We are the Geordies

Tekkin the Dog for a Waalk?

Depending on who you ask, you are only a Geordie if you were born within spitting distance of the Tyne and others might argue that anyone from Northumberland right down to Durham qualifies.

If you live within a certain radius of Newcastle you are known as a Geordie. Quite ridiculously, even people who even talk with a slight North Eastern twang, the rest of the UK tend to label as a Geordie. However it is understandable as we are the only city in the North East worth noting… πŸ˜‰

Nowadays, it’s very common that ‘Geordie’ is linked with anyone who supports the famous Black and White stripes and as I know we have a lot of international bloggers and have heard various stories and discussions on what actually makes you a true Geordie, I have decided to jot down what my understanding of what ‘Geordieness’ really is.

Historically, it all starts in the late 17th century or early 18th century, depending on which of the mainstream stories you believe. The two most common ideas of the actual name and terminology ‘Geordie’ both stem from the name George. The earlier and more in-depth explanation involves King George II, the last British Monarch to be born outside of Great Britain (having actually been born in Germany) and this would be the popular choice for anyone who believes true Geordies are born within spitting distance of the Tyne.

Without getting bogged down too much with facts and dates, the simplified version is that during the 17th century a rebellion against the King occurred led by Catholic James Stuart. The Northumbrians, the Scottish and the surrounding areas joined with the Catholic rebellion and this meant that pretty much the whole of the area followed the rebellion except one particular city…Newcastle upon-Tyne.

Due to their loyalty to King George, which was mainly for trade reasons and the fact that they couldn’t risk trade just instantly ceasing by opposing the current monarch, the inhabitants of the city were dubbed the Georgies or Geordies by the opposing side.

The most popular definition I hear when the question arises is to do with the miners lamp designed by George Stephenson. The other mining communities in the country used the ‘Davy’ mining lamp so with the folk of Tyneside using a different lamp which they had themselves named the Geordie lamp, the term was linked to this community indefinitely.

Many songs, tales and scripture from this period use the word ‘Geordy’ or ‘Geordie’ to describe the coal miners from the area. Coal was hugely important to the area and we still hear the phrase ”selling coal to a Geordie” used sometimes as an alternative to ”selling ice to the Eskimos’’

George Stephenson was a pretty famous bloke around the town as he was born in Northumberland then moved to the Killingworth/West Moor area where he developed the safety lamp which would burn without causing an explosion. I used to walk past his old house everyday on the way to work in Forest Hall and The George Stephenson pub in West Moor also pulls a lovely pint if you ever get the chance.

This bloke also developed the first steam locomotive to be used on the railway hauling coal and you could write books about his engineering genius and accomplishments. His statue can still be seen to date in Newcastle city centre in all it’s glory

One thing I always wondered about too was our relationship with the folk over the border as I currently live in Scotland. I was always fascinated by the fact that whenever the Scottish found out I was from Newcastle they would always say “nae bother, Southern Scotland!” and would be accepted a lot more than if I was classed as English!

My family is from Wallsend so I know the history about Hadrians Wall and its significance in previous battles with our neighbours to the North.

This prompted me to look into this a bit more deeply and I read an interesting article regarding how the inhabitants of this area didn’t class themselves as English or Scottish in times gone by, they classed the Kingdom of Northumbria as a completely separate entity or state.

Let’s be honest, there’s not really any other areas of England where the broad local dialect is almost unrecognisable as English leading the common conception that ”they’ve got their own language up there!”

Another popular theory regarding the miners of the North East revolves around Wor famous Ale, Newkie Brown. Go into any pub worth their salt and order a Brown Ale and you will be presented with a Schooner. The Schooner glass is around half a pint and was used by the miners to share a bottle of broon out after a days work so one bottle would be equally shared between two miners and anyone who drinks a Bottle o’ the Dog will usually do the same – although a lot of them have no idea why!

To summarise, no one actually knows for certain the true origin of the term Geordie or how the people of this land became known by this famous tag and the real reason could be something I haven’t mentioned. A lot of research has been put into it with no cast-iron conclusion formed and as I previously said it just depends on who you ask.

No doubt the locals on the site will have their own ideas whilst a lot of our international visitors will have been treated to a very brief history lesson about the locals of their beloved club.

About Moreno

Raised in Tyneside and now spreading the Gospel of Shola down in shandyland! Follow @MorenoToon on Twitter !

162 thoughts on “We are the Geordies

  1. my grandad went to primary and med school in newcastle…went to every game for 11 years back in 30’s-40’s….tried to pass down the ‘geordie’ to my dad…unfortunately my dad never had the technology or the passion (we live in southern california, USA) and now thanks to websites like these i can become a 2nd generation geordie πŸ˜€ but i cant help feeling a hole in my passion.. i have never been to a game… or england for that matter…. but i am the loyalest 14 year old that i know… ( i even have to deal with a villa fan down the street πŸ˜‰ ) anyway i just need consolidation, closure, reassurance, or something anyways please let me know…


  2. Great article!! Like the bits of history too. I weas born in Benwell, and my father’s family have been from Newcastle as long as I can trace back – about 5 generations! I supported the Toon since I was about 5 and old enough to understand! Went to Gosforth High School, but living over in China now for the last 5 n half years. Miss the Toon! Newcastle United are my identity. My link back to my home.

    Great blog guys. As a remote Geordie you keep me in touch! Cheers!


  3. Da’s from Newcastle,Mum’s from Germany,born in Germany,still a Geordie πŸ™‚ .Don’t live in Newcastle YET but I know that I will one day ’cause I’ve got family there too ’cause me dad’s from Newcastle.It’s always hard to leave again and to get on the ship back to Germany but always lovely to be back,just love everything there and been a Newcastle United fan from the start,can’t wait to go back for a few weeks soon. πŸ™‚ πŸ™‚


  4. @thump

    Sorry to disappoint you but you are not Geordie if you live or were born in Durham.

    Native of Tyneside only.


  5. @richietoon
    I’m from a smaller town in a region called Nordrhein Westfalen πŸ™‚


  6. Dusseldorf area then?…..I was posted over there for a while, Hameln twice, Hohne, Fallingbostel and Hildesheim. Popped over last year for a few days to Hameln and Goslar πŸ˜›


  7. Yeah nearly about 2 and a half hours away from Dusseldorf.So you had a nice time overe here? πŸ™‚


  8. Aye loved it, Hameln was the best but it was like a ghost town on a Saturday night when I went last year πŸ™


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