Learn How To Do A Newcastle Geordie AccentIf you're want to learn how to do a Newcastle Geordie accent then you're in the right place! Watch this amazing video covering all the features of a Geordie accent so you can do one too! See video
How to do a Newcastle Geordie Accent
The Newcastle accent is known as a Geordie accent. If you want to learn how to do a Geordie accent, look no further. In the video below, you’ll meet Sophie, a real Geordie, born and bred in Newcastle.
Sophie will introduce us to the Geordie accent and dialect and together, we’ll show you the key features of and how to do a convincing Geordie accent.
Newcastle’s Geordie Accent Video
Features of a Geordie Newcastle Accent
Sophie: Ah way man! I’m gonna doon the toon for a mint time.
Anna: It’s time to take a closer look at the Geordie accent. Do bear in mind that this accent can vary greatly between different speakers due to a number of factors such as the area they grew up in their age, and the other influences in their lives. We’re going to look at the general features, and at the end you’ll be able to hear the accent in full flow as I have a good old chinwag with a native Geordie lass.
Anna: So who are we meeting today?
Sophie: A I’m Sophie, and I’m from County Durham. Technically, that makes me a pit yacker, and this is my Geordie accent.
The Short Vowel /ʌ/ in the Geordie Accent
Anna: The first feature we’re going to look at is the short vowel /ʌ/. It’s present in words such as up, above, strut, supper, and funny. Let’s hear it.
Sophie: Up. Above. Strut. Supper. Funny.
Sit upstairs on the bus.
It’s open above.
Strut your funky stuff.
The Short Vowel /aʊ/ in the Geordie Accent
Anna: Now let’s move on to our diphthong sounds. A diphthong is two vowel sounds that sit together to make one long moving vowel. The first one we’re going to look at is the /aʊ/ vowel present in words such as town, mouth, brown and pound. But let’s hear how Sophie says them.
Sophie: Tune. Mouth Brown. Pound. Give us a Pound. Gain doon the toon.
Anna: Next, let’s take a look at the /aɪ/ diphthong, present in words such as, Alright, price, and night.
Sophie: Alright. Price. Neat. Good, Neat. You alright about that? Say good neat then.
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The /eɪ/ Diphthong in the Geordie Accent
Anna: Next we have the /eɪ/ diphthong. Present in words such as rain, insane, eight away, and same.
Sophie: Rain. Insane. Ashame. Eight. Away. Same. The rain is in insane.
Anna: Moving on. We have the /əʊ/ diphthong present in words such as hope, throat, float, own, croak and goat.
Sophie: Hope, throat, float, own, croak and goat. Look, it’s a floating goat!
Anna: Let’s hear the /ɪə/ diphthong. This is present in words such as near, here, clear.
Sophie: Near, here, clear. Divn’t fear, I’m here.
The Glottlised P in the Geordie Accent
Anna: Moving on to consonant sounds and a glottlised P, which is often present in a Geordie accent.
Now this glottal P will happen when a P is between two vowel sounds, for example, in the following words and phrases. Proper, paper, jumper, and keep it. Let’s hear how Sophie says them.
Sophie: Proper. Paper. Jumper. Keep it. That’s not a proper jumper!
The Glottlised K in the Geordie Accent
Anna: And it’s not just P, that’s glottalised. We can also glottalise the K if it appears between two vowel sounds, for example, in the following words.
Lucky. Flicker. Walk away. But let’s hear Sophie.
Sophie: Lucky. Flicker, walk away. You were looking to walk away from that!
The Glottlised T in the Geordie Accent
Anna: And of course we can glottalise the T if it appears between two vowel sounds. For example, in words like better, automatic, attitude and conjunctivitis.
Sophie: Better. Automatic. Attitude. Fantastic. Conjunctivitis.Why it’s better to drive an automatic.
The Linking R in the Geordie Accent
Anna: A native Geordie speaker may drop the linking R sound, which would normally sound when a word ends with the letter R, and the new word starts with a vowel sound. For example, if you said four oranges, we’d normally link it with an R, four oranges, four oranges.
But let’s hear how Sophie says it.
Sophie: Four oranges, four oranges. Four oranges.
The long vowel /ɔ:/ in a Geordie Accent
Anna: There’s often an interesting treatment of some words containing the long vowel /ɔ:/. Listen to how Sophie says cure, four, for, and sure.
Sophie: Cure, four, for, and sure. Are you sure you found a cure?
The Geordie Accent has a shortened /ɑ:/ vowel
Anna: Now as this is a northern accent, we will of course see a shortening of the /ɑ:/ vowel.
This is the same in the American English accent as well. So listen to how Sophie says laugh, dance, and bath.
Sophie: Laugh, dance. Don’t laugh while I’m in the bath.
Words that ends with a Y
Anna: Now if a word ends with a Y, we will hear an /ɪ/ sound. However, in the Geordie accent, this will be shorter. Listen to Sophie saying Pretty. Billy. Silly, and city.
Sophie: Pretty. Billy. Silly. Billy. That’s pretty silly. It’s a pretty city.
How a Newcastle Accent treats the Dark L
Anna: The dark L. Now the dark L can change from speaker to speaker, and sometimes one speaker will use both versions. But let’s have a listen to how Sophie says film school and cool.
Sophie: Film. School. It’s cool, I’m off to school. I’m off to school.
A Newcastle Accent and the NG sound (/ŋ/)
Anna: The NG sound, /ŋ/, in Geordie tends to become an N Sound made with the front of the tongue high instead of the back of the tongue high, /ŋ/. Listen to how Sophie says dancing, laughing and kissing.
Sophie: Dancing, laughing. Kissing. Are you dancing?
Anna: Those were the main features, but let’s hear that accent in full flow as I have a girl chat with Sophie about dialect.
Growing up with a Geordie Accent
Where is it your from?
Sophie: I’m from County Durham.
Anna: County Durham. You don’t live there now?
Anna: You’re living in Manchester?
Anna: So when you go home, do you feel like the accent is changing at all? Um, Or are your like grandparents accents different to yours? Has it changed?
Sophie: Yes. So I think now younger people would say, for instance, I would say walk and talk.
Um, whereas my grandad would say walk. And I would, I would say now, Oh, I’m going down the town. I’m going down the town where they would definitely say down the tune, it’s all hour. The flower. Get us a glass of water. Right. So everything’s a lot broader.
Anna: A lot broader.
Sophie: Whereas the younger generation now, I think it’s because of television. Maybe television and listening to the way other people speak were very influenced by that. Whereas my granddad, he didn’t have a television.
So, So it’s much, it’s much. So now younger generations.
Anna: Yeah. He just heard Geordie accent his whole life. Fantastic. Okay. And do they ever struggle to understand you or you them?
Sophie: No. So my, my family, I can understand everything they say, but when I go back they say, ‘Oh, you’re a bit posher now.’ And then I go back to my friends in Manchester, they’re like, ‘You’re way more broad now.’ And yeah, so we have that. But when I first went to university, nobody could understand what I said. I had to speak so slow. And I had to speak like, posh as I possibly could. And to me it was posh. To them. I still sounded really broad, Geordie.
Um, if I’m trying to be friendly to someone, I usually like, pipe the accent up because I think that, I’m sure it was voted one of the friendliest accents.
That’s why all the call centers in England are in Newcastle. Yeah. ‘Cause is the friendliest accent. If you are having an advert for cheap things, they’ll get a Geordie accent in, because it’s fun. It’s friendly, and it’s seen as work in class.
What Do People Think About The Geordie Accent
Anna: Okay, Okay. I’d love to know what you think actually about the Geordie accent. Do you find it to be quite friendly, inviting? Um, please do let me know down in the comments section below.
Sophie: When I first went to uni, a lot of people, ‘cause they went to drama school, a lot of people were southern, which was a weird thing, there were a lot of southerners and quite a few of them had never heard a Geordie accent or one in real life, which I found quite surprising.
So they would just throw words at me to say, such as cornucopia, and um, conjunctivitis was one of them. Or they’d get me to say, ‘How way man’. It, it just, just all the Geordie accents that they, that Geordie words that they had heard and associated with my accent. Which was..
Anna: So you felt like you became a resource to them?
Sophie: I was! I was a resource and especially as well, because it’s such a hard accent to learn. It is one of the hardest. I’d always get people sending me texts. Actors saying, ‘Can you read this for me and record it, so I can learn your accent’. And I’m like, Oh, okay. Five hours of my time.
Anna: Bless you. Start, start charging.
Sophie: I know.
Anna: Expert service. So there you go. If you need a Geordie accent, then uh, you can pay big money for it right here!
The Geordie Dialect
Okay, so let’s, and dig into the dialect. So obviously we’ve talked about pronunciation, um, but dialect is a big part of every accent. It can completely baffle people. We hear these words that originate from certain areas, so there’s some words that we’ve written down here.
Now, the ones that I definitely know, ‘Canny’, but what does canny mean for those who don’t?
What does Canny Mean?
Sophie: So you’d say she’s a canny lass, which means she’s a nice lass. Or this is where it gets difficult.
Anna: A lass?
Sophie: A girl. You could say she’s a canny lass. Which means a nice girl. Or canny, can mean like, a lot. You can say. Um. There’s canny loads of that, or, they give us a canny amount there. Which means a lot.
Which is, it’s weird. It’s got two different meanings.
Anna: Yeah. Fantastic. Okay, so I’ve also heard, but I don’t really know what it means. ‘Why aye man’, and do people actually say that?
Why Aye Man Meaning
Sophie: Yeah. Yes. So if, um, why I mean just yes. Yes, of course. It just means of course. And if, if you were asking a question and the answer was like, definitely, you say, Why aye man?
Anna: Okay. I didn’t know that. I thought it was a greeting. So there you go. I’ve just learned something new. And what about a similar sounding phrase? Howay.
Sophie: Howay. So you can say Howay. Or you say Howay. So Howay is like, Come on. If someone was, um…
Anna: Gonna jump off a diving board.
Sophie: Gonna jump off a diving board. And I was to say Howay, or if I was telling someone to come and say, Howay man, so my nieces two, and she says, Howay man, Nana, Howay.
Anna: Okay, lovely. I like that one. Um, what does mortal mean? Mortal obviously is a word that we use, um, generally in English. But it has a different meaning.
What does Mortal mean in the Geordie Dialect?
Sophie: Mortal is drunk. So if, yeah, I was absolutely mortal last night. You would say I was drunk last night.
Anna: Yeah. Fantastic. Okay. Um, you say I instead of Yes. Is that quite common or just occasionally?
Sophie: No, it’s quite common. Um, most people will say I.
Anna: Okay. And, um, what about, what does this mean to get gan?
What does Gan or Gannin’ Mean in Geordie?
Sophie: Gan? To go. It’s gan is go. Yeah, gan is go. So…
Anna: And if you’re saying, ‘I’m going’, so the continuous ‘I’m going’ is…is that ganin’?
Sophie: I’m ganin.
Anna: Wow, Okay. Yeah. That’s really different, isn’t it? Yeah. Um, but if, if you were to change the verb completely say in the past, I went, so that doesn’t change.
Sophie: No, no. Just went.
What Does Hoy Mean?
Anna: Okay. Um, what does hoy mean?
Sophie: Hoy? Chuck, throw.
So, so you’d say, I hoy’d it.
I hoy’d it. Or you’d say, hoy that away, man. If you wanna put something in the bin, you’d say, instead of saying ‘put it in the bin’, you’d say, ‘hoy it away’.
Anna: Fantastic. And this is something that I’ve heard in a few places, but you say, bairn.
What Does Bairn Mean in Geordie?
Anna: And that’s for children or for babies?
Sophie: Yeah, just the bairn.
The bairns. The kids.
Anna: The kids.
Sophie: The bairns.
What does Bonnie Mean in Geordie?
Anna: Okay. Um, what about, oh, so bonnie, bonnie something you say often or is that quite old fashion?
Sophie: No, she’s a bonnie lass. Same as a canny lass. A canny lass would mean she’s a nice lass. A bonny lass would mean she is pretty, pretty.
Anna: Like attractive. She’s a pretty girl. Yeah. Okay. And, um, what does yem mean? So many words here. I’ve literally never heard of it.
What does Yem Mean in Geordie?
Sophie: Yem, so it’s kind of pronounced yem, and yeah, it’s okay. Home, I’m gan yem. So I’m gannin yem means I’m going home. Is like, yem, is home.
Anna: That’s really interesting cuz actually, in British English generally, um, I would say we don’t constrict our H’s, in most accents. There’s no constriction. There is some constriction in, um, in the Scouse accent, in the Liverpool accent, occasionally. Yeah, this sound, kch, but that’s usually a feature of, of foreign accents, of Russian accents. Um, a whole bunch of others. But the, so that’s one word where you do have this sound. It’s very unique.
Geordie dialect: Hinny Meaning
Sophie: Yeah. Um, okay, just a couple more here. I’ve got this one. Y’alrigh, hinny.
So, yeah, right. Y’alright hinny. Would be, are you alright? And it’s like, hinny is for a woman. It sounds like honey?
Anna: Is it something you say now? Or is it old fashioned?
Sophie: It’s quite old fashioned.
Anna: So you might hear your grandparents say,
Sophie: You hear your grandparents say, yeah. Right, Y’alright hinny.
Newcastle dialect: Dee Meaning
Anna: Okay. Well that’s interesting. And then I’ve got, um, dee instead of do.
Anna: Dee you say that?
Sophie: Dee you say that!? It wouldn’t be, it wouldn’t be in that situation.
Anna: How would you use it?
Sophie: I’m going to dee that t’night.
Anna: So when it’s kind of more, when it’s in a weak position.
Sophie: Yeah. So, um, yeah, there would be that, I’m going to dee that the night.
Why do Geordies say ‘the night’ and ‘the day’
Anna: Okay, lovely. You add ‘the’ in. Is that just when you’re saying like, tonight and today becomes ‘the night’ and ‘the day’? Yeah. That’s interesting.
Sophie: But it’s weird cuz today would be the day I’m going to play golf. I’m gonna play golf the day. Uh-huh. And the night would be, um, I’m going to do that the night. But you wouldn’t. and you wouldn’t talk about the past, right. Is in the night.
Anna: Right. Okay.
Sophie: You would, It’s only if it’s going to happen.
Okay, so tonight. Yeah. Today, tonight and today, would be the night, the day.
Divvent meaning in Geordie Dialect
Anna: Yeah. Okay. That’s so, so much fun. I love this accent and I think that’s everything. Oh, divvent, what’s divvent, is the last one divvent.
Anna: Okay, divvent do that. Don’t do that. Fantastic.
Sophie: Well, it’s been so much fun. I really do, love. It’s one of my favorite accents. I’d love to know actually what your favorite accent is. Please do write that in the comments section below. And if you’ve enjoyed listening to Sophia, which I certainly have, um, you can hear more from her on her Twitter page, which is,
Sophie: Sophia Kalo.
Anna: How’d you say goodbye in a Geordie Accent? Is there a way of saying goodbye or..
Anna: Tra. Alright then guys. Tra!
Sophie: Thank you for joining me on this Geordie Accent discovery. If you are a Geordie native and you feel we’ve missed a feature or some dialect, then please do let us know.
The British Accent Specialist Series
If you like this accent lesson, you'll love my other lessons on beautiful English accents. Just click on the links below to find out more!
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- The Newcastle Geordie Accent
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