The Geordies that give Geordies a bad rap.
It is with the first kind of Geordie (the nice people) that I became best friends with while in the UAE. Apparently when they broaden their horizons beyond the ‘toon’ (town) they leave the alcohol binges and foul mouths behind.
The first thing that I realized is that they have their own ‘special’ language. I could not talk to Jordy (not his real name) on the phone because I couldn’t understand a word he said. It was English; I get that. But it was as if he was playing Chubby Bunny and then throwing in foreign words here and there. Once I learned the difference in the accent, it was quite easy to distinguish. Kind of like how you know instantly someone’s from Boston or North Dakota in the states. In fact, I ran into someone in Seattle just the other day and after listening for a few sentences pegged him from Newcastle. And boy does their face light up when you mention the toon!
Some of the individual words that I learned throughout the journey are: “pet” our equivalent of dear, “netty” for bathroom, “hoose” for house, “canny” for good, “toon broon ale” for Newcastle beer, “aalreet” for a number of things, and “wye aye” for….I never quite figured out what, but pretty much our equivalent of an exclamation point! You can translate your own words here: http://www.geordie.org.uk/index.htm. Yes, there is an actual translator for this language that isn’t really quite a language. It’s like when you were young and made up a secret language with your friends to be covert; except in Newcastle the whole town is in on the game.
Even when I thought I had it somewhat figured out, Jordy invited me to dinner with his family. I’m not going to lie, there were periods of 5-7 minutes when I have no idea what the conversation was about. I just laughed and nodded when I thought it appropriate and made sure I never said anything about their sacred Newcastle United football club. :) Oh, and don’t bring up Geordie Shore to a Newcastle native; they get really ‘narked’.