Durham & Tyneside Dialect Group / Word Lists /


This list is based on the entertaining dialect booklets by William Egglestone, recently [2003] republished with translations, by Weardale Museum. His 'phonetic' spelling can make it harder to recognise words, but is a valuable indicator in its own right.

the titles are:
'Betty Podkins at the Crook Exhibition' ( Durham Chronicle 25 Mar 1870)
'Betty Podkin's Visit to Auckland Flower Show' (Stanhope, 1876)
'Betty Podkin's Letter ted Queen on Cleopatra's Needle' (London, 1877)
'Betty Podkins' Address ted Electors a Wardle' (1885)

a - at, in? : "a Wardle" (Flower etc.)
a' - all: "a' mi life" (Flower etc.)
abi'en - above: "abi'en t'door heeds" (Flower)
"thoo...was niver abi'an three mile fra' the oon door sti'ans" (Flower)
"abeain t'level ed sea" (Cleo)
aboot - about (Flower etc.)
addlin' - earning: "ast...ev Peter wez addlin' weel" (Crook)
afuar, afur - before (Flower)
- afwore - "afwore Ah've teld mi täele." (Cleo)
agean - for when: "ageän thoo cum back" (Cleo)
Ah - I: "Ah cudn't sleep", "Ah isn't cross" [Flower]
airms - arms: "linked airms" (Flower)
airts - [directions]: "fra a' airts 'n' pairts" (Cleo)
amang - among: "amang thur hills" [Cleo etc.]
assle teeth - [molars]: "Ah mebbi gi' the' a nut ed thoo canna crack...even wu the assle teeth" (Cleo)
ast - asked: "ast fer sumthing ta eat" [Flower]
atopp - on to of: "atopp t' hills a Wardale" (Elect)
a-twee - in two (Cleo)
aud, au'd - old (Flower etc.)
ax - ask: "Ah'll ax the' another questen" [Cleo]

back a-behint - in the background: "Ah'll stand back a-behint" (Elect)
bairns - children: "seeben lad bairns" [Flower]
"t'bairns is a' off te bed" (Cleo)
batts - blows: "Augustus 'n' Antony gat te batts aboot it" (Cleo)
b'd - but (Flower etc.)
belang - to come from: "a man ed belang'd Middlesborro" (Cleo)
"browght afore 'er betthers" - called to account, brought to justice (Cleo)
bi'aks - books (Flower)
bi'ats - boots (Flower)
black bullets - sweets (Flower)
bonny - fine: "they [the soldiers] li'ak'd see bonny wi' ther reed cu'ats" (Flower)
"it wez bonny, nasty, windy wet murnen" (Crook)
bonny lakens - pictures/illustrations in books (Cleo)
booly - piece of china: "ivery booly ed plate" (Elect)
bowdikite - ?impertinent person: "a braz'nt bowdykite ed cud'nt mell wev his onn business" (Crook)
brack - broke: "brack t' heart" (Cleo)
brass - money: "keen o' [on] brass" [Flower]
brat - item of clothing: "a bit bairn's brat" (Elect)
brekans - ferns: "brekans big eneugh ta ha' thak'd a peat-moo[r]" (Flower)
brigs - bridges: "hee brigs et Aucklan'" (Flower)
brokken - broken: "a brokken winded horse" [Cleo]
bruckle - like to break : "t' weather was brukle like" [Flower]
brunt - burned, ?toasted: "brunt breed" (Flower)
bulledders - (Crook) - ? possibly 'bull-heed' (tadpole, in Yorkshire) - but compare next entry
bullethers - dragonflies [Cleo]
bullets - sweets: "black bullets en mint losengers" (Flower)
bumblers - bees: "lasses...buzzin aboot as bissy as bumblers" (Flower)
burn - stream: "T' perk...wuv a burn runnin' throo' t'middle ont" (Flower)
byre - cowshed: "Ah've...muck't t' byre" [Flower]
byzen - [s.thing shocking]: "a sham-an-abyzen" (Cleo)

ca' - call (Flower etc.)
cabbish - cabbage (Flower)
candy - sugar sweets: "candy see mickle a nounce...candy-rock a penny a stick" (Flower)
cannie - considerable: "Ah know a cannie bit aboot Cleopatra's Needle" (Cleo)
cap - to beat: "what capt a' was..." [Flower]
cassel - castle (Flower)
cau'd - cold: "cau'd watter" [Flower]
chemerly - urine: "where wuman fwuyk throw dish weshings en chemerly oot ed front door" [Crook]
chimler - chimney: "hee as oor chimler top" (Cleo)
clagg'd - stuck, glued "an' oad sang ed Tommy's Joe hes clagg'd on a beaik (book) back" (Cleo)
- "clagd tegither wu t' white ov an egg" (Elect)
clarts - street mud (Crook)
"t'awd ingine wez rattling away clitter-fer-clatter like a sprented dog" (Crook)
clockers - cockroaches, beetles (Crook)
cowl - rake / ?scatter: "sturd fire, 'n' cowl on a few cooals" (Cleo)
cowl-ri'aks - (muck-) rakes (Flower)
crack - ?challenge: "thoo gat drunk en crak'd t'preest oot ta fight" (Flower)
cracket - stool: "a three-footed cracket" (Flower)
cu'ats - coats (Flower)
curricks - cairns: "it ed mak a better guide post ner t' curricks fer travellers" (Cleo)

daggy - drizzly: "a nasty daggy surt ov a neet" (Cleo)
deef - deaf: "deef ez en ether" (deaf as an adder) [Flower}
di'ah - do: "ta di'ah" (Flower)
di'en - done (Flower)
dodthery - shaky: "excuse bad writ'n' fer mi hand's dodthery" (Cleo)
douk - bathe: "to gan ted sea side te hev a douk" (Elect)
downbye - see upbye
dud - did: "what Ah dud heer", "what duddy see?" (Flower)
dunnet - don't: "Ah dunnet know", "dunna git cross" (Flower)
dyke - wall: "t'cassel wuv a gert hee dyke in t'frunt ont" (Flower)
"ower twee dykes 'n'a lonnen" (Cleo)
"t' gits nd t' dykes" (gates and stone walls in fields) (Elect)

ed - at: "ed neet", "lost ed sea" (Cleo)
- on: "ed Fridays", in the: "leeves ed bible" (Flower)
- of the: "t' day ed month", "t' cullors ed rainbow" (Flower)
- the: "hung up on ed wa'" (Flower)
een - eyes: "when yan gans away inted world yan gits yan's een op'n'd" (Flower)
en - and (Flower etc.)
eneugh - enough (flower etc.)
et - that: "let somebody talk et hez seen t'world" (Flower)
ether - adder: "deef ez 'n' ether" (Flower)
ev - of: "stalls full ev apples" (Flower etc.)
ez - as (Flower etc.)

fahther - father (Flower)
fand - found: "whee fand it?" (Cleo)
fash - trouble: "we'd ha' some fash to git it [Cleopatra's Needle] alang t'fell" (Cleo)
feck - portion: "Maine feck o' mi other bairns" (Cleo)
fells - ?high land: "fells i' Wardle 're littel else b'd ling, 'n' peat-pots, 'n' moss-broks" (Cleo)
femmer - frail: "bits o' femmer things collapse...like a prickt blether" (Elect)
flayed - scared: "flayed ov a shooer o'rain" (Elect)
flesh-flees - bluebottles: "ez rank ez flesh-flees on a sheep pluk" (Flower)
fortneth - fortnight (Flower)
fotherly - forward, early: "ez spruce ez fotherly cabbish" (Crook)
fozzy - [soft]: "a fozzy turnip" (Cleo)
fra - from: "where Ah cam fra" (Flower)
frosks - frogs: "like frosks in a peat-pot" (Flower)
"like a spanghewed frosk" (Cleo)
fu'mets - martens (Crook)
furst - first (Flower)
fwuak - folk, people: "fwuak niver minded 'em" (Flower)

gallowa - pony (Cleo)
gallows - braces: "a gallows button" [Cleo]
gan - go: "thoo gans ower ta Tees" (Flower)
- "a gan on" (a carry on) (Flower)
- "gan the ways doon ted post wu this letther" (Cleo)
gar'd - made: "mi fahther gar'd us gan to bed" (Flower)
gat - got: "Ah gat up", "Ah gat a ride" (Flower etc.)
geävlick - [crowbar]: "stick'n' a geaivlick up an end" (Cleo)
gers - grass: "as green as gers" (Flower)
gert - great: "t'windows is gert big 'uns" (Flower)
"gert big kings" (Cleo)
gi'en - gone: "hevin' gi'en" (Flower)
git - get: "git to know"; gittin' - getting (Flower)
glented - shone: "glented till ma een fairly watter'd" (Flower)
gowk - fool: "a Wardle gowk " (Crook)
gowken - double handful: "ye cud ha gitten a gowken fu' fer a penny" (Flower)
grapes - [forks for digging] (Flower)
grozers - gooseberries: "berries en grozers ev a' kinds" (Flower)

ham-sam - [randomly] "mixt up ham-sam" (Cleo)
hapt - covered, blocked in: "hept up wu snow" (Elect)
hed - have it: "Ah suppu'as ye'll hed here a nee time" (Flower)
"they waddent let ma hed" (Flower)
hee - high: "Hee Furce" (Flower)
heeds - heads: "door heeds" (Flower)
heer'd - heard (pret.): "Ah heer'd..." (Flower)
hevin' - having (Flower)
hezent - hasn't (Elect)
hi'am - home: "ed hi'am", "blist wuv a Wardle hi'am", "hi'am's hi'am! Peter, if its iver see hi'amly" (Flower)
hing - to hang (trans.): "had ta hing lots ov stuff on t' oot side" (Flower)
"ther hair hingin' down their backs" (intrans.) (Flower)
hinnies - dears: "bliss us weel hinnies!" (Flower)
hitty-missy - unreliable: "hitty-missy-men" (Elect)
hod - hold: "hod the tongue" (Cleo)
hofe - half: "hofe a mile", "hofe-croons" (Flower)
hooses - houses (Flower)
hud ni'ak - chimney nook (Flower)
hug - carry, manhandle: "A singel man cudint huggd aboot wuv em" [Cleo]

Iceshoggles - "brack like iceshoggles" [Cleo]
inted - into the: "inted toon" (Flower)
intuv - into: "intuv a gert big hoose pli'ace", "inta where...", "intev a ki'ak shop" (Flower)
iver - ever: "iver see big" (Flower)

jacky-reed-tails - redstarts (Crook)

ken - can: "Ah ken tell the'" (Flower)
kersent - christened: "when t'eldest lad wez kersent ed church" (Flower)
kest - cast: "to kest an evil ee" (Flower)
kirned - churned: "an kirn'ed ed Fridays" (Flower)
kitty - jail: "a-steed o'putten 'er i' kitty, he went n' wedded 'er" (Cleo)
kye - cattle, cows: "milk t'kye" (Flower)

lake - play (intrans.): "nowther Peter er me lakes ed cards" (Crook)
a laken - a toy, plaything (Flower)
lang - long (Flower etc.)
lang syne - long ago: "lang syne when Ah wez a lass" (Cleo)
li'ak - look: "li'ak in at us" (Flower)
likeness - photograph: "likeness takken waggons" (Flower)
ling - heather: "bunches ev ling" (Crook)
- "t'ling hez a bonny bloom ont" (Elect)
lissen'd - listend: "en lissen'd her" (Flower)
livericks - sky-larks (Crook)
logger-heeds - moth: "butterflees en logger-heeds" (Crook)
"loke-adazy!" - exclamation of surprise or wonder (Cleo)
lonnen - (town) lane: "a lang lonnen wuv hooses en shops on bi'ath sides" (Flower)
loup - leap, jump: "dunna loup ed things like a cock ed a groser" (Elect)
lug - ear: "Ah'd gittin t' wrang pig b'd lug" [Crook]

ma - me (acc.sg.): "waddent let ma hed" (Flower)
mah - my (Flower etc.)
mak(e) - make, type: "a' make o' jobs", "a' maks en manners o' things"
make - make, maks (Flower)
"all maks 'n' shaps" (Cleo)
maar - more: "say nee maar" (Flower)
- "mare ner thoo" (Cleo)
meat - food: "they w'd ha' nee time ta ki'ak nice meat (food)" (Flower)
mebby - maybe: "they'll mebby git browght doon a peg" (Flower)
megs-wu-mony-feet - centipedes (Crooks)
meet - might: "ah meet be wrang" (Crook)
mi - my: "mi mother" (Flower etc.)
mickle - much: "see mickle a nounce" (Flower)
"ah canna read mickle" (Crook)
midden - (animal) dung-heap: "muck midden" (Flower)
mi'ed - made (Flower etc.)
mi'en - the moon: "the man ed mi'en" (Flower)
minded - ?noticed: "fwuak niver minded 'em" (Flower)
mony - many: "mony a thing" (Flower)
mowdywarp - a mole (Crook)
munnet - must not: "ye munnet think ed..." (Cleo)

nee - no: "nee doobt" (Flower)
"te nee purpose" (Cleo)
nee body - nobody (Flower)
neef - fist: "t'wight o' yer neef" (Flower)
neet - night (Flower etc.)
ner - nor: "yan knows better ner that" (Flower)
ni'em - name (noun) (Flower etc.)
nobbed - only: "beauty's nobbed skin deep" (Flower)
"Ah'z nobbet Betty Podkins" (Cleo)
noo - now (Flower etc.)
nowght - nothing: "its nowght b'd what's reet" (Cleo)
nowther - neither (Flower etc.)
nut - not (Flower etc.)

onn - own: "mi onn country" (Flower)
oot - out: "cut oot o' t'mi'en" (Flower)
ower - over; a' ower - again: "tell a' ower"; "mare ower that" (more than that) (Flower)
oxter - [armpit]: "i' the oxter pocket" (inside jacket pocket) (Cleo)

pant - ?pool, pond: "nee pleyce can be a toon ed hez pants en puddles fer ducks en geese ta' dabble in" (Crook)
peawicks - peewits (Crook)
play-lakins - toys: "railways er dear play-lakins" (Elect)
pluk - pimple, raw spot: "ez rank az flesh-flees on a sheep pluk" (Flower)
pollis - a policeman: "Ah telt a pollis aboot it" (Flower)
poor-hoy - bad throw: "It was a poor-hoy yan cudent git what yan wanted fer payin' for" (Flower)
powlens - wooden poles, levers: "Bewmont's miners wud come, 'n' if they'd plenty ov powlens te put unther t'needle, they'd bang'd across" (Cleo)
putten - put: "wud a putten t' wick oot ov any seck like jackyni'aps" (Flower)

queen's heads - postage stamps: "put on twee Queens' heads" (Cleo)

rattens - rats (Crook)
rive - tear: "fit te rive t' stower [partition] up" (Elect)

sark - shirt: "ther stiff sark necks" (Flower)
- "sarks meyd ev iron rings" (Crook)
sarred - served: "he wez reet sarred" (got what he deserved) (Cleo)
- "sarred t'swine" (Flower)
scri'azin - squeezing?: "Ah gat in ta t'railway wuv a deel o' scri'azin'" (Flower)
scodded - scalded: "like a scadded cat" (Flower)
seck - such: "en seck like", "niver seck a thing!" (Flower)
seek - such: "seek a lang way" (Cleo)
see - so (Flower)
seeben - seven (Cleo)
seed - saw (Flower)
sen - since, when last: "can thoo mind...sen we were link'd airms?" (Flower)
setten - set, ?encouraged: "they've setten t' bishop ta put his foot in t'pot" (of food getting burned) (Auckland)
she-apples - chaffinches (Crook)
shools - shovels (Flower)
shun - shoes (Flower)
sibbenty seeben - 77 (Cleo)
si'en - soon (Flower)
skirls - ?weird sounds: "t' skirls ev a dee'n fiddle" (Crook)
sneck - latch: "lift t' snek en cum in" (Flower)
snorkin' - snorting: "Peter's snorkin' 'n' snoor'n'" (Cleo)
sossenger - sausage: "Ah'll fry the' a sossenger te the supper" (Cleo)
sowlger - soldier: "a sowlger chap" (Flower)
stagarth - farmyard: "nut a strree ed stagarth" (Elect)
steg - gander: "yella ez a steg's foot" (Cleo)
stree - straw: "nut a strree ed stagarth" (Elect)
streyk - struck: "it just streyk mi' mind" (Crook)
sud - should (Flower)
sup - a sip: "Ah try'd a sup tea" (Flower)
sweat meets - sweets: "sweat meets ev a' t'cullors ed rainbow" (Flower)
syle - strainer: 2like teemen milk throo a syle" [Cleo]
syne - since (adv) "syne b'd yance" (Flower)

t' - the: "lift t' sneck" (Flower)
ta - to (Flower)
ta - you (nom.sg.): "cannet ta let somebody talk" (Flower)
tak - take: "t'traction engines...cud tak't up te Kil'ope Cross" (Cleo)
tatees - potatoes: "ther was ony amount o' tatees en turnips" (Flower)
team - to pour (trans.): "it was just like teamin' cau'd watter down mi back" (Flower)
ted - to the: "ted Noorth ov England", "write ted Queen" (Cleo)
teld - told: "Ah telt a pollis aboot it" [Flower]
thah - your (sg.): "thah ni'em" (Flower)
thank - to thatch: "brekans big eneugh ta ha' thak'd a peat-moo[r]" (Flower)
the - you (acc.cg.): "Ah tell the Peter" (Flower)
the - your: "set the wits te wark" (Cleo)
theer, ther - there: "when Ah got theer" (Flower)
ther - their, they're (Flower)
think on - remember: "mony a thing...she cudn't think on that neet" (Flower)
thoo - you (nom.sg.): "thou talks", "thoo gans" (Flower)
thowght - thought (pret.) (Flower)
thrangs - crowded gatherings: "thrangs a Wardle" (Flower)
- crowd: "Ah follow'd t' thrang" (Flower)
- crowded: "as thrang as three in a bed" (Flower)
- "as thrang as hens on a muck midden" (Flower)
three-neyk'd - triangular: "three-neyk'd cotton prints" (Crook)
throssel - [thrush]: "whissel'd like a throssel" (Flower)
thunner pash - thunder storm (Cleo)
thur - these: "amang thur hills" (Flower)
thyvel - a stick to stir porridge: "[a piccolo] nee bigger then a thyvel" (Flower)
ti'ah - too: "plenty ev other things ti'ah" (Flower)
ti'ak - took (Flower)
towght - taught: "a bi'ak towght 'en" (Flower)
towm - fishing line of horse hair: "fishen towms" (Cleo)
tud - to the: "tud fairs" (Flower)
toon - town (Flower)
tuv - to: "tuv a big box pli'ace" [compare: "intev a ki'ak shop"] (Flower)
twee - two: "a twee-shillin'-bit" (Flower)
twill - quill: "pull a twill oot ed geäse wing" (Cleo)

up a-heet - up: "Ah kok'd my au'd gingham stick [umbrella[ up a-heet" (Flower)
- "stick'n up aheet" (Cleo)
upbye - "atopp t'hills...ye can see...beoth upbye nd downbye" (Elect)

varra - very: "varra likely" (Flower)

wad - would: "wad ta nobbit hot the tongue", "as if yan wid see..." (Flower)
waddent - wouldn't (Flower)
Wardle - Weardale (Flower etc.)
wark - work: "it'll be time fer t'lads ta git up ta gan ta wark" (Flower)
wark - ache: "nd yer neeves fairly warkin a cawd" (Elect)
watter - water (Flower)
water-waggys - wagtails (Crook)
wazent, wazend - wasn't (Flower)
weel - weel: "varra weel" (Flower)
wez, waz - was "when Ah wez a lass" (Cleo)
whak doctors - quack doctors (Flower)
what en - what kind: "what en a ride was't?" (Flower)
whee - who: "whee knows!" (Flower)
"Whee wez Cleopatra?" (Cleo)
whick-things - living things: "its a good job ther but whick-things" (Cleo)
whilk - which: "any yan o' whilk" (Flower)
whisht - silent: "ez whisht ez a moose" [Crook]
wick - life: "putten t' wick oot ov ony seck" (Flower)
wuv - with (Flower)

yakker - acre(s): "twee yakker nd a coo" (Elect)
yal - ale: "nowther yal ner porter" (Flower)
yallow - yellow: "as yallow as a marigowld" (Flower)
yeck trees - oak trees (Flower)
yellow yowlies - ?yellow wagtails (Crook)
yan - one: "that yan day" (Flower)
yance - once (Flower)
yan's sell - oneself (Flower)
ye - you (plural; sg. in formal or irritated mode; sg/pl in general ref. = yan)
yet - gate: "iron yets" (Flower)
yit - yet (Flower)
yubben - oven (Cleo)
yure - ore: "t'yure gitten oot ed leed mines" (Elect)