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Geordie
Posted: 04 March 2017 12:49 AM   [ Ignore ]
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Rather than clutter up the “Passages” thread, I’m starting this one for those who need a starting-point to the Geordie (round about Newcastle-upon-Tyne) dialect. A link from the British Library.

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Posted: 04 March 2017 04:16 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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Loved that link to Geordie terms, ElizaD.  Query:  Is “Geordie” a gender-sensitive term, or does it apply equally to men and women, or is there a feminine variant? 

Geordie speech is the furthest from any sort of standard English, that I have ever encountered anywhere the British Isles. It’s interesting to learn a bit more about where it comes from.

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Posted: 04 March 2017 08:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Very interesting article, Eliza, thanks for linking that. The verb learn was still being used in Standard English to also mean teach up to the 17th century. The earliest example in OED where it is definitely non-standard is from a comedy by Samuel Foote, The Mayor of Garret, 1764, in which an uneducated speaker says, If they would but once submit to be learned by me.

Now this is one of the reasons I love this site. Not having read this particular play by Foote I checked it and its background out. It led me to this delightful wiki.

Garrat Elections

The Garrat Elections were a carnival of mock elections in 18th century Surrey, England. The events were organized around May 20, when a crowd of tens of thousands would travel from London, centred just 5 miles (8.0 km) away to take part.

Grose’s Classical Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue, originally published in 1785 by Francis Grose, described the Garrat Election as:

A ludicrous ceremony, practiced every new parliament: it consists of a mock election of two members to represent the borough of Garret [sic] (a few straggling cottages, near Wandsworth, in Surrey). The qualification of a voter is, having enjoyed a woman, in the open air, within that district: the candidates are commonly fellows of low humor, who dress themselves up in a ridiculous manner. As this brings a prodigious concourse of people to Wandsworth, the publicans of that place jointly contribute to the expense, which is sometimes considerable.

I’d never heard of this entertaining event before and I’m beholden to this place for indirectly leading me to it. (And I just love that voter qualification. Maybe they should introduce it for all elections!

BTW speaking of the Geordie accent summons up a remembrance of things past. It was 1965 and I was in the RA stationed at Dortmund, Germany. One of my duties as a battery clerk was to act as escort when someone on a charge was hauled up before the Battery Commander. (The RP would have performed this duty for those up before the CO but there was no such thing as Battery Police so we clerks had to fill in). In this particular case it was a Geordie who when some of us had visited the Amstel brewery in Amsterdam had missed the coach back and had turned up at base a day later. (He’d been drunk as a skunk and had got lost, or so he said.)

The Gunner wasn’t the sharpest knife in the drawer but he was well-liked in the unit, a sort of amiable doofus, but he had one of the thickest Geordie accents I had ever heard. When we marched into the BC’s office the Major began to grill him on his story. The contrast of the officer with a really plum RP accent and the Geordie gunner relating his contrived excuse for being AWOL in his almost impenetrable accent as the Major became more and more frustrated at trying to understand some of the terms was comedy gold and it was all I could to maintain the requisite stern face and rigid position. At last I just could not contain it and I let out a barely smothered laugh. Instantly the Major dismissed me from his office with an angry bark and I was replaced by a fellow clerk. I was in the doghouse for a while!

I have always found the Geordie accent the hardest to understand of all British dialects with Birmingham the runner-up.

[ Edited: 04 March 2017 08:26 AM by aldiboronti ]
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Posted: 04 March 2017 11:54 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Lionello, there are Geordies and Geordie lasses who always enjoy a neet oot on the Toon (night out on the town, ie Newcastle).  I find Geordie relatively easy to understand, probably because I live in the region and my ears have become accustomed to it) but some of the Northern Ireland accents are nigh on impenetrable to me. A word of caution - folks not far outside the Tyneside region are often very indignant if they’re also labelled Geordies. Never call a Mackem (from Sunderland, so named because of the industrial heritage of “mack/make ‘em") a Geordie.

Loved the military story, aldi - I can just imagine it!

[ Edited: 04 March 2017 11:58 AM by ElizaD ]
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Posted: 04 March 2017 12:12 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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I remember being quite tickled when I realized that having the chief engineer of the Enterprise in TNG named “Geordie” was an tribute to the other great ship-building center of Britain, as “Scottie” had been to the Scots’ dominance of early steamship production (and the resulting stock character of the Scottish engineer in nautical adventure stories.)

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Posted: 06 March 2017 01:41 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Dr. T, you might want to see the alternative thread I started about TV series.

“Gannin’” is alive and well in the anthem of North East England, The Blaydon Races, here shown in a Newcastle United football supporters’ video.

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Posted: 06 March 2017 04:39 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 6 ]
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some of the Northern Ireland accents are nigh on impenetrable to me

That’s been my experience. The only time in my travels about the British Isles that I have been completely at a loss for understanding was in Belfast.

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Posted: 06 March 2017 05:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 7 ]
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the other great ship-building center of Britain

I think that it’s a bit invidious to say”... the other great shipbuilding center of Britain”; another would be nearer the mark. Consider Belfast, home of Harland and Woolff (buiders of Titanic), or Merseyside, home of Cammell Laird, who launched more ships than Helen’s face.

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Posted: 06 March 2017 08:22 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 8 ]
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Belfast is part of the UK, but not of Britain.

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Posted: 06 March 2017 10:23 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 9 ]
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But it is part of the “British Isles.” I was very careful in my wording.

Britain, a.k.a. Great Britain, is the big island containing England, Wales, and Scotland.

The United Kingdom is Britain and Northern Ireland.

The British Isles includes Britain, all of Ireland, the Isle of Man, the Channel Islands, and other assorted islands.

[ Edited: 06 March 2017 10:26 AM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 06 March 2017 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 10 ]
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My comment about Belfast was in response to Lionello’s comment to me about centers of shipbuilding in Britain, not in response to your remark about accents.

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Posted: 07 March 2017 01:31 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 11 ]
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That’s what I thought. Of course you’re right, Dr. T. as you usually are; nevertheless, I think very few Britons (including Northern Irish) would consider Harland and Wolff to have ever been anything other than a British shipyard.

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Posted: 07 March 2017 07:43 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 12 ]
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lionello - 07 March 2017 01:31 AM

That’s what I thought. Of course you’re right, Dr. T. as you usually are; nevertheless, I think very few Britons (including Northern Irish) would consider Harland and Wolff to have ever been anything other than a British shipyard.

Even though I’m well aware that NI is not part of Britain I too think of Harland and Wolff as a British shipyard, Lionello. I think you’re right, most Brits do.

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Posted: 09 March 2017 10:34 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 13 ]
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You can hear a Geordie song here which was the theme to a popular 1970s TV series. It will be impenetrable to some but gives an insight into the accent. Stars Terry from The Likely Lads, Eliza, pet. I’m too young to have seen the first series.

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Posted: 11 March 2017 08:32 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 14 ]
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I had trouble understanding what he was singing in the second verse so I looked up the words. It’s a traditional Geordie folk song with some words like bonny and bairn I associate with Scotland.

Come here, maw little Jacky
Now aw’ve smoked me baccy
Let’s hev a bit o’cracky
Till the boat comes in

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a fishy when the boat comes in.

Here’s thy mother humming,
Like a canny woman;
Yonder comes thy father,
Drunk---he cannot stand.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a haddock when the boat comes in.

Our Tommy’s always fuddling,
He’s so fond of ale,
But he’s kind to me,
I hope he’ll never fail.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a bloater when the boat comes in

I like a drop mysel’,
When I can get it sly,
And thou, my bonny bairn,
Will lik’t as well as I.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a mackerel when the boat comes in.

May we get a drop,
Oft as we stand in need;
And weel may the keel row
That brings the bairns their bread.

Chorus: Dance ti’ thy daddy, sing ti’ thy mammy,
Dance ti’ thy daddy, ti’ thy mammy sing;
Thou shall hev a fishy on a little dishy,
Thou shall hev a salmon when the boat comes in.

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Posted: 31 March 2017 07:46 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 15 ]
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ElizaD - 04 March 2017 11:54 AM

Never call a Mackem (from Sunderland, so named because of the industrial heritage of “mack/make ‘em") a Geordie.

Gan canny* with this one.  Mackem is a very recent term, mid 1970’s at the earliest.  Before this date, in Sunderland I heard “makems and takems” used to mean things you got made for you by someone in their spare time, or perhaps on company time in workshops etc.

* another use of canny, to mean “go with care” .  Canny can also mean shrewd… So a “canny lad” can mean someone nice, but also “a bit of a canny un” someone clever or careful.

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