Letter: Innit or ain't it?

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The Independent Online
Sir: I have to correct Arthur Pottersman's cockney abbreviations (letter, 21 May). I was born in Bermondsey and have lived all my life in SE1.

Innit and arxed are definitely creole patois. The cockney is ain't it and arst'd. The cockney ain't it is used at either end of sentences as a question: "Ain't it cold aat?" or "It's cold aat, ain't it?". The creole innit is used as punctuation at the end of sentences: "I got a new car, innit." Translated into cockney, that becomes, "I got a new car, didn't I?"

The cockney dialect would have variations, such as didn't it, ain't I. In creole, there is just one innit.


London SE1