Tag Archives: Cockney

My Fair Lady: the pun that nobody noticed

It has come to my attention that a substantial number of people do not realise that the title of My Fair Lady is a pun. It’s a play on the way a Lisson Grove-raised flower girl like Eliza Doolittle might pronounce Mayfair, if she wasn’t really a cockney at all but merely a Hollywood actor pretending to be one. Mayfair/Myfair – the drooping, elongated ‘y’ is a classic, if exaggerated,  symptom of the cockney mode of speaking,

Say it yourself in your best, daftest, Eliza Doolittle accent – Mwyyyy Fair. Sounds a bit like Mayfair, doesn’t it? If you don’t believe me, here’s Alan Franks saying the same thing, eventually.

So there you are. Here’s a scene from the film with Audrey showing off her accent at its very worst.