Green’s Dictionary of Slang

wotcher! excl.

also whatcher! watcha! watchya! what yer! wotcha!
[elision of 16C+ SE what cheer; the trad. response to the extended wotcher, cock! is ‘How’s yer mother off for dripping?’]

a stereotypical Cockney greeting.

[[UK]Greene & Lodge Looking-Glass for London and England in Dyce (1861) 141: How now sirrah, what cheer? we have no words of you].
[UK]Fun XXXV-VI 189: She would as soon stay indoors as be robbed of the privilege of yelling ‘Wotcher’.
[[UK] ‘’Arry on His ’Oliday’ in Punch 13 Oct. 160/2: Wha’ cheer, my dear charlie: ’Ow are yer?].
[UK]J. Runciman Chequers 62: The Ramper said, ‘Wot cher, yer old bugaboo?’.
[UK]Bowyer & Baker [perf. Jennie Hill] Thereby Hangs a Tale 🎵 Hullo! what-cher Ginger! don't I do it tall? / Bone side of a haddick, nicked it off a stall.
[UK]Albert Chevalier ‘Wot Cher!’ 🎵 ‘Wot cher!’ all the neighbours cried, ‘Who’re yer goin’ to meet, Bill? Have yer bought the street, Bill?’.
[Scot]Eve. Post 26 Nov. 6/4: He [...] thumps a lady twice his size in the back [...] jerks out ‘Wotcher!’ and winks the under-lid of his eye as only an errand boy can.
[UK]A.N. Lyons Arthur’s 292: What-cher, boy!
[UK]‘Sax Rohmer’ Dope 137: ‘Wotcher, Sin Sin!’ he said gruffly. ‘Who’s your long pal?’.
[UK]M. Allingham Mystery Mile (1982) 320: Wotcher, Spring’eel Jack!
[UK]G. Ingram Cockney Cavalcade 230: ‘What yer, Izzy!’ Chuckles greeted the man.
[UK]G. Fairlie Capt. Bulldog Drummond 53: He went to the door and called: ‘Wotcher, Hugh!’.
[UK]G. Gibson Enemy Coast Ahead (1955) 29: Wotcha, Gibbo!
[UK]F. Norman Fings I i: Wotcher, me old son, and ’ow are we this bright and sunny mornin’?
[UK]F. Norman Guntz 20: Wotcha me old mate and ’ow’s tricks.
[UK]P. Willmott Adolescent Boys of East London (1969) 170: I’m trying to change my accent, to sound my aitches and say ‘Good evening’ instead of ‘Wotcher.’.
[UK]F. Norman Dead Butler Caper 30: ‘Wotcha, Ed,’ rasped the minder on the door.
[UK]M. Read Scouting for Boys in Best Radio Plays (1984) 149: Wotcher Baldy. We was expectin’ you.
[UK]J. Sullivan ‘Happy Returns’ Only Fools and Horses [TV script] Watchya Del!
[Scot]I. Rankin Wolfman 49: Kenny removed his hand from Samatha’s grip and held it out towards her father. ‘Wotcher.’.
[UK]K. Sampson Powder 399: Wotcha, Guy, mate!
[UK]Guardian Rev. 28 Jan. 11: Watcha mate!
[UK]M. Manning Get Your Cock Out 22: Strutter himself had even started believing he actually was an archetypal cockney guttersnipe, cor blimey wotcher Guvnor.