Quayside, Newcastle upon Tyne

Have you heard the Geordie accent spoken in Newcastle? If so, you’ve probably wondered what it is and how it differs from other English dialects. In this article, we’ll provide a comprehensive guide to the Geordie accent – its history, pronunciation, and even its influence on popular culture.

Introduction to the Geordie Accent

The Geordie accent is a dialect of English spoken in the Newcastle upon Tyne area of England.

The Geordie dialect is characterised by its use of local words and phrases, as well as a distinctive pronunciation.

The Geordie accent has its roots in the languages spoken by the Anglo-Saxons, who settled in the region from the 5th century onwards. Over time, the Geordie accent has been influenced by other languages and dialects, including Scandinavian, Dutch, and Standard English.

Despite its name, the Geordie accent is not limited to those from Newcastle upon Tyne. In fact, it can be heard throughout North East England and parts of Yorkshire.

So, what makes the Geordie accent so special? Here are some of its most distinctive features:

• Use of local words and phrases: The Geordie dialect includes a number of unique words and phrases that are not used in other varieties of English. For example, “howay” (an exclamation meaning “come on”), “gadgie” (a man), and “bonny” (pretty).

• A distinctive pronunciation: The Geordie accent is known for its broad vowels and strong regional accents. For example, the word “house” is pronounced as “hoyse”.

• Use of dialect features: The Geordie dialect includes a number of features that are typical of non-standard British English

Origins of the Geordie Accent

The Geordie accent has its roots in the Anglo-Saxon language, which was spoken in England before the Norman Conquest in 1066. After the Conquest, French became the dominant language of the ruling class, but English continued to be spoken by the common people. Over time, the two languages began to mix, and a distinctive dialect known as Middle English began to develop.

The first record of the word “Geordie” is from 14th century Northumbria, where it was used to refer to someone from the region. It’s thought that the word is derived from the Old English “geard”, meaning “yard” or “enclosure”.

During the Industrial Revolution, Newcastle became a major centre for coal mining and shipbuilding, and thousands of people from all over Britain came to work in the city. This influx of workers helped to spread the Geordie accent beyond its Northumbrian heartland.

Today, there are around 1.5 million people who speak with a Geordie accent, making it one of the most widely-spoken dialects in Britain.

Common Phrases and Words

Geordies have their own unique way of speaking, which can often be confusing for outsiders. Here are some common phrases and words you might hear while visiting Newcastle:

• Cheers – Thank you
• Aye – Yes
• Nee bother – No problem
• Alreet – Hello
• Reet – Right
• Canny – Nice

These are just a few of the many phrases and words that make up the Geordie accent. If you’re ever unsure about what someone is saying, just ask! We’re always happy to help out anyone who’s new to our wonderful city.

Differences between Newcastle English and other dialects

Newcastle English is a dialect of the English language spoken in North East England, most notably in the city of Newcastle upon Tyne. The Geordie dialect is also spoken in parts of North Tyneside, South Tyneside and County Durham. It is notable for its distinctive pronunciation and lexical items.

The most distinctive features of the Geordie accent are its vowel phonemes, which show more variation than those of other dialects of English. For example, the word “house” can be pronounced with either the /ʊ/ sound as in Received Pronunciation (RP), or with the /ɪ/ sound as in General American (GA). There are also some differences in vocabulary, such as the use of “nowt” for “nothing” and “bairn” for “child”.

One theory suggests that Newcastle English developed from a mix of Anglo-Saxon and Viking dialects, while another suggests that it arose from the local Gaelic influence on Northumbrian Old English. However, the exact origins of the dialect are uncertain.

Popular Culture References

There are many popular culture references to the Geordie accent. For example, in the TV show “Fawlty Towers”, one of the main characters, Manuel, is from Newcastle and has a very strong Geordie accent. In the film “Trainspotting”, one of the main characters, Renton, is from Edinburgh but has a strong Geordie accent. In the book “Harry Potter and the Philosopher’s Stone”, one of the main characters, Hagrid, is from Newcastle and has a very strong Geordie accent.

How to Learn the Geordie Accent

If you’re looking to learn the Geordie accent, there are a few things you’ll need to keep in mind. First and foremost, the Geordie accent is notoriously difficult to imitate. That being said, with a little bit of practice, it’s certainly possible to get close. Here are a few tips to help you out:

1. Listen to native speakers as much as possible. This is really the only way to get a feel for how the accent should sound. Watch TV shows set in Newcastle, listen to podcasts or radio interviews with Geordie celebrities, and try to mimic what you hear.

2. Pay attention to pronunciation. There are certain sounds that are unique to the Geordie accent, so it’s important to get these right if you want to sound convincing. For example, the letter ‘t’ is often pronounced as a glottal stop (like in the word ‘bottle’), and words like ‘girl’ and ‘bird’ are pronounced with a short ‘i’ sound (so they sound more like ‘gurrl’ and ‘burd’).

3. Use regional vocabulary. A lot of times, it’s not so much the way you say something that makes it sound authentically Geordie, but rather what you say. Be sure to throw in some local slang words and expressions into your speech – things like bairn (child), canny (nice), nowt (nothing), and hin


We hope this guide to the Geordie accent has been helpful in giving you a better understanding of what it is and how it sounds. The Newcastle dialect is an integral part of the North East England culture, and learning about its distinctive features can help you identify with and appreciate the region even more. Whether you are visiting or living there, make sure to take some time to learn a few Geordie phrases – they might just come in handy!