Geordie Defined - You pick your favourite
My Chambers dictionary says:-
noun 1:- A person from Tyneside.
noun 2:- The Tyneside dialect.
adj. 1:- of or relating to Tyneside, its people, or their dialect. [diminutive of the
The Newcastle City Council web site gives (or used to
give) 7 possible explanations of the origin.
The possibilities are:-
- The name was born in the Jacobite Rebellion of 1745, when the Jacobites by-passed Newcastle which,
as well as favouring the Hanovarian King George, was also a well guarded garrison. The Jacobites
then said that Newcastle and the surrounding areas were all "for George". Hence the name
Geordie used as a derivation of George.
- The name originated from the coal mines of Durham and Northumberland, for many poems and songs
written about, and in the dialect of, these two counties speak of the "Geordie". The Oxford
English Dictionary states that the word was first used to describe a local pitman or miner in 1876.
- The third possible origin is from George Stephenson, who in 1815 invented the miners' lamp.
Local miners used this lamp in preference to that invented by Sir Humphrey Davy. The lamp, and eventually,
the miners themselves became known as "Geordies". The Oxford English Dictionary cites
the first use of the word in this context in a mining glossary of 1881.
- In 1826 George Stephenson gave evidence to a Parliamentary Commission on Railways at which his
blunt speech and dialect drew contemptuous sneers. From that date, it is said that Londoners began
to call the colliers which carried coal ftorn the Tyne to the Thames "Geordies". Both
the boats and the men who worked on them were called "Geordies".
- Frank Graharn, a local writer and publisher, maintains that the name originally was a term of
abuse meaning "fool". It was first used in this way in 1823, when a local showman Billy
Purvis, used it to put down a rival. He is quoted as saying " Noo yor a fair doon feul, not
an artificial feul like Billy Purvis! Thous a real Geordie!" (From: Robson, LP. The life &
adventures of the far-famed Billy Purvis 1849 p. 128). The word in this context appears to date
from the reign of the unpopular King George II who became insane. His son George III was also unpopular
because of his extravagance and his promiscuity. (Graham, F. Geordie Dictionary 1979)
- Dictionaries also record that the word is used to describe natives of Tyneside, or things pertaining
- Local Folklore has it that a Geordie is someone born on the North side of the Tyne, within a 1
mile radius of Newcastle.
The Lads at work tell me "Its anyone born along the North Bank of the River Tyne !!!!.....
...... but again I'll leave you to make your OWN minds up !!
NEXT - A SHORT TOUR OF GEORDIELAND
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