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A Geordie Dictionary

Selected words from Tyneside and the North East

This is a light-hearted selection of dialect words from the North East of England. Many of these words are still in current use or recalled by older dialect speakers. Most of the words featured here are familiar in the Tyneside 'Geordie' dialect but some are unique to or more prevalent in other parts of the region. For a broader look at the region's dialect and the origins of 'Geordie' see other sections of 'Roots of the Region' within this website..

The phrases highlighted in colour below are translated at the end of the page. Hev a gan yersel' forst using the dictionary then check your answers to see how you did.

Geordie phrases A


Aa'l: I will. I'll.
Aabut: Almost.
Aad: Old. From the Anglo-Saxon eald. 'Aad wife' is an old woman.
Aad Fashint: Old-fashioned.
Aakward: Awkward.
Aal: All. It can also be an earl as in 'Aall Grey's Tea', though this may also occur as 'Orl'.
Aal Reet or Aareet : Alright. Mostly used as a term of greeting in the same way as hello.
Aal Tigithor: Altogether - like the folks o' the Sheels (altogether like the people of North Shields and South Shields).
Aboon: Above.
Addle: To earn.
Afeard: Afraid.
Afore: Before, but much more common in the Scots dialect.
Agyen: Can mean again or against.
Ahint: Behind. probably from the Anglo-Saxon aethindan.
Aan or Ain: Own.
Ahaad: Ahold.
Ahungered: Hungry.
Alang: Along.
Ald: Variation of 'Aad'.
Ald Nick or Aad Nick: The Devil also known as the De'il.
Amang: Among. Anglo-Saxon origin.
Argie: Argue.
Ashet: A dish on which a pie is served. From the French 'assiette'.
Aw: I - me. As in Aw went te' Blaydon races.
Axe / Aix / Ast : Ask from the Anglo-Saxon acsian to ask.
Axle Teeth: Molars. From a Viking word joxl.
Aye: Yes. From Anglo-Saxon meaning 'ever-always'.
Ayont: Beyond. Anglo-Saxon a geont.

Geordie phrases B


Bad: Feeling unwell. "Aw's bad t'iday".
Baccy: Tobacco. As in the song Dance Ti' Thy Daddy: "Come here me little Jacky, noo hev had me baccy, let's hev a a bit o' cracky till the boat comes in". See also crack.
Bairn: A child. Anglo-Saxon (specifically Angle) and Viking word.
Bait / Bayut : Food taken to work, especially in the mining districts of Durham. From Old. Norse beita. Please note that 'Old Norse' was the early language of Scandinavia spoken by the Vikings and does not refer to an old matron from Newcastle General Hospital.
Bank: A hill.
Baste: To trash or beat.
Batts: Flat land forming an island in a river or alongside a river.
Barney: Barnard Castle. A barney might also be a fight
Bastle: A fortified farmhouse.
Baxter: A Baker.
Beck: Used in south and East Durham, Yorkshire and Cumbria. Beck is a Viking word for a stream. Becks feed the Tees, burns feed the Tyne and both feed the Wear.
Beclarted: To get dirty or mucky in the sense of needing a wash.
Beclarted.: Dirtied.
Belaa: Below.
Belang: Belong as in a native of somewhere. 'Aw belangs Jarra, aw belangs Sheels, aw belangs Sunlun, aw belangs Newcassel'.
Belta: Fantastic! Great! Often heard in the phrase 'Pure belta'.
Beor: Beer.
Beuk: A book.
Bezzums / Buzzeems: Brooms. Made from twigs and branches.
Bishop: Bishop Auckland.
Blaa: Blow.
Blaa Oot: Heavy drinking session. See also hoy.
Black and White: A Newcastle United football club supporter. See also Toon Army.
Blather / Blether: Talk nonsense. 'What ye blatherin' an aboot?' What are you talking about? From an Old Norse word blathra.
Blaydon Races: National Anthem of Tyneside.
Blather Skite: Someone who talks incessantly about nonsense.
Bleezer: Metal screen used to encourage the blaze in a coal fire.
Blinnd: Blind.
Bobby Dazla: Bonny attractive person. 'A reet Bobby Dazla'.
Bogie: A go-cart'
Boggle: A ghost or spectre.
Bonny: Beautiful, good looking. From the French bon - good.
Bonny Lad: Informal term of endearment or form of address 'Y'areet bonny lad? - 'are you well my good chap?' Address from one male to another usually to a younger male or one of similar age.
Boody: Potware or plasterware, especially an ornament of a dog.
Booler: Child's iron hoop. A toy of the kind seen in the schoolyard at Beamish Museum.
Bord: Bird.
Boro or The Boro: Middesbrough Football Club or Middlesbrough itself even though Middlesbrough is not spelled 'Middlesborough'.
Borst: Burst.
Bourn: A stream (Burn) it is an Anglo-Saxon word, but now most commonly associated with Scotland. Used in Northumberland, Tyneside and the northern part of County Durham in preference to beck. See 'Beck'. Can also mean to burn, set alight.
Bowk: Belch.
Bowld: Bold.
Brag: A goblin or sprite.
Brazen or Brazened: Bold or cheeky.
Bray: Hit, thump or beat. Old French word breier to pound.
Breed: Bread.
Breeks: Breeches (Trousers). From-Anglo-Saxon brec.
Brock: A badger.
Brokken: Broken.
Broon: Brown or Newcastle Brown Ale.
Browt: Brought.
Browt Up: Bring up - upbringing.
Bubble, Bubblin: Cry, Crying.
Buff: Naked.
Bullet: A sweet - a word of French origin.
Bullyjock: A male turkey.
Bumble Kite: Blackberry, though not of the kind you might make a call with.
Bummler: Bumble Bee.
Burn: A stream. See Bourn.
Burr (or Borr): The name given to the strange Northumbrian pronounciation of the 'R' sound.
Buss: Kiss.
But: A kind of spoken full stop or 'period'. Sentences are often ended with the word 'but'. For example, when describing someone a Geordie may say 'she's a canny lass but'. This means that she is a nice girl. It doesn't imply that there is some unspoken flaw in her chraracter that the speaker is reluctant to reveal.
Butterloggy: A Teesside and Hartlepool word for a Butterfly. From a Viking word.
Byeuts: Boots.

Geordie phrases C


Caa'or Caal: Call.
Cack: Excrement.
Cackhoose: Toilet.
Cadge: Beg. Can aw cadge a lift of ye?
Canny Toon: Old phrase describing Newcastle.
Cam: Came.
Candyman: A kind of down and out bailiff who assisted with home evictions in times past.
Canny: A very versatile word in the North East. Canny old soul - a nice old person. Canny good / Canny hard - very good or very tough. Canny job - a good job. Gan canny - go carefully. Thought to be a variation on the Scots word ken meaning to know.
Caal Carl: Call.
Card or Caad: Cold. Ice Hockey is a card game.
Carr: Marshy or waterlogged area, a word of Viking origin. Also means a rocky area but in this sense the word is of Welsh-Celtic origin.
Causey: A causeway.
Champion: Great, excellent, good, super, very good, fabulous etc.
Chare: A narrow alley in Newcastle and other North East towns. It seems to derive from a right angle shaped bend or descent as in the shape of a chair.
Charver: A rough person or ne'er do well. It's a Romany gypsy word meaning 'lad' but the North East version 'Charver' though closer to the original has lost out in popularity to the national preference for the word 'Chav'.
Cheor: Greeting as in 'Wot Cheor' - How are you today. See aslo Fettle.
Chep: A man (chap).
Chimley: Chimney.
Chine: Chain.
Chorch: Church.
Chowk: Choke.
Chuddy: Chewing gum (a Teesside word).
Claa: Claw.
Claes: Clothes - Anglo-Saxon.
Clag and Claggy: To stick and sticky.
Claggum: Treacle toffee.
Clamming: Hungry.
Clarts: Dirt or mud.
Clarty: Dirty.
Clatter: Loud noise.
Cleugh: A small ravine.
Clippy Mat: Rug made up from bits of spare material.
Clivvor: Clever.
Clobber: Clothes.
Cloot : A cloth eg a dish cloot, or to clout.
Clooty/Clootie : Cloth.
Clootie Ball: A ball made of rags for children to play with.
Coble: Small fishing boat Cloo.
Coo: A cow. 'Hoo noo broon coo.'
Corbie or Corbie Craa: A raven.
Cotterils: Money.
Cowp, Coup: To tip or overturn.
Cowp yer creels: Somersault.
Craa: Crow.
Crack: To talk from Dutch kraaken.
Cracket: A wooden stool.
Crag: Rocky outcrop.
Cree: A shed, usually a pigeon cree.
Creel: Wicker basket.
Croggy: To give a passenger a ride on the crossbar or back of a bicylce. South Durham and Teesside.
Crood: Crowd.
Croon: Crown.
Cuddy: A small horse or an affectionate name for St Cuthbert.
Cuddy's Duck: Eider duck.
Cuddy's legs: Herrings.
Cuddy Wifter: Left-handed.
Cushat: A pigeon.
Cundy: Sewer.
Cutty: Short.

Geordie phrases D


Da: Dad - father.
Dafty: Silly fool.
Daresn't: Dare Not.
Darlo: Darlington.
Darlo: Darlington.
Dede: Dead.
Dee: Do. See also Div.
Dee: Die. Divent dee but if ye dee dee leave us summick in yer will.
Dee'in: Doing. See also Div.
Deed: Dead.
Deek: Take a look at.
Deil: The devil.
Deef: Deaf.
Deer knaa: Do you know?.
Dene: Small valley, often wooded, for example Jesmond Dene in Newcastle. Denes are especially numerous on the Durham coast.
Div: Do. See also Dee. 'D'ye tyek this bonny lass to be your laaful Missus?' 'Aye aw div'
Divvent: Do not - ie Divvent dee that. Newcastle and Tyneside. Variations include dean't or dinnit in South Shields and Sunderland
Dodd: A fox - see surname section. A fox may also be called a Tod.
Dodd: A round bare hill.
Doddery, Dothery, Doddery: Shaky. The place-name Daddry Shield means shaky shelter.
Dog: A 'Bottle of Dog' is Newcastle Brown Ale.
Doggie: A nickname for the village of West Cornforth in County Durham.
Dorham: Durham - In Dorham' often means in prison - Durham Jail.
Dook: To bathe.
Doon: Down.
Dorsn't: Dare not.
Dowter: Daughter.
Doylem:An idiot.
Draas: Drawers.
Droon: Drown. Drooned and Droonded mean drowned.
Droothy: Thirsty.
Duds: Clothes.
Dugs: Breast nipples.
Dun: Yellowish-greyish brown - Dun Cow.
Dunsh or Dunch: Thump, bump or collide. 'Divvent dunsh us' : A Geordie car sticker warning to keep your distance.
Dyke: A ditch (Anglo-Saxon).

Geordie phrases E


Eee: Eye.
Eee: An exclamation of surprise or disdain. 'Eee, aw knaa', 'Eee, he nivvor!'
Eftor: After.
'Em: Them. For example 'aboot 'em' means about them. Strangely the word 'them' is sometimes used at the start of a sentence instead of the word 'those', for example 'Them players were sackless ti'day'
Eneugh: Enough.
Esh: Ash tree or fire ash.
Ettle: Intend.

Geordie phrases F


Faa: To fall, also the name of a Gypsy clan (the Faws) and a general term for a gypsy.
Faalen Wrang: Pregnant.
Fadge: A kind of loaf / girdle cake.
Fash and Fashed: To Trouble or to bother.
Fatha: Dad. Especially in County Durham. 'Me fatha's gan doon the toon'
Fell: Hill.
Femmer: Fragile or easily broken. A Viking word.
Fern: Phone.
Fernietcickles: Freckles.
Fettle: Mend fix, good condition, good health. In good fettle. Also 'What fettle the day? - how are things with you today, what's happening? Fine fettle means in good shape.
Flummixed: Stumped in an argument, gobsmacked etc. Aw wes' flummixed.
Flee: Fly. 'We flee oot on Satada'.
Foisty: Musty.
Fond: Silly. Fond fyeul - a silly fool.
Fond of a treat: Dicing with danger or difficulty.
Force: Waterfall in Teesdale and Yorkshire but not in Weardale or Northumberland.
Footie: Game of football.
Forry: Ferry. 'Aw catched the varry forst forry'.
Forst: First.
Fower: Four.
Fyeul or Feul: Fool.
Frae: From. The same as in Scots but much rarer in North East England.
Frozzen: Freezing, feeling cold. 'A'm frozzen'.

Geordie phrases G


Ganny: Grandmother.
Gaumless: Stupid or useless. A Norse word.
Gadgie: An old man, any man or an official of some kind. Word of Romany gypsy origin. An aad Gadgie is an old man.
Gaff: Old theatre or cinema. A cheap theate was called a 'penny gaff' or flea pit.
Galloway or Gallowa': Pony.
Gallusses: Braces (for trousers).
Gan: Go. From the Anglo Saxon and Viking word for go.
Gan Canny: Go carefully. Take care.
Gang: Variation of 'Gan', see above.
Gannin: Going - Gannin' alang the Scotswood Road to see the Blaydon Races.
Ganny: Grandmother. Especially Sunderland and also South Shields.
Ganzie: A jumper / sweater.
Garth: Yard or Garden. 'Haad on ma, aw's wetchin Garth Crooks on the telly'...'Nee bether, aboot time they catched those gnome thieves'.
Gate: Usually means 'way' or 'street' often found in older North East street names like Gallowgate, Bondgate, Gilesgate. 'Gan yer ain gate' means go your own way. As in the well-knaan Fleetwood Mac sang 'Ye can gan yer ain gate'.
Geet: Geet. very or great. 'Geet walla' means very big.
Getten: Got. 'Aw's been getten a new fern' - I've got a new phone. Ooo!
Geordie: A native of Tyneside and especially Newcastle. Historically seems to have been a term for a North East pitman and not just those from Newcastle. See the Geordie section of this website.
Gie: Give. See also Give.
Gill: A ravine.
Girn: Grimace or grin.
Gissy: Pig.
Give: Given. 'It was give to us.
Give Ower or Gie Ower: Stop doing that, it's annoying.
Glaky: Awkward or slow in wit.
Glee Ee: Squinty.
Gliff: A fright.
Glower: Glare or to gaze in wonder.
Gob: Mouth also known as a mooth.
Good: Well, healthy. 'Aw's good thanks'.
Googley: Staring, rolling prominent eyes.
Goosegog: Gooseberry.
Gowk: A fool, a cuckoo (the bird) or also a core as in an apple core.
Gox: God. As in Begox - By God.
Grand-Da: Grandfather, especially in Durham but could also be Grandfatha'.
Grund: Ground.
Gulley: A large knife.
Gyet: Gate or way, road etc.
Gyetsid, Gyetside: Gateshead.
Gyezend: Thirsty.

Geordie phrases


Haad: Hold can also occur as haud.
Haad yer pash: Be patient.
Hacky: Dirty. 'Me spade's hacky'.
Hadaway: Get away - you're having me on. Thought to derive from a naval term.
Hadden: Get a hold of it.
Haipeth: Half Penny.
Hanky: Handkerchief.
Hard: Heard.
Hardlies: Rarely, scarcely. 'A'wve hardlies bin thor.
Harrin': Herring.
Hather: Heather also known as ling.
Haugh: Pronounced Hoff or Harf - flat riverside land eg Derwenthaugh, Blakehopeburnhaugh.
the lads' is chanted at Newcastle United football matches. Howay is Tyneside.
Haway: A Sunderland phrase of encouragement usually including a mysteriously places apostrophe as in ha'way. The word is the Wearside variation of Howay (which see also) meaning 'come on' - 'Ha'way the lads is often hear at Sunderland football matches.
Heor: Here.
Heugh: A spur-shaped hill or promontory such as that at Hartlepool or Tynemouth or Segger Heugh.
Hev: Have. 'Te' hev and te' haad'.
Hewer: Coal miner who works at the coalface.
Hinny: Honey - a term of endearment. 'Y'areet hinny?'
Hoggers: Pitmen's trousers.
Holm: Island in a river or dry land surrounded by marshy land, river meadow.
Hookie mat: Home-made mat.
Honkers: On your haunches. Was a popular resting/sitting stance of North East miners.
Hoos: House.
Hope: A side valley, esepcially in the dales of Northumberland and Durham for example Hedleyhope.
Horts: Hurts.
Hes or Hez: Has.
Hoppings: A fair or dance from the Anglo-Saxon word hoppen meaning fair. The Toon Moor Hoppings are held in Newcastle.
Hor: Her.
How: A call for someone to pay attention, be alert. 'How Man!'.
Howay: An encouraging phrase from Tyneside meaning 'come on' - 'Howay the lads' is chanted at Newcastle United football matches. Howay is Tyneside. See also Haway
Hoy: Throw. Gannin' on the Hoy is to go out drinking - hoyin' beors doon yer neck.
Howk: Scratch.
Hoyin' Oot: Throwing out, or pub closure time.
Hunkers: Sitting on haunches, a favourite mode of rest for the pitmen.
Hyem or Yem,  Hame: Home. Scandinavian origin. More rarely occurs as 'hame' but that word is more common in Scotland. 'Aw's gan yem' means I'm going home.

Geordie Dictionary

Geordie phrases


I Says, Aw says: I Said.
Ing: Meadow or pasture.
Intiv: Into.
Iv: Of.
Ivvor: Ever.

Geordie phrases J


Jaa, Jar: Jaw.
Jarra: Jarrow.
Jaa Breaker: A long, difficult word.
Jedart Laa: Jedburgh Law. A kind of rough justice once administered in the Borders. Means to hang first and then have the trial later. Jedart is a local name for the town of Jedburgh just over in Scotland.
Jinny Spinner: Cranefly, also known as a Daddy-long-legs.
Joon: June.

Geordie phrases K


Kale: Cabbage or a kind of broth.
Keek: To peep.
Keeker: A mine inspector.
Keel: A boat for carrying coal to ships in the river and operated by Keelmen.
Kep: Catch.
Kip: Sleep.
Ket: Rubbish, offal or waste, see also Ket(s) below. From a Viking word for waste meat.
Ket(s): Kids sweets especially in Durham probably derived from the above because they were considered bad for you.
Kidda(r): A term of endearment for a young man or a brother.
Kiff: Very good.
Kist: A chest.
Kitty: Prison.
Knaa: To Know.
Knack or knacks: Hurts.
Knackers: Pieces of wood used by North East folk musicians like castanets.
Kye: Cows, cattle.
Kyek: Cake.

Geordie phrases L


Laa: Low, law or a hill (a law).
Lad: Boy.
Lads: Blokes or young men.
Laidly: Loathsome.
Laik: To play.
Lang: Long - Anglo Saxon word.
Lap: Wrap.
Larn: To Teach or to learn. Anglo-Saxon word. Larn yersel' means teach yourself.
Lashins: Plenty, lots usually in relation to food or drink.
Lass: A woman or young girl, from a Scandinavian word laskr.
Laverock/Laverick: A skylark.
Law (or Laa): A hill.
Leazes: Pasture land belonging to a town.
Lee: Lie.
Liggies: Testicles. Also marbles (glass balls used in the game of marbles).
Like: A word often placed at the end of a sentence as a kind of verbal full stop. That's it, like. Aa knaa what yer mean, like.
Ling: Heather.
Linn: Waterfall in Weardale or Northumberland or the pool at the base of it.
Linty: A wren or a linnet (bird). 'He was off like a linty' means he made a quick getaway.
Lonnen: A lane or track.
Lop: A flea.
Lough: Lakes in Northumberland are called Loughs pronounced Loff.
Louse: To release something.
Loup or Lowp: Leap.
Lug: Ear.
Lum: Chimney.

Geordie phrases M


Ma: Mother.
Mam: Mother. The preferred northern term for Mum (or for Americans Mom).
Mac: Make, especially in the Sunderland area.
Mac' N' Tac: Alternative term for a native of Sunderland. See Mackem.
Mackem: A native of Sunderland Probably referring to shipbuilders - 'We mackem, ye tackem' For a full explanation view this page on Sunderland mackems.
Mags: Magpies - a Sunderland football club supporters' term for a Newcastle United fan.
Magpies: Nickname for Newcastle United Football Club, who play in black and white.
Mair: More.
Maist: Most.
Maistor: A mine owner (master).
Man: Frequently used as a form of address. Divvent dee that man, howay man - even when talking to a woman.
Marra: A friend or workmate particularly in the collieries. Sometimes but more rarely pronounced 'marrow'.
Mask: To mask is the process of making/infusing tea.
Mazer: An eccentric who is impressive in an odd sort of way.
Me: My.
Mebbees or Maivies: Maybe, Perhaps because...
Mell: Myself. 'Aw'l dee it mesel'.
Mesel': A Baker.
Micey: Gannin mad, mentally.
Midden: Dung heap, a heap of muck.
Midgee: Gnat.
Mind: As versatile a word as canny. Can be short for 'remind' as in 'mind me on'. Or a a light warning. 'Mind yer divvennt faa in the snaa'. A heavier warning often begins with 'Aw've a good mind te...' followed by the chosen threat of a specific punishment or action that the speaker would like to employ, but very rarely does. Can also be used in more typical fashion in place of however, nevertheless. 'Aw'll be cross mind' or as a more friendly reassurance, 'Aw divvent mind, mind'.
Mingin: Smelly, disgusting.
Mint: Great, excellent, good, super, very good, fabulous etc.
Mint: Meant.
Missus: The Missus - the wife.
Mizzle: Slight rain, drizzle.
Monkey's Blood: Sweet red fruit sauce used as topping for ice cream cornets.
Monkey Hanger: A native or Hartlepool.
Montakitty: A kind of school playground game that was once popular. Involves jumping on backs. Probably from 'Mount the Cuddy'. See Cuddy.
Mo/Mow: A moment.
Mooth: Mouth. She hez a gob like the mooth o' the Tyne.
Mortal: Drunk. also 'Mortalious.
Mosstrooper: An old name for the Border Reivers.
Mozzy: Mosquito.
Myek: Make.

Geordie phrases N


Nah or Na: No.
Neb: Nose.
Neenth: Ninth.
Nee: No - as in 'nee good luck' or 'nee bother' but not as a word in its own when replying in the negative. In these instances 'nah', 'na' or 'no' are used.
Neebody: Nobody.
Neenth: Ninth.
Neet: Night.
Netty: Toilet especially an outside toilet. From the word necessary. More rarely occurs as 'Nessy'.
Newcassel: Correct local pronunciation of Newcastle.
Neuk: Nook.
Nicker: To snigger.
Niest: Next.
Nigh: Near.
Nipperty-Tipperty: Silly, frivolous.
Nivvor: Never.
No Place: A village in County Durham (See Places).
Nobbut: Nothing but. 'Yer nobbut a...'
Noo: Now. 'Aw knaa whe ye are noo'.
Nooled: Broken-spirited, knocked down, under the thumb. "Divint nool him" - "Don't keep him under your thumb."
Nowther: Neither.
Nowt or Noot: Nothing.
Nowther: Neither.
Nyem: Name.
Nyen: None.

Geordie phrases O


Oilin' His Wig: Drinking heavily.

Oor: Our. See also Wor.
Oot: Out - Anglo-Saxon word. Compare to the Dutch utgang (out go- exit).
Ower: Over.
Oxters: Armpits.

Geordie phrases P


Paanshap or Panshop: Pawn shop.
Pace Egg: Decorated egg at Easter.
Paddock: A frog or toad.
Pallatic: Drunk.
Panhaggerty: A meat and potato dish.
Pant: A drinking fountain.
Pap: Breast or Nipple. In Sunderland there are two adjacent hills called the Maiden Paps historically used by sailors for navigation.
Pele : Fortified tower in the Borders. Pronounced 'peel' and not like the Brazilian footballer.
Penker: A small egg. Also a large marble (in the game of marbles).
Peppered: Exhausted.
Pet: A term of endearment. 'Why-aye pet'.
Peth: A road up a hill.
Pike: The top of a conical hill.
Pitch N' Toss: Chance gambling game once popularly played by miners and other North East workers, similar tow quoits played with coins that were thrown at a piece of old pot or other item.
Pitman: Coal Miner sometimes also called Pit Yackers.
Pitmatic: The dialect of coal miners in the North East.
Pity Me: A village in County Durham (See Places).
Ploat: To pluck feathers.
Plodge: To wade into water.
Pluff: Plough.
Poliss: Policeman.
Poolies: People from Hartlepool.
Poss: To wash clothes - beaten with a possstick.
Prog: To prick.
Proggy mat: Home made rug.
Proppa: Proper. Often used for the word 'real', or 'really'.
Pund: A pound.
Putters: Young boys who pushed wheeled coal tubs underground.
Pyet: Head.


Queer: Odd or strange. 'Queer gannins' on - odd things are happening.

Geordie phrases


Raa: Row as in row of houses.
Red and White: A Sunderland football club supporter. Also known as Mackems.
Reed: Red.
Radgie: In a rage. 'Radgie gadgie' is an enraged gentleman
Reet: Right.
Rieve: To plunder. See the Border Reivers.
Roo: Row as in an argument.
Roondy: Household coal.

Geordie phrases


Sackless: Stupid or hopeless.
Sair: Sore.
Sand Dancer: A native of South Shields.
Sand Shoes: Gym Shoes.
Sang: A song.
Sark: A shirt.
Sartin: Certain.
Scran: Food.
Scranchin': Pork Scratchings.
Scunner: An aversion or dislike.
Segger: A nickname for the town of Sacriston in County Durham.
Sel': Self.
Seun: Soon.
Sex: Things that they keep coal in in the Ashington area (sacks).
Shiel: A shelter.
Shields: North Shields and South Shields.
Shoot: Shout.
Shool: Shovel.
Short: A shirt. A short shirt could be called a short-short or a cutty sark (see cutty and sark). 'Short short n shorts' means a short short shirt and short trousers.
Shuggy Boat: Large old-fashioned fairground ride rather like a large see-saw.
Sic: Such.
Singin' Hinnie: A kind of cake.
Skeet: A guiding runner for an elevator-like colliery cage shaft.
Skemmy: A poor quality homing pigeon.
Skep: Basket.
Skeul: School.
Skilly: Gruel or porridge.
Skinch: Truce in childrens' playground games.
Skitters: Diarrhoea.
Slake: Mud flat, most notably that at Jarra.
Slavver: Drool and dribble.
Slivver: A thin strip.
Smoggies: A native of Middlesbrough or anyone from Teesside.
Snaa: Snow.
Sneck: The latch on a door.
Snob: Shoemaker.
Snook: A nose-shaped headland.
Snout: Snout.
Sooth: South.
Sparra: A sparrow, see also spuggy.
Spelk: A splinter in the finger etc. Called a Spell in the Teesside area.
Spice Kyek: Tea cake.
Spuggy: A sparrow.
Staithes: A pier for loading coal onto ships.
Stane: Stone.
Stang: A pole.
Straa: Straw.
Stob: A stump or post.
Stot: Bounce.
Stottie or Stottie Kyek: A kind of flat cake-like bread.
Strang: Strong.
Strite: Straight.
Summick or Summat: Something.
Sweer: Obstinate.

Geordie phrases T


Taak: Talk.
Tab: A cigarette.
Tak': Take. Especially Sunderland and Durham.
Tatie: Potato.
Te': To.
Telt: Told. 'Dee as yer telt' - do as you're told
Teem: Pour.
The Day: Today. 'How are ye the day?' Also Ti'day.
Thor: There, They're and Their.
Thorsda:Thursday which was of course was quite literally Thor's day for the Vikings and Saxons.
Thowt: Thought.
Thrang: Throng.
Thrum: Purring sound.
Tiv: To.
To Rets or Te Reets: Keep something in order, put it right.
Toon: Town. Especially Newcastle upon Tyne. Anglo-Saxon pronunciation of the word.
Toon Army: Newcastle United football fans.
Tret, Tretten: Treated.
Trod: A footpath.
Twist: Moan or Cry, also Twisty, a moaning, complaining mood.
Tyek, Tyeuk: Take, Took.
Tyke: A Yorkshireman or a dog.

Geordie phrases U


Unbeknaan: Without knowledge of.

Up: See hope.
Urchin: Hedgehog.
Us: Me.

Geordie phases V


Varnigh: Very nearly.
Varry: Very.
Vennel: A narrow alley in Durham.

Geordie phrases W


Waak: Walk.
Wag: Playing the wag is playing truant.
Wark: Work.
Warrn'd: Aw warrn'd - I suppose.
Watter: Water.
Wes: Was.
Wesh: Wash.
Wey: Geordie spelling and pronunciation of the interjection "well" as in "wey ye knaa" (well, you know) or "wey-aye" (well yes). Often also an expression of disdain "Wey its nee use at aal".
Wey-Aye: An emphatic exclamation of reply meaning "Well Yes, of course!" occasionally coupled with the word 'man' as in the perceived archetypal Geordie phrase "Wey-Aye Man" that is most often overused by novice Geordie imitators.
Whe : Who. Now often mockingly associated with Sunderland as in the phrase 'whe's keys are these?' but evidence particularly from old songs shows it was prevalent in Tyneside too.
Whisht !: Be quiet See the Lambton Worm.
Why-Aye: Misspelling and mispronunciation of Wey-Aye or Whey-Aye (See Wey-Aye).
Wi' : With.
Wife: A woman, whether married or not Wife was used in this sense by the Anglo-Saxons.
Wiv or Wid: With.
Wor: Used mostly on Tyneside and usually pronounced 'wuh'. The word originally meant 'our' and that is still the predominant use. 'Wor lass' means our missus (my wife, my girlfriend) when a chap is referring to his partner.  Wor has become more versatile and can also mean me/us. 'Are you coming with wuh?' Are you coming with us/me. Wor is from the Anglo-Saxon word 'oor' meaning 'our' but the w has crept into speech naturally. In Scotland they use the older pronunciation 'oor' as the Scots are generally - and ironically - much more fluent in Anglo-Saxon than the English.
Workie or Workie Ticket: Someone trying to cause trouble or annoy by working their ticket. A wind-up merchant.
Worm: Pronounced 'warm' on Tyneside. A dragon, or wyvern as in North East legends like the Lambton Worm, Sockburn Worm and Laidley Worm. It is either Old German - wyrm, wurm or Scandinavian - orm - (without the w).
Wot Cheor: Hello - a greeting.
Wrang: Incorrect (Wrong).
Wynd: A narrow street in Darlington or Yarm. Also found in towns in Scotland.


X: Eggs (ex). Aw knaa, mebbes not but it seems a shame to leave the X oot. Probably shouldn't include this - unless laid by a clutch of straw hens. Hoo about ex for axe as in 'ask' in Ashington or a posh Geordie? Aw knaa. Aw'll keep trying but .

Geordie phrases Y


Yakker: A worker usually a pitman.

Yall: Ale.
Ye: You or your.
Yem: Home.
Yen: One.
Yersel': Yourself.


Zebra: Dress code for a regular fancy dress theme party attended by 50,000 paying guests in Newcastle on Saturday afternoons.

Translations and explanations - we hope

A - Aareet bonny lad / lass? :

Hello, are you keeping well sir / madam?

B - Bubblin' bairn's booler's brokken :

Crying child's metal toy hoop is broken. Oh Bless her. Tho' hoo she brok it aw divvent knaa. It's myed of iron.

C - Candyman's clarty claes :

A bailiff's down and out helper, a bum-bailiff who evicted people from their homes in strikes (in times past). This particular Candyman seems to have had dirty clothes. Not unusual. Nothing sweet aboot 'em.

D - Da's duds divvent dee :

Father's clothes are not acceptable.Change into summick mair suitable fatha.

E - Eee me eee horts  :

Oh! my eye is hurting. Eee ye soonds bad.

F - Feul, frozzen on a fell wi'oot a fern  :

A foolish person getting rather cold on a remote hill without a cell phone.

G - Glaky aad gadgies gan canny in galluses  :

Slow-witted old men going on their way rather carefully wearing trouser braces. Keep on going gentlemen.

H - Howay hinny hoy oot yer haipeths :

Come on my dear throw away your old half-pennies (they're no longer legal currency - haven't been for years).

I - Ivvor and ivvor and ivvor : :

Ever and ever and ever (tigithor, perhaps like the folks o' the Shiels).

J - Jinny Spinner in Jarra in Joon :

A cranefly, also known as a Daddy-Long-Legs, found in the town of Jarrow in the month of June. Note to naturalists: It should be pointed out that craneflies can be found in any part of the region - or the country for that matter - during the summer months. This is not a reference to a unique species of Daddy-Long-Legs found only in Jarrow in that particular month. It is merely a demonstration of how to string Geordie words together to form a phrase. So you can put away your nets and safari hats.

K - Ket kets have brok me jaa :

Eating rubbish sweets (candy) has broken my teeth / jaw.

L - Laik in the ling on the laa :

Play in the heather on the hill. It's something your pet dog might especially enjoy doing. Fido will have loads of fun frolicking on the Fell.

M - Me mazer ma's mebbes mortal :

My mad, rather eccentric but amazing mother is possibly more than a little bit drunk.

N - Nivvor knaa noot aboot me neet oot :

I can never remember anything about my night out.

O - Ower and Oot :

Over and Out. You see it's easy!

P - Pallatic pant plodging :

Wading into a fountain after too much to drink. Noo it's coming back to me.

R - Reivers roo ower roondys in the raa :

Plunderers, raiders or robbers having an argument over household coal in a terraced row of pit cottages. Alternatively they could literally be 'in the raw' - which would mean they were arguing in the buff. It's not altogether unlikely that it was in 'the altogether' given the supposed, but unverified tradition, that in times past people kept coal in the bathtub in particular parts of the region. Note to naturists: Arguing in the buff in a public place in the region, even on the subject of household coal, is likely to get you arrested.

S - Sartin summick aboot the sooth :

There's a certain something about the South. Well there is isn't there?

T - Thor thor ivvory Thorsda' taakin in the toon :

They're there every Thursday, talking in the town. Who is? Don't ask me, I never get into town on a Thursday.

U - Us on me ain :

Me on my own. I know it's very sad isn't it?

V - Varnigh axed hor oot :

Very nearly asked a girl out on a date but I didn't. I know, this is becoming sadder by the minute. You might even say a tragedy. 'Hor' by the way means 'her' and is not a reference to any particular kind of profession. Just to be clear.

W - Whisht! Why-Aye, aw wes wi' wor lass :

Shhh! be quiet! Yes of course I was with my girlfriend. Honest. You can axe her if you like but please, please, be absolutely sure you have a complete grasp of the dialect before you do or things could get messy. Very messy.

Y - Ye hev yersel a yall at yem :

Chill and have yourself a nice relaxing drink of ale in the comfort of your own home.Ye knaa wot, aw will. Aw think aa'l dee that noo. On second thowts, it's gettin' late. Aw's off to bed instead. Neet Neet hinny.

Z - zzzzzzzzzzz:

'Geordie' origins | Geordie Dictionary | 'Mackems' and Jamies

Border Reivers: Robsons, Armstrongs, Charltons... | Surnames | Place-Names


Aal Aboot Geordie by David Simpson

ISBN 978-1901888744

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