Geordie Dictionary | Dialect Roots | Mackems | Surnames | Reivers | Place-Names

Geordie Dictionary : I-L

Selected words from Tyneside and the North East

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 Words A-B | C-E | F-H | I-L | M-Q | R-T | U- Z 

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.
Jabs: Gym shoes.
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.

Jarra Chorch

Above: The chorch at Jarra.

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.
Knackered: Tired, exhausted, weshed oot.
Kye: Cows, cattle.
Kyek: Cake.

Geordie phrases L


Laa: Low, law or a hill (a law).
Lad: Boy.
Lad(s): Bloke(s) or young men/man.

Laddie: Variation on lad.
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.

Translations and explanations - we hope

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.

Geordie Words A-B | C-E | F-H | I-L | M-Q | R-T | U- Z

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

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


Aal Aboot Geordie by David Simpson

ISBN 978-1901888744

Available from Amazon

Buy this book from Amazon here


Gan Yem (Home)

Search England's North East

North East England

North East England



Ancestry Giftpack