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"Whey aye man": Common words and phrases to help Newcastle United star Bruno Guimarães become fluent in Geordie

Although Bruno Guimaraes managed to learn the English language when he first landed on Tyneside through private tuition from NUFC head coach Eddie Howe, the Brazilian talent admits that he still struggles to keep up with the local twang.

Despite a Newcastle United fan handing the midfielder a Geordie dictionary, Bruno says that he is struggling - albeit trying - to grasp the local dialect.

In an interview with FourFourTwo magazine, he said: "A supporter has even given me a paper with Geordie slang to learn, but it's very complicated!"

Read more: Bruno Guimaraes reveals Eddie Howe’s special lesson and struggles with Geordie supporters

"The local accent is so hard to understand. I can talk to supporters but sometimes I don’t understand what they’re saying to me, especially on the streets. They’re so excited that they end up talking too fast, but that’s normal.”

After learning of the revelation, here at Chronicle Live we've decided to give Bruno a helping hand in the form of an abundance of common words and phrases from the North East - mainly Geordie, with a little Mackem added in for good measure.

We hope this helps out!

Before we start the list, a general key for pronouns, verbs and adverbs which are used in some of the examples but aren't good enough to make the list itself:

  • Nee - no

  • Dee - do

  • Gan - go

  • Divvin' - don't

  • Doon - down

  • Toon - Newcastle city centre and Newcastle United FC

  • Propa - very, really or significantly

  • Owa - over

  • Neet - night

  • Us - me

1) Geordie saying: Geet walla

Non Geordie translation: very, very large

Usage: "There's a geet walla queue at Asda, gan to Morrisons instead, marra (see 13)".

Other words meaning same thing: muckle, howfing (as in "howfing geet")

2) Geordie saying: Gadgie

Non Geordie translation: adult male human

Usage: "See that gadgie at the front of the geet walla queue?"

Fact fans: This word was possibly derived from the Romani "gadje" meaning non-Roma or "gorgio" meaning fellow.

3) Geordie saying: Radgie

Non Geordie translation: temper tantrum

Usage: "That gadgie's gannin' proper radgie, like."

4) Geordie saying: Haddaway

(Also "haddaway, man" and the coarser "haddaway and sh*te" made popular by Oz, Jimmy Nail's character in Auf Wiedersehen, Pet )

Non Geordie translation: generic proclamation of negativity or disbelief

Usage: "Haddaway, man, there's nee way that gadgie is signing for the Toon."

Angela Archbold suggests the usage of "haddaway and loss yasel", meaning you are talking rubbish.

5) Geordie saying: Howay man!

Non Geordie translation: generic proclamation of exhortation or encouragement, can be both positive and negative

Usage: "Howay man! We gannin' doon the Toon to beat the queues?"

Important note: howay must also be followed by man, which explains the popular but somewhat confusing phrase "howay, man, woman, man!"

6) Geordie saying: Wey aye, man!

Non Geordie translation: generic proclamation of positivity or agreement

Usage: anytime you want to agree with someone without resorting to a boring "yes".

7) Geordie saying: Yem (also hyem)

Non Geordie translation: home

Usage: "This queue's got us propa radgie. I'm gan yem."

8) Geordie saying: Purely belta, beltas

Non Geordie translation: generic proclamation of joy

Usage: "That club was purely belta on Saturday neet, like!"

9) Geordie saying: Hinny

Non Geordie translation: wife, female companion or life partner

Usage: "Dee us some scran (see 12), hinny, I'm clamming (see 11)."

10) Geordie saying: Hoy

Non Geordie translation: please pass or throw

Usage: "Hoy a hamma owa here, hinny."

Not to be confused with "gannin' on the hoy", which means going out with the intention of consuming multiple alcoholic drinks, which could be related to the fact that "hoy up" also means to vomit.

11) Geordie saying: Clamming

Non Geordie translation: starving, hungry to the point of being in desperate need of some sustenance

Usage: "Howay, man, hinny, I said I was clamming!"

12) Geordie saying: Scran, bait

Non Geordie translation: food

Usage: "Where's me bait, hinny?"

13) Geordie saying: Marra

Non Geordie translation: friend, colleague, workmate

Usage: "Howay, man, marra, let's gan doon the pub for some beltas scran."

Note: Wow, this one has provoked some controversy! The origins of the word seem to be down the road in Sunderland, or even Darlington, so some of you think it's a travesty it being in the list. However, the term is widely used all over the North East, so we're keeping it in. Let's just be marras about it, alreet?

14) Geordie saying: snout, Tab

Non Geordie translation: cigarette

Usage: "Hoy us a snout, marra. I'm gasping" and also, the refrain of the charva (see 34), "Gis a tab I can lend till the morra".

15) Geordie saying: Netty

Non Geordie translation: toilet facility

Usage: "Where's ya netty, marra? I'm busting" and a great suggestion from Dorothy Bonner, "howay man put the sneck on the netty door" meaning "would you mind locking the toilet door as soon as possible, please".

16) Geordie saying: Canny

Non Geordie translation: good

Usage: "Canny netty, that, like."

Canny forms an integral part of the phrase "Canny bag o' Tudas", which has its origin in popular 1980s North East-manufactured crisp brand, Tudor Crisps, which were advertised on TV with that slogan.

However, the phrase has since evolved among those who remember the now obsolete crisps to indicate any experience which is generally pleasant or enjoyable, regardless of whether it relates to a potato-based snack.

There's also "gan canny, man", a generic farewell term implying take care or take it easy.

17) Geordie saying: Giz a bag o'crisps

Nothing to do with fried snacks, this one. Rather, it's a Geordie put-down, usually declining an advance of the romantic variety.

Non Geordie translation: I'd rather not, thanks (usually in response to being asked whether you fancy someone)

Usage: "Howay man, divvin' be daft. Him? Giz a bag o' crisps."

There's no indication that the crisps have to be of the Tudor variety, although that's clearly preferable.

18) Geordie saying: Dunch

Non Geordie translation: hit, like a car hitting the back of another

Usage: "I'm propa radgie. Some gadgie dunched me motor so I stotted a brick at his."

19) Geordie saying: Spelk

Non Geordie translation: splinter of wood of the sort that gets stuck in a finger

Usage: "Hoy some tweezas owa, hinny. I've got a spelk."

Fact fans: This word is possibly derived from the Anglo-Saxon 'spelc'.

20) Geordie saying: Twock

Non Geordie translation: steal, take without owner's consent

Usage: "I cannit hoy ya tweezas, pet. Someone's twocked them."

Twock actually comes from the official police term TWOC or taken without owner's consent, but we appear to be the only region that's adopted it so extensively to refer to small acts of theft.

21) Geordie saying: Jabs or sand shoes

Non Geordie translation: gym shoes commonly worn in school PE lessons

Usage: "Someone's twocked me jabs an' all (see 27), man!"

This appears to be another phrase with its origins in Sunderland. But we rather like it, so in it stays.

22) Geordie saying: Gob

Non Geordie translation: mouth

Usage: "Divvin' shoot ya gob off man, ya jabs are owa here."

23) Geordie saying: Bairn

Non Geordie translation: child

Usage: "The bairn needs new sand shoes for school, hinny."

24) Geordie saying: Set-a-had

Non Geordie translation: to light on fire

Usage: "How man (see 34), I'm ganna set-a-had to this shed if it gives us another spelk."

25) Geordie saying: Hacky

Non Geordie translation: dirty, but can also mean bone idle when used to prefix lazy

Usage: "I was hacky lazy this morning, didn't get oot me scratcha (see 31) till gone 12."

26) Geordie saying: Plodge

Non Geordie translation: to wade, paddle or splash in the shallows of the sea

Usage: "Howay man, let's take the bairns plodging doon Cullercoats."

27) Geordie saying: An' all

Non Geordie translation: generic expression of emphasis, as well

Usage: see 21 above.

28) Geordie saying: Clarts or clarty

Non Geordie translation: wet and muddy

Fact fans: possibly derived from Middle English 'clart', found in the verb 'biclarten' which means "to cover or smear with dirt"

Usage: "The bairns are hacky off plodging through clarts."

29) Geordie saying: Doylem

Non Geordie translation: idiot, fool or person generally challenged in the common sense department

Usage: "That gadgie's a propa doylem, man."

Also popular meaning the same thing is the word knacka, and see 47 below for our favourite such term, wazzock.

30) Geordie saying: Micey

Non Geordie translation: a person possibly showing signs of madness or mental instability

Usage: "He's not a doylem, he's gannin' micey."

Micky Burns tells us that "gannin' akka" means the same thing.

31) Geordie saying: Scratcha

Non Geordie translation: bed

Usage: "I've had enough. I'm gan yem to me scratcha."

32) Geordie saying: Monkey's blood

Non Geordie translation: the raspberry or strawberry flavour sauce used to garnish ice cream cones sold from a van ("cornets")

Usage: "Can I have monkey's blood on me cornet?"

33) Geordie saying: How, man

Non Geordie translation: generic exclamation indicating a warning or threat

Usage: "How, man, divvin' dunchus" would be a sensible way to warn a fellow motorist of an impending prang.

34) Geordie saying: Charva

Non Geordie translation: chav, which is defined by the Urban Dictionary as "a young lower-class person typified by brash and loutish behaviour and the wearing of (real or imitation) designer clothes"

Usage: "How man, have a deek at them charvas gannin' radgie owa there."

35) Geordie saying: Giz a deek

Non Geordie translation: please let me have a quick peek or look at what you're doing

Usage: "Giz a deek at ya cornet, you've got more monkey's blood than me."

36) Geordie saying: On ya honkas

Non Geordie translation: to crouch down low on all fours

Usage: "Get doon on ya honkas man or them charvas'll see ye"

37) Geordie saying: Kets

Non Geordie translation: sweets, usually the penny chew variety that you'd buy with your pocket money from a corner shop

Usage: "How, man, divvin' nick all me kets!"

38) Geordie saying: Workyticket

Non Geordie translation: someone being mischievous or downright annoying

Usage: "The bairn's being a propa workyticket, if he's not careful there'll be nee kets this week."

Can also be used as a verb, as in to work one's ticket, meaning to behaving in a vexing manner.

39) Geordie saying: Shuggy boat

Non Geordie translation: a two-person swing boat popular at seaside fairs during the 1980s

Usage: "Let's gan in the shuggy boat once we've got these hacky clarts off."

40) Geordie saying: Spuggy

Non Geordie translation: sparrow, but also refers to the role played by red-haired actress Lynydann Barrass in Byker Grove.

41) Geordie saying: Up a height

Non Geordie translation: in a state of high emotion or upset

Usage: "Wor lass is up a height, man, the bairns is still hacky with clarts."

42) Geordie saying: Mortal (also pronouned "maaahrtal")

Non Geordie translation: drunk enough to adversely affect coordination and general wellbeing

Usage: "I'm gannin' on the hoy (see above) in the Toon the neet, ganna get maaahrtal."

43) Geordie saying: Had ya pash

Non Geordie translation: take your time, be patient (literally "hold your patience, old fellow")

Usage: "How man, had ya pash, divvin' be a workyticket."

Another Geordie phrase meaning the same thing is "had ya watta".

44) Geordie saying: Get wrong (also pronounced "wrang")

Non Geordie translation: to be told off or get into trouble, usually by a parent, boss or other authority figure

Usage: "You'll get wrang off ya fatha when he gets in, mind."

45) Geordie saying: Nebby

Non Geordie translation: nosy or overly inquisitive, can also be used as a verb "to neb" into someone else's affairs

Usage: "Howay, man, woman, man, divvin' be nebby."

46) Geordie saying: Howk

Non Geordie translation: to pick or scratch

Usage: "Divvin' howk ya sneck!"

47) Geordie saying: Wazzock

Non Geordie translation: imbecile, buffoon or doylem

Usage: "That gadgie's a propa wazzock."

48) Geordie saying: Nappa

Non Geordie translation: head

Usage: "Me nappa's knacking off gannin' on the hoy."

49) Geordie saying: Pop

Non Geordie translation: fizzy drink

Usage: "The bairn's away to get a can o' pop."

50) Geordie saying: Bubble

Non Geordie translation: to cry

Usage: "The bairn's ganna bubble if there's nee pop left."

51) Geordie saying: Dancers

Non Geordie translation: stairs

Usage: "Get up the dancers, man, it's time for bed."

52) Geordie saying: Willicks

Non Geordie translation: winkles, or periwinkles, which is a small edible sea snail, usually found clinging to rocks at the beach

Usage: "I'm gannin' doon Cullercoats for a bag o' willicks."

NB: This term was twocked from Scotland where it is also still in use.

53) Geordie saying: Fettle

Non Geordie translation: various. "Out of fettle" means ill or not oneself, whereas "in a fettle" means in a bad mood, and the term can also be used as a verb, "to fettle", which means to sort out a problematic person or situation.

Usage: "Divvin' dunchus, man, or I'll fettle ye."

54) Geordie saying: Dee as ya telt

Non Geordie translation: do as you're told

Usage: "Dee as a ya telt, man, or I'll fettle ye."

55) Geordie saying: Bobby dazzla

Non Geordie translation: someone who thinks a lot of themselves or looks rather special, either because of good looks or impressive clothes/accessories.

Usage: "Look at that charva owa there, she thinks she's a right bobby dazzla.

56) Geordie saying: Paggered

Non Geordie translation: exhausted or extremely tired

Usage: "I'm paggered thinking up usages for these Geordie sayings."

57) Geordie saying: Stott

Non-Geordie translation: to throw and bounce an object off something

Not to be confused with stottie cake, a popular type of bread bun generally expected to bounce if dropped.

One of our Facebook fans, Meg Henderson, tells us that the stottie is a cake of bread that was stotted (thrown) off the floor to see if it bounced, which showed it was ready.

Have we missed any, or do you know the origin of any of those we've included? Let us know in the comments, which make for amusing reading...

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