custard and jelly = telly (“Stop watching the custard and do your homework!”
  • Mince pies = eyes (“I don’t think she is lying. Take a look her mince pies.”)
  • Bottle and glass = arse (bottle = Aristotle,  Aristotle = aris = arse) (“Get your bottle up and go out right now”)
  • Boat race = face (“I punched him in the boat.”)

There are come famous celebrities who have a cockney accent. Do you know whom?

David Beckham (Football player)

British accent


Adele (Singer)

British accent


Michael Caine (Actor)

British accent


David Bowie (Singer)

British accent


Maggie Smith (Actress)

British accent


Have you recognized some of these celebrities already? Well, if you would like to hear their sound, have a “Butcher’s” at some of their interviews, then you will notice that they are Cockneys.

Interesting? I will introduce more British accent next time. Until then, enjoy your “Bird” and stay tuned for our next blog post my “china!”

10 best series to learn English

Learning a language, just like everything else, takes time and lots of practice and you need to find something you are deeply interested in! And what can you do if you find textbooks a bit boring? We have the solution for you especially for those of you who like watching TV series? In the following article you will find the 10 best series to help you learn English.

To watch a series in English is very helpful to improve your listening, pronunciation and also your writing, you can add subtitles as well, BUT IN ENGLISH PLEASE!! Do not put them in your own language, you will not be focusing on what the actors are saying in English and you will not learn as much. Another tip to improve quickly is to keep a notebook next to you for any new word/expression you hear and after you can find their meanings, do not search them on a translator, look for the definition in an English dictionary.

Find below the 10 best series that World Choice Education has chosen for you. All of them are suitable for students with an Intermediate level of English but even someone with a low intermediate level of English will be able to get it. We don’t know which kind of series you like more, so we have decided to share with you dramas, comedies and science fiction series as well. Choose yours and start improving your English!


1. Bates motel

Best series to learn English

After the death of her husband, Norma Bates buys a motel in the picturesque coastal town of White Pine Bay, giving herself and teenage son Norman a chance to begin anew. Shy Norman is reluctant at first, but with the help of his mother – with whom he shares an intensely close relationship – the boy begins to open up to others and make new friends. Some locals, however, aren’t as friendly and welcoming to the Bates, who discover that because White Pine Bay isn’t as peaceful as it appears, they are forced to do whatever it takes to survive. 


2. Once upon a time

Best series to learn English

“Once Upon a Time” tells the story of a new world, one in which fairy-tale legends and modern life collide. Emma Swan (Jennifer Morrison) is comfortable in her life as a bail bonds collector when Henry — the child she gave up a decade earlier — suddenly shows up. He is convinced that she is the daughter of Snow White and Prince Charming, who sent her away before the Evil Queen could cast a spell, freezing the fairytale world in time and bringing them to present-day Storybrooke, Maine. After taking Henry home, Emma decides to stay in the town to keep an eye on him, and she discovers he may not be wrong after all.


3. Mis Fits

Best series to learn English

Five juvenile offenders with nothing in common find themselves working together on a community service project, and their differing personalities soon cause sparks to fly. But that’s nothing compared to what happens when a freak electrical storm hits town. Shortly thereafter, they find that they are developing superpowers. Paranoid Kelly can now hear the thoughts of others, while Simon, who has always been overlooked, can suddenly make himself invisible. Curtis can turn back time, while Alisha finds that anyone who touches her will lust after her. Nathan, to his chagrin, seems to have suffered no aftereffects of the storm. Now, on top of dealing with the realities of teenage life and finishing their service project, they must figure out how to handle their new abilities and find out just what, if anything, they are expected to do with them.


4. Thirteen reasons why

Best series to learn English

Newcomer Katherine Langford plays the role of Hannah, a young woman who takes her own life. Two weeks after her tragic death, a classmate named Clay finds a mysterious box on his porch. Inside the box are recordings made by Hannah — on whom Clay had a crush — in which she explains the 13 reasons why she chose to commit suicide. If Clay decides to listen to the recordings, he will find out if and how he made the list. This intricate and heart-wrenching tale is told through Clay and Hannah’s dual narratives.


5. Black Mirror

Best series to learn English

Featuring stand-alone dramas — sharp, suspenseful, satirical tales that explore techno-paranoia — “Black Mirror” is a contemporary reworking of “The Twilight Zone” with stories that tap into the collective unease about the modern world.


6. Orphan Black

Best series to learn English

Sarah is a street-wise woman with a troubled past as an English orphan who bounced around foster homes before being taken in by Mrs. S, who uprooted her and her foster brother, Felix, to North America. She has made bad decisions in her life but always strives to do right by daughter Kira. When Sarah witnesses the suicide of a woman, Beth (who looks like her) she decides to steal Beth’s identity — boyfriend and money included — in an attempt to begin a new life for herself and Kira, with whom Sarah hopes to reunite. But assuming Beth’s life — Sarah eventually learns that Beth was her clone — doesn’t go as smoothly as she anticipates because Beth was a cop caught in the middle of a deadly conspiracy, making Sarah the new target. Sarah must fight to stay alive while trying to escape from the complex web. As more threads appear, Sarah is pulled deeper, and Felix becomes her one true confidant.


7. Pretty little liars

Best series to learn English

As time has passed since Alison, then the queen bee of the bunch, went missing. Spencer, Aria, Hanna and Emily have gone on with their lives, though they’ve grown apart. As the years go by, each girl finds herself facing a new set of challenges when anonymous text messages from “A” threaten to expose all their secrets — both old secrets the girls were sure only Alison knew, and newer secrets developed after Alison’s disappearance. Who is “A” and how does he or she know the things he or she knows? Based on the series of novels by Sara Shepard.


8. Weeds

Best series to learn English

Widowed suburbanite Nancy Botwin (Mary-Louise Parker) starts growing and selling marijuana to make enough money to support her family after her husband’s unexpected death leaves her in big debt. Nancy has associates in her pot-growing business, which include Andy, who is her brother-in-law, and pot-smoking City Councilman Doug Wilson. Then there’s the business of trying to keep the whole thing secret from people like her neighbor Celia.


9. Orange is the New Black

Best series to learn English

Piper Chapman is a public relations executive with a career and a fiance when her past suddenly catches up to her. In her mid-30s she is sentenced to spend time in a minimum-security women’s prison in Connecticut for her association with a drug runner 10 years earlier. This Netflix original series is based on the book of the same title. Forced to trade power suits for prison orange, Chapman makes her way through the corrections system and adjusts to life behind bars, making friends with the many eccentric, unusual and unexpected people she meets.


10. Stranger Things

Best series to learn English

This thrilling Netflix-original drama stars award-winning actress Winona Ryder as Joyce Byers, who lives in a small Indiana town in 1983 — inspired by a time when tales of science fiction captivated audiences. When Joyce’s 12-year-old son, Will, goes missing, she launches a terrifying investigation into his disappearance with local authorities. As they search for answers, they unravel a series of extraordinary mysteries involving secret government experiments, unnerving supernatural forces, and a very unusual little girl.

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