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Geordie Words and Phrases You Should Know

As an American moving to England I knew there would be differences in the English vocabulary that I am used to; but nothing could have prepared me for what I would encounter with the locals of Newcastle. Geordies not only have their own dialect, but they even have some of their own vocabulary words. If you’re like me you may be slightly confused when conversing with a Newcastle native. If this is the case, here are some Geordie words you should know…


Toon – Like many words used by Geordies, this word has two meanings. Sometimes in reference to the town of Newcastle and other times substituted for the local football team, Newcastle United, this word may cause some confusion. But don’t worry, the longer time we spend in the toon, the easier it will be to understand.

Clammin’, Scran and Bait – While clammin’ means hungry, scran and bait are similar to the American slang word “grub”, meaning food. These words have become some of my favorites since moving to Newcastle. Bonus Tip: If you’re clammin’ and after some bait in between lectures, check out the small sandwich café just up the street from the Business School. It’s actually called Bait and they have over 50 sandwich combinations!

Knackered, Paggered and Scratcha – These words are a bit more confusing but I have combined them for better explanation. In Geordie lingo knackered and paggered both mean tired while scratcha means bed. After a few months at Uni, these three words are sure to become part of your everyday vocabulary.

Mortal – This word is used as a synonym for drunk and another word you should add to your vocabulary list if you are living in a city that is known for its nightlife.

Aye, Nar, Nee – There is no real explanation for these but they are important if you want to be able to converse with a Geordie. Aye means yes and both nar and nee mean no. Remember these and you will be set!



Here are some other basic geordie words:

Dee – do

Gan – go/going

Divvin – don’t

Doon – down

Propa – very, really or significantly

Owa – over

Neet – night

Us/Is – me


And some geordie phrases that might come in handy during your time here:

Geet walla
Meaning: very, very large
Usage: “There’s a geet walla queue at the shop”


Meaning: man, adult male human
Usage: “See that gadgie at the front of the geet walla queue?”


Meaning: temper tantrum
Usage: “That gadgies having a proper radgie”


Howay man
Meaning: proclamation of exhortation or encouragement, can be postivie or negative
Usage: “Howay man! Look at that geet walla queue”


Wey aye, man
Meaning: generic proclamation of positivity or agreement
Usage: an exciting alternative to a boring “yes”


Meaning: home
Usage: “This queues got us proper radgie, I’m gan yem”


Meaning: please pass or throw
Usage: “hoy it owa here”


Meaning: good
Usage: “This bait’s propa canny”


Howay man, we hope you have a propa canny time doon the toon!

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