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Life in the East End

Era la zona povera e malfamata legata alle attività portuali, sicuramente meno turistica e meno maestosa dell’elegante West End. Ma oggi, per trovare un po’ di autenticità londinese bisogna venire qui, tra i docks rimodernati, le gallerie d’arte e i creativi con tanta voglia di fare... Ce ne parlano due "EastEnders"! By Mark Worden - LANGUAGE LEVEL C1 (ADVANCED)

Leon Dalloway (Standard British/Mild Midlands accent)

The East End is just a vibrant, buzzing, amazing place full of fresh businesses and fresh ideas. We’ve even got our own distillery five minutes down the road just now, so a lot of new, amazing, exciting things happening around here.

James Drury (Standard British accent)

Like Shoreditch, 20 years ago you wouldn’t come here. It was scary, and then it became very much a place for young artists and so on, and the derelict warehouses were here for raves and stuff and that was great fun, and now all the warehouses have been turned into offices like this and apartments. And it’s nice, it’s just that Shoreditch is not as edgy as it used to be. Now you get hen dos and stag dos coming here, and there’s loads and loads of bars, there’s a really big night culture here, which is great, in certain ways, and I’m not against change per se, I just think it’s lost a bit of its character.

(Leon Dalloway and James Drury were talking to Mark Worden)

The interviews continue in the October issue of Speak Up, click here to listen to them.


People in the East End are known as Cockneys, although this term technically refers to all of  London. It is said that a true Cockney was born “within the sound of the Bow Bells”: in other words he or she was born in a place where the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow could be heard. The church is in Cheapside in the City.


Cockney is also linguistic. There is a Cockney (London) accent, as well as an intriguing system known as Cockney Rhyming Slang. For example, the English often say “to rabbit” instead of “to talk.” This is because “rabbit” is short for “rabbit and pork,” which rhymes with “talk.”  Inventors of Cockney would deliberately abbreviate the phrase and remove the rhyming word. If that sounds complicated, then this was intentional: it was a coded language used by traders and criminals who didn’t want other people to understand. 


20 years ago you wouldn’t come here. 20 anni fa non saresti venuto qui. Sarebbe stato più corretto dire 20 years ago you wouldn’t have come here, ma nell’inglese parlato è accettabile.

Hen dos and stag dos.
Feste per l’addio al nubilato e al celibato. Le donne organizzano a hen party, (lett. festa delle galline), mentre gli uomini organizzano a stag party, (festa dei cervi). Il sostantivo do significa “festa, evento” e al plurale diventa dos.