- Above: Bede would have understood many of the words still used in the North East dialect to this day. This is a dictionary of words used in various parts of Northumberland and Durham, but especially those used in the ‘Geordie’ speech of Newcastle and Tyneside.
- Go here for an explanation of the origins of the North Eastern dialect
Aad: Old – from the Anglo-Saxon Eald – Aad Wife
Ald: Variation of Aad
Ald Nick: The Devil
Amang: Among – of Anglo-Saxon origin
Aw: I – me as in Aw went te Blaydon races
Axe: Ask from the Anglo-Saxon Acsian to ask.
Bairn: A child – Anglo-Saxon and Viking
Bait: Food taken to work
Bank: A hill
Barney: Barnard Castle
Beck: Used only in south Durham, Yorkshire and Cumbria. A Viking word for a stream.
Beuk: A book
Bishop: Bishop Auckland
Blaa Oot: Heavy drinking session
Black and White: A Newcastle United football club supporter (See also Toon Army)
Blaydon Races: National Anthem of Tyneside
Boggle: A ghost or spectre.
Bonny: Beautiful – from the French Bon
Boro/The Boro: Middesbrough Fooball Club or Middlesbrough itsef. Note Middlesbrough is not spelt Middlesborough
Bourn: A stream (Burn) actually an Anglo-Saxon word, but now most commonly associated with Scotland. Used in Northumberland and the northern part of County Durham
Breeks: Brreches (Trousers).
Broon: Brown or Newcastle Brown Ale
Bullet: A sweet – a word of French origin.
Burn: See Bourn.
Burr: The name given to the strange Northumbrian pronounciation of the R sound
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.
Canny: A Versatile word. Canny old soul – a nice old person. Canny good Canny hard – very good or very tough. Canny job – a good job. Poosibly a variation on the Scots word Ken meaning to know.
Chare: A narrow alley in Newcastle
Claes: Clothes – Anglo-Saxon
Clarts: Dirt or mud
Cloot: A cloth eg a dish cloot, or to clout.
Coo: A cow
Crack: To talk from Durtch Kraaken
Cracket: A wooden stool
Croggy: To give a passenger a ride on the crossbar or back of a bicylce
Cuddy: A small horse or St. Cuthbert
Cushat: A pigeon
Da: Dad – father
Deil: The devil
Divvent: Do not – ie Divvent dee that
Dodd: A fox – see surname section
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.
Dunsh: Thump or bump
Dyke: A ditch (Anglo-Saxon)
Faa: To fall, also the name of a Gypsy clan (Faw)
Fash: Trouble/d – see the Lambton Worm in Legends section
Fettle: Good condition
Force: Waterfall in Teesdale
Gaumless: Stupid or useless
Gadgie: An old man
Gan: Go from the Anglo Saxon word for go.
Gannin: Going – Gannin alang the Scotswood Road to see the Blaydon Races.
Ganzie: A jumper/sweater
Gate: Usually means way or street such as Gallowgate. Gan yer ain gate means go your own way.
Geordie: A native of Tyneside see the Geordie section of this website.
Gill: A ravine
Giveower: Give over – ie Please stop doing that
Gowk: A fool
Haad: Hold see the Lambton Worm in Legends section
Hadaway: Get away – you’re having me on – it is thought to be a naval term
Haipeth: Half Penny
Haugh: Pronounced Hoff or Harf – a meadow land eg Derwenthaugh
Heugh: A promontory such as that at Hartlepool or Tynemouth.
Hinny: Honey – a term of endearment.
Hope: A side valley in the dales of Northumberland and Durham for example Hedleyhope.
Hoppings: A fair. From the Anglo-Saxon word Hoppen meaning fair. The Toon Moor Hoppings are held in Newcastle.
Howay: Come on – Howay or H’way the Lads is chanted at football matches.
Hunkers: Sitting on haunches
Hyem: Home, a word of Scandinavian origin
I Says: I Said
Keek: To peep
Keel: A boat.
Ket: A sweet or something that is nice
Kidda: A term of endearment.
Laa: Low or hill
Lads: Blokes H’way the Lads hear at Newcastle and Sunderland football grounds.
Laik: To play
Lang: Long – Anglo Saxon word.
Larn: Learn another Anglo-Saxon word
Lass: A woman or young girl, from a Scandinavian word Laskr
Law: A hill
Leazes: Pasture land belonging to a town
Linn: Waterfall in Weardale or Northumberland
Lonnen: A lane
Lop: A flea
Lough: Lakes in Northumberland are called Loughs pronounced Loff
Mac’ N’ Tac: A native of County Durham or Sunderland see Mackem
Mackem: A native of Sunderland. Probably referring to shipbuilders – ‘We mackem, ye tackem’
Mags: Magpies – a Sunderland football club supporters’ term for a Newcastle United fan.
Magpies: Nickname for Newcastle United Football Club, who play in balck and white.
Man: Frequently used at the end of a sentence Divvent dee that man, howay man – even when talking to a woman.
Marra: A friend or workmate particularly in the collieries
Mazer: An eccentric
Mebbees: May be or Perhaps
Midden: Dung heap
Missus: The Missus – the wife
Nee: No – as in Nee good luck but not as a word on its own.
No Place: A village in County Durham (See Places)
Oot: Out – Anglo-Saxon word Compare to the Dutch Utgang (out go- exit)
Pet: A term of endearment.
Peth: A road up a hill
Pitmatic: The dialect of County Durham as once spoken by coal miners.
Pity Me: A village in County Durham (See Places)
Ploat: To pluck feathers
Red and White: A Sunderland football club supporter
Sackless: Stupid or hopeless
Sand Shoes: Gym Shoes
Sang: A song
Sark: A shirt
Segger: A nickname for the town of Sacriston.
Singing Hinnie: A kind of cake
Slake: Mud flat
Sneck: The latch on a door
Sparra: A sparrow, see also spuggy
Spelk: A splinter
Spuggy: A sparrow
Staithes: A pier for loading coal onto ships
Stob: A stump or post
Stottie: A kind of flat cake-like bread
Tab: A cigarette
Toon Army: Newcastle United football fans
Tyke: A Yorkshireman
Up: See hope.
Vennel: A narrow ally in Durham
Wag: Playing the wag is playing truant
Wey: As in Wey-Aye See Why-Aye
Whe ?: Who ?
Whisht !: Be quiet See the Lambton Worm
Why-Aye: Why of course – Why-Aye man.
Wi’ : With
Wife: A woman, whether married or not. Wife was used in this sense by the Anglo-Saxons
Wor: Wor Lass means our missus, when a chap is referring to his wife. Wor is the Anglo-Saxon word oor meaning Our the w has crept into speech naturally.
Worm: A dragon – such as the Lambton Worm or Sockburn Worm. It is a Scandinavian word.
Wot Cheor: Hello – a greeting
Wrang: Incorrect (Wrong)
Wynd: A narrow street in Darlington or Yarm
Ye: You or your.