Why are people from Newcastle called Geordies?

Why are people from Newcastle called Geordies?

Have you ever wondered, why are people from Newcastle are called Geordies? Most of us know people from Newcastle are called Geordies, but where did the name come from and learn some Geordie phrases and words to help you next time you are up in the North East.

Geordie is referring to the people, as opposed to the actual dialect. The dictionary definitions of a Geordie typically refer to “a native or inhabitant of Newcastle-upon-Tyne”. Newcastle-upon-Tyne is an area that encompasses Blyth, Ashington, North Tyneside, Newcastle, South Tyneside and Gateshead and was originally known by its Roman name Pons Aelius, the name “Newcastle” has been used since the Norman conquest of England.

Geordie is a nickname for someone from the Tyneside area of North East England. “Geordie” is often used to refer to a supporter of Newcastle United.

So why are people from Newcastle called Geordies?

One theory is that the name Geordie was taken from George Stephenson, the mining and railway engineer who hailed from the north-east. In 1826 George Stephenson gave evidence to a Parliamentary Commission on Railways at which his blunt speech and dialect drew contemptuous sneers. From that time Londoners began to call the colliers “Geordies”. North East miners used Geordie safety lamps, designed by George Stephenson, instead of Davy lamps which were used in other mining communities.

Another theory is that it derives from a term of abuse coined by the Scottish Jacobites in the 1745 Rebellion because of the defence of the town of Newcastle against them by supporters of King George II, known as Geordies. The second theory is more plausible because the term Geordie is properly used for natives of Newcastle only. This theory is more plausible because the term Geordie is properly used for natives of Newcastle only. Others originating from the north-east are Tynesiders, from the towns along the Tyne, from Blaydon and Newburn downstream, Northumbrians, Durhamites, Dunhelmians if you are posh, or Makems from Sunderland. Stephenson, born in Wylam, Northumberland, was not a Geordie except as a corruption of his Christian name.

So why is Newcastle called the Toon?

Toon is due to the Geordie pronunciation of the word “Town”. It is actually the “Town army” pronounced in the Geordie way as the “Toon Army”, and the media has subsequently labelled the NUFC supporters as the Toon Army. Geordies represent a major portion of the Tyneside or the North East.

Who can claim to be a true Geordie?

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, a Geordie is ‘A native or inhabitant of Tyneside or a neighbouring region of north-east England’.

This list will help you understand Geordie and tell you what all the popular phrases and words mean:

‘Haway the lads’

Haway is a general cry of encouragement. Howay the lads, Howay man ye slowin’ wa doon like!

‘Why Aye Man’

Why aye man translation is ‘Yes’ – positive, excited or enthusiastic proclamation of an agreement. To soften the enthusiasm replace ‘man’ with ‘pet.’ Can also be used to say goodbye.

‘Canny lad’

He’s a good-looking lad and dead canny, and he’s a right laugh. Geordies use it as a term of appreciation, a way of describing someone or something the speaker thinks is ‘nice’ or ‘pleasant’.

‘Howay, man!’

Howay man translation can mean, go away, good luck, come on, hurry up or okay!!

‘Haddaway, man!’ 

Haddaway, man translation is, no way, getaway or you’re joking

Geordie Words Translated:
Aye – yes
Nar – no
Nee – no
Wor – our
Gan – going
Yee – you
Doon – down
Neet – night
Owa – over
Reet – right
Nowt – nothing
Wrang – wrong
Lang – long
Howk – Pick or scratch
Divvent – don’t
Toon – town, Newcastle United
Geet – no real translation – descriptive word
Alang – along
Radgie – chav
Radge – mad
Class – good
Bonny – beautiful
Gadgie – old man
Bairn – child
Bait – dinner, packed lunch
Hinny – female
Hyem / yem – home
Hoose – house
Canny – good
Propa – significant
Belta – really good
Gob – mouth
Snout – cigarette
Doylem – idiot (insult)
Charva – chav
Mortal – drunk
Nappa – head
Knackered – tired
Laddie – boy
Lassie – girl
Smerking – smoking
Haddaway – term for disbelief
Clamming – hungry
Deek – look
Nebby – nosey
Deed – dead

So now you know where did the term Geordie comes from, who can claim to be a Geordie and some Geordie phrases and words that will help you when you visit the amazing North East.

Martyn Lenthall

Martyn works for Smartmove Northeast as a marketing specialist. He takes great pride in creating quality content for people looking for a removal company in Newcastle.

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