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  1. blueeye's Avatar
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    #1

    Cockney punter

    Can anyone help me with the highlighted expression?


    Our teachers at LT&C had their A levels and the odd teaching certificate.
    It is astonishing how a black crepe robe worn over a coat or a
    blouse gives a Cockney punter or a Covent Garden flower girl the gravitas
    of an Oxford don. Accent be damned in Africa, as long as itís foreign
    and you have the right skin color.


    Thank you very much

  2. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Cockney punter

    Quote Originally Posted by blueeye View Post
    Can anyone help me with the highlighted expression?


    Our teachers at LT&C had their A levels and the odd teaching certificate.
    It is astonishing how a black crepe robe worn over a coat or a
    blouse gives a Cockney punter or a Covent Garden flower girl the gravitas
    of an Oxford don. Accent be damned in Africa, as long as itís foreign
    and you have the right skin color.


    Thank you very much
    A Cockney is someone from East London (specifically someone who was born within earshot of the Bow Bells) - though completely unfairly, it is usually considered that Cockneys are lower class and less well-educated than some other Londoners.

    A "punter" is a slang word for a customer (more rudely, specifically, sometimes a man who visits prostitutes).

    The article suggests that putting on the black robe of a university graduate means that you can no longer tell what class or educational level someone is.

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    #3

    Re: Cockney punter

    The use of the word punter is a little strange to me- it does mean customer, but I think that something like stallholder/market trader, etc, might fit better as these would be more likely to be heard, like the flower girl, as they tried to sell things, rather than the customer.

  3. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #4

    Re: Cockney punter

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The use of the word punter is a little strange to me- it does mean customer, but I think that something like stallholder/market trader, etc, might fit better as these would be more likely to be heard, like the flower girl, as they tried to sell things, rather than the customer.
    I agree, I wonder where this text comes from. Perhaps the OP will enlighten us. Maybe the author meant cockney "coster" which is short for "costermonger" the old term for an east-end market trader or "barrow-boy".

  4. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Cockney punter

    Quote Originally Posted by Tdol View Post
    The use of the word punter is a little strange to me- it does mean customer, but I think that something like stallholder/market trader, etc, might fit better as these would be more likely to be heard, like the flower girl, as they tried to sell things, rather than the customer.
    I agree with you. Customer seems like a strange word (slang or otherwise) to use here. I checked every slang dictionary etc I could find, but could find no suggestion that punter is ever used to mean "seller". Various other meanings aside customer, but none that fit.

  5. blueeye's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Cockney punter

    Quote Originally Posted by bhaisahab View Post
    I agree, I wonder where this text comes from. Perhaps the OP will enlighten us. Maybe the author meant cockney "coster" which is short for "costermonger" the old term for an east-end market trader or "barrow-boy".
    It's from Abraham Verghese's novel "Cutting for Stone".

  6. bhaisahab's Avatar
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    #7

    Re: Cockney punter

    Quote Originally Posted by blueeye View Post
    It's from Abraham Verghese's novel "Cutting for Stone".
    Ok, I see, so he's not British and may not know the exact terms very well.

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