Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group / Word Lists /


This list is drawn from MacDonald's novel Castle Warlock, published in 1882 and set "in debatable land between Highlands and Lowlands" (p.1). Though born in Scotland, MacDonald moved away when he grew up, and the frequent examples he gives of Scots dialogue must surely go back to his own childhood, when he attended local schools in Aberdeenshire in the 1830s; and, if so, is useful evidence of what was being spoken around the time when Scottish migration to Tyneside was a factor likely influencing North East dialect.
Some additional words, marked +, derive from MacDonald's novel The Marquis of Lossie

aboot - about
abune - above
afore - before
ahin' - behind
aiblins - possibly
ain - own (adj.)
aisse - ashes
ance - once
ane - one
anent - cocerning: 'anent sic things'
aneth - below anither - another
atween - between
ava - at all
aye - ever
+ ayont - "ye're ayont me there" ch.9

bairn - child
bairnies - cildren
ballant - ballad
baudrins - pussy-cat
ben - within: 'they see far ben'; + "she stole form the ben end [of the cottage]" ch.15
bide - remain, endure: 'bidin' at hame'
bit (adj) - 'a bit loonie' (a small child)
blate -bashful
blaws - blows
blin' - blind
bonnie, bonny - fine, lovely
brak - to break
bude - had to, needed to: 'there bude to be some rizzon for 't '
buik - book
burnie - stream

ca - drive: 'ca/caw a nail'
ca'd - called
cairds - gipsies
cam - came
camstairy - obstinate: "like a cmastairybullock" ch.3
canna - cannot
caw - drive: 'caw a nail'
chield - [child, person]: 'a rough sailor chield'
+ clap - to pat: "clapping her head" ch.55
clavers - chatter, gissip
cleedin' - clothing: 'cleedin' them'
cluckie - chicken
corbie - raven
coup - overturn, upset: 'coup the kettle'
crack - talk, chat
cudna - couldn't

dang - dashed [trans]: 'dang to the yird'
deavt - deafened
dee - die; dee'd - died
deith - death
deivin' ye - deafening you + dight - "dightin' wi' the blot" ch.3
dinna - don't
dingin' - 'it's black theroot, an' dingin' oot, wi' great thuds o' win' '
divna - don't: 'divna I min' ye a sma' wean', 'divna ye?'
div - do: 'weel div I un'erstan' ye', 'I div not see'
diz - does
doesna - doesn't
doobtna - don't doubt: 'I doobtna a hair'; + "I doobt there's something no richt aboot it" ch.13
doon - down
dowie - unwell, in decline + drumble - to muddy: "dumblet (muddied, troubled) wi' luve" ch.47
du - do
dub - mire; dubs - mud
+ duv - do: "duv ye ca' yersel' an honest man" ch.3
dee'd - died
doo - dove
dunts - knocks
dwine - to fade away: 'to dwine an' dwin'le'
dyke - ?wall: 'upo' the dyke'

'ears - years
e'e - eye: 'the aipple o' their e'e '
efter - after
eneuch - enough

fa' - fall
fain - happily: 'I wad fain an' far raither...'
feart - afraid: 'feart at him'
fess - fetch
fin' - find
fleein' aboot - flying/rushing about
fleys - frightens; + "nathing to be fleyt at" ch.65 flitting - house-moving
+ fluke: "the flukes - plaice, you call them" ch.66
fower - four
fowth - abundance
frae - from

gae'd - went [pret.]
gaein' - going
gane - gone: 'the maister's gane'
gang - go
gars - makes, compels: 'what gars ye speir?'
gat - got
gerse - grass
gey - good: 'a gey lang walk', 'a gey lot o' sheep'
gie - give
gi'en - given
gien - if: 'gien ye please'
+ girn - to grin: "I'm jist girnin'" ch.24
gled - hawk
gleg - [fixed gaze?]: 'bairns' e'en are gey gleg upo' angels'
glower - stare
+ golach - beetle: "worms an' golachs" ch.34
gotten, p.p.
gowd - gold
gowk - fool: 'Maister A'body has a heap o' the gowk in him yet'
greit - cry, weep: 'dinna greit'
grit - great: 'grit an' strang'

hae - have
hame - home
haud - hold: 'haud yer tongue'
haud awa' wi' ye - 'no', 'stop'
havers - idle chat, nonsense?
Hawkie - name of a cow
hearken till - listen to
heid - head
himsel' - himself
hin'er end - last end
hingin' - hanging: 'hingin' doon'
horsie - horse
houp - hope
how - hollow (a land feature, and as standard adj.)
+ howk - scoop, etc. "howkit oot o' the din" ch.9
+ huly - gently: "Huly, huly, sir!" ch. 6
huz - us

i' the - in the
ilk - each
ilka ane - each one ingle-neuk - hearth-corner'
intil't - in it

jaloost - suspected

kail - pottage
kelpie - demon
ken - to know: 'ye dinna ken'
kenna - don't know: 'I kenna whaur to gang'
kep - catch, intercept: 'to kep a ghost'
kirk - church
kirkyaird - churchyard

+ landlouping - ?trespassing: "landloupin' knaves" ch. 66
lang - long
to lapper - turn to curds (intrans.)
the lave - the rest, remainder
lee - lie, tell falsehood + lick - beat up: "he wasna big enough to lick" ch.48
lippent oot - depended on: 'the sheep cudna be lippent oot to pick their bit mait [food] themsel's'; + "ye winna lippen till me" [?trust]
loupin' - jumping: loupin' ower the mune'
lowe - flame, fire: 'gien the hoose was to brak intil a lowe'
lowse - to loosen: 'to lowse the richt o' 't '
lugs - ears
lum - chimney

mair - more
maist - most; almost
maitter - matter
mak - to make: 'I mak nae doobt', 'mak melody'
mak - make: 'the mak o' 'y '
maun - must: 'ye maun learn'
menseless-like - graceless
micht - might
middin - cess pit
min' (mind) - to recall
mirk - dark: a wull mirk (a wild darkness)
mony - many
mowse - safe to meddle with: 'there's that 'at 's no mowse aboot it'
muckle - much: 'ower muckle din'

naebody - nobody
naething - nothing
nane - none
neist - next
nicht - night
no - not
noo - now

ony - any
oor - our
ower - over: 'a bit ower happy'

pick - pitch: 'as dark 's pick'
plack - coin: 'naither plack nor bodle'
+ plash - spalsh: "disappeared with a great plash" ch.41
pock - bag, sack

+ quo - said: "quo he" ch.2

reid - red: 'reid wi' heather'
redd up - tidy
richt - right
rin - to run
ro'd - road
rottans - rats

sair - sore: 'his heid's some sair yet'
sall I - shall I
sattled - settled scrattin' - scratching: 'when the cat gangs scrattin' at the door
scunners - dislike: 'it's the natur o' dougs to tak scunners'
scunnert - disgusted: 'scunnert wi 't '
shouthers - shoulders
shune - shoes
sic - so, thus; such
sic-like - similar: 'sic an' siclike', 'sic-like sinners'
siller - silver
sin syne - since then
sneck - latch
snow-heap - pile of snow
sodger - soldier speirin' - enquiring: 'what for didna ye speir that at me afore?', 'gien a body micht speir'; + "speirin' a question" ch.7
steek - close: 'steek the door'
streekit oot - stretched out
sud - should
swarfed - fainted

ta'en - taken
tak' - take
taties - potatoes
+ ?tave - to struggle: "yer sawl tyauvin' (wresling) with a deevil" ch.3
tellt - told
teuk - took
thae - those: 'thae rimes'
thegither - together
timmer - timber
tod - fox
toom - empty: 'my hert's jist toom like'; 'Deith, glowerin' at them oot o' his toom e'en'; + "a toom dry bowl" ch..40
tu - take care of: 'tu wi' the door' i.e. shut it
twa - two

verra - very

wadna - wouldn't
war - were
wark - work [noun]
warran' - 'I s' warran' ye frae noticin'!'
warstlet - wrestled; + " amay warstle throu; anything" ch.5
wasna - wasn't
watter - water
waur - worse
wean - child
weel! - well
wersh - insipid
wha - who
what for - why
whiles - sometimes
whilkever - whichever
whisht! - hush!
+ widdie - noose, etc.: "them' at gangs whaur they kenna, may lan' at the widdie (gallows)" ch.68
win - get: 'afore ye win til 'im', 'the horse canna win throuw the snaw'
winna - won't
winnock - dimin. of window
wons - dwells: 'the kelpie wons aye by some watterside'
wull - will
+ wyte - blame, fault: "it'll be a' my wyte" ch.59

yett - gate

il 'im', 'the horse canna win throuw the snaw'
winna - won't
winnock - dimin. of window
wons - dwells: 'the kelpie wons aye by some watterside'
wull - will
+ wyte - blame, fault: "it'll be a' my wyte" ch.59

yett - gate