• 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

_______________________________________________________________________________________________

  • A

Aad: Old – from the Anglo-Saxon Eald – Aad Wife

Aakward: Awkward

Aall: All

Agyen: Again

Ahint: Behind

Alang: Along

Ald: Variation of Aad

Ald Nick: The Devil

Alreet: Alright

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.

Aye: Yes


  • B

Baccy: Tobacco

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.

Beor: Beer

Beuk: A book

Bishop: Bishop Auckland

Blaa: Blow

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

Bord: Bird

Boro/The Boro: Middesbrough Fooball Club or Middlesbrough itsef. Note Middlesbrough is not spelt Middlesborough

Borst: Burst

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.

Buzeems: Brooms

Byeuts: Boots


  • C

Caa’: Call

Cam: Came

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.

Card: Cold

Chare: A narrow alley in Newcastle

Chorch: Church

Claes: Clothes – Anglo-Saxon

Clag: Stick

Clarts: Dirt or mud

Clarty: Dirty

Clivvor: Clever

Cloot: A cloth eg a dish cloot, or to clout.

Coo: A cow

Craa: Crow

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

Croon: Crown

Cuddy: A small horse or St. Cuthbert

Cushat: A pigeon


  • D

Da: Dad – father

Darlo: Darlington

Dede: Dead

Dee: Do

Deed: Dead

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.

Doon: Down

Droon: Drown

Dunsh: Thump or bump

Dyke: A ditch (Anglo-Saxon)


  • E

Eee: Eye


  • F

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

Fower: Four


  • G

Gaumless: Stupid or useless

Gadgie: An old man

Gallusses: Braces

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

Give: Given

Giveower: Give over – ie Please stop doing that

Gowk: A fool

Granda: Grandfather


  • H

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

Hanky: Handkerchief

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.

Hoos: House

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.

Hoy: Throw

Hunkers: Sitting on haunches

Hyem: Home, a word of Scandinavian origin


  • I

I Says: I Said

Ivvor: Ever


  • J

Jarra: Jarrow

Joon: June.


  • K

Keek: To peep

Keel: A boat.

Ket: A sweet or something that is nice

Kidda: A term of endearment.

Knaa: Know


  • L

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

Ling: Heather

Linn: Waterfall in Weardale or Northumberland

Lonnen: A lane

Lop: A flea

Lough: Lakes in Northumberland are called Loughs pronounced Loff


  • M

Ma: Mother

Mac’: Make

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.

Mair: More

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


  • N

Nah: No

Neenth: Ninth.

Nee: No – as in Nee good luck but not as a word on its own.

Neet: Night.

Neuk: Nook

Nigh: Near

No Place: A village in County Durham (See Places)

Nyem: Name


  • O

Oot: Out – Anglo-Saxon word Compare to the Dutch Utgang (out go- exit)

Ower: Over


  • P

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

Poliss: Policeman


  • R

Raa: Row

Red and White: A Sunderland football club supporter

Reet: Right


  • S

Sackless: Stupid or hopeless

Sand Shoes: Gym Shoes

Sang: A song

Sark: A shirt

Segger: A nickname for the town of Sacriston.

Sel’: Self

Shoot: Shout

Singing Hinnie: A kind of cake

Slake: Mud flat

Snaa: Snow

Sneck: The latch on a door

Sooth: South

Sparra: A sparrow, see also spuggy

Spelk: A splinter

Spuggy: A sparrow

Staithes: A pier for loading coal onto ships

Stane: Stone

Stob: A stump or post

Stottie: A kind of flat cake-like bread

Strang: Strong


  • T

Tab: A cigarette

Tak’: Take

Tatie: Potato

Te’: To

Telt: Told

Teem: Pour

Thowt: Thought.

Toon: Town

Toon Army: Newcastle United football fans

Tret: Treated

Tyeuk: Took

Tyke: A Yorkshireman


  • U

Up: See hope.

Us: Me


  • V

Vennel: A narrow ally in Durham


  • W

Wag: Playing the wag is playing truant

Wark: Work

Wes: Was

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

Wiv: With

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


  • Y

Ye: You or your.

Yem: Home

Yen: One

Yersel’: Yourself


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