‘Geordie Fraser’s Geordie Phrases’ is a series of YouTube videos in which David Simpson takes a light-hearted look at the origins of the region’s ‘Geordie’ dialect.
There are many influences upon the Geordie and Northumbrian dialect. In this series ‘Geordie Fraser’ explores some of the region’s well-known words and phrases and examines some of their possible origins.
In the first of the videos we see how the region once spoke a form of Welsh but this has left very little influence upon the dialect and place-names save for a prominent Pennine hill in Yorkshire and a peculiar means of counting sheep that survived across the uplands of the North.
The Angle ‘angle’ of North East dialect origins is explored in this first video looking at the origin of the Angles who gave England its name – ‘the Angle Land’. These were a people who also established the Kingdom of Northumbria. In addition, this first video explores the speech of the closely associated Frisians, whose surviving language is still the closest relative of English with words and pronunciations having a marked similarity to Geordie and Scots.
It’s been argued that Geordie (and Northumbrian) words are about 80 per cent Anglo-Saxon origin with the Angle influence being particularly prominent. This may be stretching the truth a little but certainly words and phrases like ‘gan’, ‘hoppings’ or ‘toon’ for town have striking similarities to Anglo-Saxon words even though the Old English language of the Anglo-Saxons would be largely incomprehensible to most English speakers today. Then again, the same is sometimes said for Geordie.
In the second of Geordie Fraser’s YouTube videos we examine some common Geordie words and phrases, with a little touch of humour. Other videos exploring the Geordie dialect will follow at a later date.
You might also like to visit our Geordie dictionary.