It’s been described by linguists as one of the most difficult accents to mimic and considering that director Ken Loach’s latest film – the Newcastle-set I, Daniel Blake starring Wallsend-born actor-comedian Dave Johns – recently required both French and English subtitles at its Cannes Festival screening so audiences could understand, it’s quite possibly one of the most confusing regional dialects in the UK too.

Yet at the same time, the Geordie accent has been hailed in various surveys as one of the friendliest in the country, and by our brethren across the pond as the UK’s most intelligent sounding. Not to mention it’s been classed as one of our nation’s most resilient, unchanging dialects even in the face of increasing travel and cultural influences thanks to our strong regional identity.

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All things considered, it looks like the Geordie accent isn’t going anywhere anytime soon, but thankfully here at I Love Newcastle we’ve put together a handy Geordie jargon buster for those not familiar with our local patter. So, whether you’re a first-time visitor or a more permanent transplant having trouble understanding what on earth we’re talking about, get ye heed doon and soon enough you’ll be talking like a local yersel’, pet.

The Definitive Geordie Phrase Book

First up, some of the basics. If you’re going to get to grips with the Geordie dialect, there’s a few words you need to know off the bat. These words sound kind of similar to what we’d call ‘propa English’, but have their own unique Geordie pronunciation. Here’s I Love Newcastle Magazine’s definitive Geordie phrase book:

Aad/Ald – old Me – my
An’ all – as well, also Mebbees – maybe
Aye – yes Mesel’ – myself
Da – dad, father Nar/nee – no
Dee, Deein’ – do, doing Neet/the neet – night/tonight
Deed – dead Nowt – nothing
Divvent – don’t Oot – out
Doon – down Owa – over
Gan, gannin’, ganna – go, going, going to Reet – right
Heed – head Wor – our
Knaa – know Ya/Ye – you, your
Lad – man, boy Yersel’ – yourself
Ma/Mam – mum, mother

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Now you know the essentials, it’s time to delve into the nitty-gritty of the Geordie vernacular. With a bit of practise, you’ll be able to tell the difference between a ‘gadgie’ and a ‘radgie’ and when a ‘how, man’ or ‘howay, man’ might be more appropriate in a social situation.

Phrase Meaning

 

Usage
Alreet? Alright? Often used as a greeting in place of ‘hello, how are you?’

 

Alreet pet, where ye gannin’?
Bairn A child. The bairn’s having a propa radgie.

 

Bait Food. In particular a packed lunch taken to work.

 

Roll on dinnertime, I’m propa clamming for me bait.
Belta Excellent! Great! Often prefixed with ‘purely’ as in ‘purely belta’.

 

The match was purely belta, man!
Bobby dazzla Like the rest of the UK, bobby dazzla can mean an attractive person but in Newcastle it also means a person who has a very high opinion of themselves.

 

Look at him with his man bun, he’s a reet bobby dazzla.
Bonny Pretty or good-looking.

 

She’s a propa bonny lass.
Bonny lad A term of endearment used to address a fellow male.

 

Alreet, bonny lad?
Broon The colour brown. Also a nickname for one of the region’s most famous exports, Newcastle Brown Ale.

 

Give us a bottle o’ broon, mate.
Bubble To cry, shed tears.

 

 

The end of Titanic has me bubbling every time.
Cadge To beg. Can I cadge a fiver off ye, marra?

 

Canny A versatile Geordie word meaning either very, good or nice.

 

He’s a canny canny lad.
Charva A localised version of the word ‘chav’, which the Oxford Dictionary describes as a ‘young lower-class person’ with ‘brash and loutish behaviour’. Can usually be recognised by their love of tracksuits and happy hardcore.

 

That charva owa there’s having a propa radgie.
Clamming Very hungry, ravenous. Is me scran ready yet? I’m propa clamming!

 

Clarts/Clarty Muddy, dirty. Take ye shoes off! They’re propa clarty!

 

Class Very good.

 

Newcastle’s a class city.
Craic scandal/gossip/goings on How bonny lad, what’s the craic like?
Dee as ya telt Do as you’re told. Listen to ye mam and dee as ya telt.

 

Deek A quick look or peek at something. Have a deek at this gadgie having a radgie, man.

 

Doylem An idiot.

 

Eeee pet, you’re a propa doylem.

 

Eeee An exclamation usually used at the start of a sentence to indicate surprise, derision or sometimes just for the hell of it.

 

Eeee man, you’ll never guess who I saw in toon today.
Gadgie An adult male, usually of a certain vintage.

 

Me da’s turning into a propa ald gadgie.
Gan canny Be careful or take care, usually said as a farewell. Kind of like a Geordie version of ‘bon voyage’.

 

Gan canny, bonny lad.
Geet Very.

 

She’s geet lush, wor lass.
Geet walla Very big. There’s a geet walla queue at the bar.

 

Get wrong Be reprimanded, get told off. Usually by someone in a position of authority, like your mam.

 

I got wrong off me mam for rolling in mortal at 4 a.m.
Giz a bag o’ crisps Thought to have first been uttered in a McEwan’s beer advert from yesteryear starring Alun Armstrong, this handy phrase is used as a way of saying ‘no thanks, mate’, usually to assert that you don’t fancy someone.

 

What de ye think of that lad? …

Giz a bag o’ crisps, man.

Gob Mouth, oral orifice.

 

Shut ye gob, ye doylem.
Hacky Dirty.

 

She’s giving us a reet hacky look.

 

Had ya pash Have patience, take your time.

 

Had ya pash, pet!
Haddaway Not to be confused with the Trinidadian-German musician of the same name responsible for the purely belta ‘90s hit What Is Love, haddaway in the Geordie sense is used to convey disbelief. It, and its more vulgar companion ‘haddaway and sh*te’, are particularly useful for dealing with people talking a load of rubbish.

 

Haddaway, man. There’s nee way ye catching the last Metro now.
Hinny A term of endearment usually reserved for wives, girlfriends and other such female companions.

 

Eeee, hinny. Ye looking propa bonny the neet.
How, man A gentle but firm Geordie warning. Kind of like a North Eastern ‘now, now’.

 

How, man, divvent be winding us up.
Howay, man! Another versatile Geordie expression used to encourage someone or get them to hurry up, as in ‘come on!’. ‘Howay the lads’ can often be heard echoing from the hallowed grounds of St James Park on match days.

 

Howay, man! Let’s get another bottle o’ broon before last orders.
Howk To pick or scratch at something.

 

How, man, divvent howk ya neb!

 

Hoy To throw or pass something. Also has a few alcohol related meanings with phrases like ‘gannin’ on the hoy’ (going out for a few drinks) and ‘hoy up’ (to vomit, usually after a night on the hoy).

 

Hoy us the remote, hinny. There’s Auf Wiedersehen Pet reruns on UKTV Gold.
Kets Sweets, usually the variety you’d find in a ten pence mix up.

 

How, man! Get ye mitts off me kets!
Kidda/Kid Another term of endearment. Can be used to refer to pretty much anyone, not necessarily a child of one of your own children.

 

Alreet, wor kid?
Knack/knacking Hurts, causes pain. Were ye on the lash last night, kid? … Aye, me head’s propa knacking.

 

Like Kind of like a verbal punctuation mark.

Often used at the end of a sentence.

 

It was a canny good match, like.
Lush Rather than a term used to refer to somebody who likes the booze a little too much, lush in the Geordie sense means someone who is very good-looking.

 

Wor lad’s propa lush, like.
Magpies The official nickname for Newcastle United, so named for their black and white strips.

 

Did ye watch the Magpies trounce Sunderland on derby day?
Man A form of address that can confusingly be used for both men and women.

 

Howay man, woman, man!
Marra Quite a controversial term in any Geordie dictionary as its roots seem to be in the rival territory of Sunderland, but it’s used widely across the North East. Means friend or work colleague.

 

Fancy a pint, marra?
Mint Brilliant! Fantastic! I had a propa mint neet oot on Saturday.

 

Monkey’s blood No, we’re not a bunch of monkey murdering marauders in the North East. Rather, monkey’s blood refers to the raspberry flavoured sauce used as a topping and usually dished out from ice cream vans.

 

Hoy a bit monkey’s blood on me 99 will ye mate?
Mortal Very drunk. Eeee, man. I was propa mortal last neet.

 

Nappa Head.

 

Me nappa’s propa knacking.
Neb/Nebby Nose/nosy.

 

Eeee, she’s a propa nebby ald gadgie.

 

Netty A toilet, usually of the outdoor or public variety. Made famous in local artist Robert Olley’s Westoe Netty painting.

 

Where’s ye netty, pet? I’ve had a few too many bottles o’ broon!
On ya honkas To crouch on all fours. What ye deein’ doon there on ya honkas, hinny?

 

Paggered Very tired, exhausted.

 

Eeee, I’m propa paggered man.
Pallatic Another term for being very inebriated. Did ye see the clip of us on Saturday neet? I was pallatic!

 

Pan haggerty A dish of local origin consisting of potatoes, onion and cheese.

 

I’m propa clamming, shall I whip us up some pan haggerty?
Pease pudding A savoury paste made with boiled split peas and ham stock. Usually best stuffed in a stottie (see below) with a slice of ham.

 

Me mam makes a mean pease pudding.
Pet Another term of endearment. Eeee, pet! Ye looking canny bonny the neet.

 

Plodge To paddle or wade in water.

 

Let’s gan for a plodge in the sea.
Propa Very, really, very much so.

 

Yer a propa canny lad, man, like.
Radgie A temper tantrum, or a generally aggressive and reprehensible type.

 

The bairn’s having a full on radgie.
Scran Food. Make us some scran, lad. I’m clamming!

 

Scratcha Bed. Cannot wait for me scratcha, I’m paggered!

 

Set-a-had To set on fire. I’ll set-a-had to this cooker if me pan haggerty doesn’t come out reet!

 

Shuggy boat A fairground ride similar to a swing boat. Pretty old-fashioned these days and mostly confined to Beamish. Mam! Give us a couple of tokens so I can gan on the shuggy boats!

 

Shy bairns get nowt A popular local saying meaning ‘if you don’t ask, you don’t get’. De ye think I should ask that lass oot? … Wey aye man, shy bairns get nowt.

 

Singing hinny A sweet local treat similar to a scone. De ye fancy a singing hinny, hinny?

 

Spelk A splinter in one’s finger. This spelk in me finger’s propa knacking!

 

Stot To throw or bounce off something. Shut ye gob or I’ll stot a stottie off ye heed.

 

Stottie Also known as a ‘stottie cake’, a stottie is a delicious, geet walla bread bun perfect for making sandwiches.

 

Mint! I’ve got a ham and pease pudding stottie for me bait!
Summat/Summick Something. Ye got summat stuck in ye teeth, marra.

 

The lash To go out with the intention of getting rather drunk. Are ye gannin’ oot on the lash the neet?

 

Toon Newcastle upon Tyne itself. Also a nickname for Newcastle United. I’m gannin’ to the toon to see the Toon, pet.

 

Twock To steal, pinch. Apparently a slang form of the police acronym TWOC, standing for ‘taken without consent’.

 

Some radgie’s just twocked me stotties!
Up a height Emotional, upset. Wor lass is up a height cos I ate all the stotties.

 

Wey aye, man An expression of agreement like ’yes, of course’. Used when a simple ‘aye’ just won’t suffice.

 

Are we gannin’ to the pub, bonny lad? … Wey aye, man!
Workyticket An annoying or naughty person. The bairn’s being a propa workyticket cos I won’t let him have any kets.

 

Worldie A rather new addition to the Geordie vocabulary introduced by those young whippersnappers on Geordie Shore. Means a very attractive woman.

 

I’m ganna pull a worldie on the lash the neet!
Ye knaa You know. Like ‘man’ and ‘like’, it’s often used to randomly punctuate a sentence.

 

Ye knaa, like, man.
Yem Home. Also pronounced ‘hyem’. I’m gannin’ yem, I’m propa paggered.

 

If you have any phrases that you wish to add, I Love Newcastle Magazine would love to hear about them below:

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