10 Geordie Phrases You Should Know

When you move to Newcastle to study, one of the first things you may notice is how friendly and welcoming the people are. The second thing is that they usually speak with a strong accent and use different phrases and expressions from the rest of the UK – this accent is called Geordie.

Although there are different definitions, most people say that to be a Geordie, you have to be from the Tyneside area of North East England. Some linguists think that the strong accent and local slang remains because the area is tucked in the northernmost corner of the country.

To help you understand what everyone is talking about when you first arrive, we’ve compiled a few phrases that you might hear around the city.


  • “Howay man”– This phrase means many things depending on the tone. It could mean “hurry up” or “get off it”.
  • “Wey aye man”– Or simply “wey aye”, is an excited way of saying “yes, of course”.
  • “Pet”– A term of endearment, used in the same way as “dear” or “my love”.
  • “Gadgie”– An old man.
  • “Radgie”– A particularly aggressive person.
  • “Bobby dazzler”– Something or someone excellent. You might also say “they’re a real diamond”.
  • “Clamming”– Hungry, especially if you’re really craving something.
  • “Bonnie”– Good looking. This is also a common phrase in Scotland. You might hear “he’s a real bonnie lad” as a term of affection.
  • “Leave the door on the sneck”– This means “leave the door on the latch”. When you leave the door on the sneck, you close the door, but don’t lock it.
  • “Hadaway”– Depending on the context, this word can be used to express encouragement, annoyance or to tell someone to stop doing something.


The rich and musical dialect of the North East is a source of pride for many Geordies. It’s just one of the unique cultural features of the area that you are sure to enjoy when you study at Northumbria University.

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