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Meet the Geordie, man

What is Geordie? Loosely, it means a northeasterner, known for one of the country's most distinctive regional dialects. More properly, it is someone born within a small (though undefined) radius around Tyniside -- a little like a Cockney, who to be genuine must be born within the sound of the bells of St. Mary-le-Bow in London's East End.

The dialect includes distinctive words, such as "hinny" and "luv," a habit of tacking "man" on the end of sentences, and special pronunciations: "Newcastle" comes out "Nucassel," for instance, the last two syllables rhyming with "tassel."

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The origin of the word "Geordie" remains a mystery. Some say it derives from the northerners' support for George I and George II in the 18th century. Others trace it to a miner's safety lamp invented by George Stephenson (of locomotive fame) and called a "geordie."


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