Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group / Word Lists /


A personal list submitted by Phil B. Davis: "I've attached a document, which probably isn't remarkable, but reflects the terms I can remember using on Teesside right through my youth until the mid-90's. I was born in Fairfield, Stockton, and I hope I've managed to offer you something unusual in my list..."

A - I, the first person singular; “A mean, like, as if!”
afty – afternoon “See ya this afty”
away – as in “come-on” – usually no 'h' at the beginning – 'h' sometimes added to express frustration
“Away, man.” can mean “hurry up”, and also has conciliatory uses to the effect of “be reasonable” and “get real”. Used whether talking to females or males.

bairn – child “aw, the poo-wer bairn”
“Barmy goat” – a fool, (one of my mother's expressions)
bat-lugs - eavesdropper
beck – small stream
boff – a school term for fart

cack – excrement, often used as an exclamation “Cack! Ave done it again!”
cack-handed – left-handed (!)
cadge – borrow, or more likely obtain “Can a cadge a fag off ye?”
canny – cute, nice, lovely “Aw, isn' it canny?”. Most famous reference probably “a canny bag o' Tudor!”
clart/clat – mess
croggy – riding as an additional passenger on a push-bike – usually on the seat whilst the rider pedals standing up. “Gis a croggy!”
cuddy-wifter – left-hander

Dad – father (unusual to hear daddy)

Eee! – a favourite Teesside exclamation “Eee! He never!”

femmer – fragile “By that's femmer, careful!”

ganj – look, as in “Let's have a ganj!”
“ge' away” (get away) used in the context of “I don't believe it, or “you're having me on”
gegs – glasses, spectacles “a can't find me gegs!”
get – a derogatory term “You get!”
gob – spit, “Did you just gob on me?”
gob – mouth “Mind your gob”
goosegogs – both gooseberries and goose-pimples; “He's come out all goosegogs up his arms”
greenie – snot
grundies – underpants

Heck – a mild statement of astonishment; “Heck, how did ye ge' that up there?”
Hiya – hello

Iya – exclamation of pain, often used by children

kegs – trousers; “Me kegs 're all muddy!”

“Larksey mo!” - exclamation used in same context as you might use “Heaven's above” – only ever heard my mother use it! Both my parent's families were from Wales, so I don't know if there's a connection.
lugs – ears
lug about - carry

Mam – mother
manky – bad or smelly
me – my “Ow, me toe, me toe!”

neb – nose “Keep your neb out”
nimbathron – idiot – a favourite of one of my teachers (no idea where that's from!)
now then – hello (often “Now then, fella”/”Now then, lass”)

“old gadgie” – old man (Can't remember hearing “gadgie” on it's own)
ow – hey “Ow, you”

parmo – (shortened from parmesan) flattened pork escalope coated with breadcrumbs, bechamel sauce and cheese, served in a pizza box as a take away – delicious!!
pots – potatoes
pump – fart; “He's pumped!”

rammy – horrible

smeg – semen (much amusement at cooker adverts)
skeg – take a look; “Go an' 'ave a skeg over there.”
spawny - lucky
spell – a splinter in your finger
spuggy - sparrow
stottie – an enormous round bread bun that's relatively flat

ta-rah – good bye
tig-ogg – children's game, hybrid of hide and seek and tig.
toms – tomatoes

yous – you (plural) “you's lot, come here”

General Pronunciation:
“bu'er”, “gu'er”, “fu'ie” (butter, gutter, footie) - the bitter irony that people from Teesside don't pronounce their tees!
“poo-wer” – poor
"oo-wer” – moor
“like” – generously used in speech, like.
“ugerly” and “laaard” are deliberate pronunciations of words for derogatory purposes.