I have just had the pleasure of attending Traverse 14, which luckily for me, was held in my (nearest) home city of Newcastle. As I'm now a southern expat/living in Nottingham, my accent constantly gets commented on and it is only now that I realise how much of a special dialect the North East is. There have been many occasions when I have caused confusion due to using a word completely unique to the North East (clarty, spelk, ket) or using different words for the same thing - breakfast/dinner/tea not breakfast/lunch/dinner! Now the lovely Emma from Gohemian travels has already done a brilliant vlog about various Geordieisms including an amazing Geordie tongue twister, which will give you a great idea for anyone is not acquainted with the accent but I thought I would chip in too!
Terms of endearment are a key part of Geordie language. Being referred to as pet or hinny is normal and the terms can be used for both sexes. For children or young people, you can use bonny bairn, a phrase also used in Scotland which means beautiful child. Marra is another word to refer to mates. Or you could use lad/lass to avoid confusion!
Geordie Shore, love it (Team Charlotte all the way) or hate it, has brought to light many a colourful expression and a few that I feel deserve particular mention: The one expression that is synonymous with Geordie Shore is gettin' mortal, or in layman's terms, consuming copious amounts of alcohol, which conjures high school memories of pie-eyed on a bottle of Lambrini in a caravan (true story) Another phrase that was thrown around a lot at high school was, "Miss, that's shan like!" Anything that is deemed shan is unfair or shocking. One of my favourites though has got to be radge or radgey which can range from meaning a little bit irritated to full on going off the wall. Radgey can also be used to identify a chav which ironically we for once add a r into the word for it to become Charv/Charva.
Perhaps, the most useful word of all is howay. Howay is a multi-purpose expression that encompasses the whole spectrum of emotions.The word can be used in a variety of contexts: to encourage ie. Howay the lads, which is regularly heard at St. James Parks, to mean 'hurry up' Howay, get a move on, to express shock or disbelief etc. The list could go on. I think this urban dictionary entry sums it up brilliantly:
North-Eastern, or Geordie, slang meaning 'come on', 'hurry up' and so on. Voice intonation specifies the exact definition, often not understood by anyone outside of the Newcastle area and thus causes much confusion for non-natives.
As you can see the Geordie language is rather complex and this only scratches the surface in regards to the different nuances of the phrases. If you're interested in finding out more, read this article which has 56 (!) different Northern-Eastern phrases. Now, I will leave you with this song to revise your newly acquired knowledge of Geordie!
Is your region reknowned for its accent? What's your favourite accent?