Wednesday, 7 January 2009

Proud to be a Sand Dancer!

Expatmum and PottyMummy have had a few goes at doing Geordie accents lately and expatmum's recent post made me laugh (which I sorely needed). It got me thinking as to what it is to be a Geordie (or a "Sand Dancer"* for that matter) and I came up with this description from this website:

Who Are Geordies?
The Geordie nickname originates from and is used to describe people from the north east of England, specifically people from the areas of North And South Tyneside, Northumberland (which includes Tynedale and Hexham) and the mainly western areas of County Durham.
The terms Geordie or Geordies probably originated from the fact that the miners in the north east coalfields used George Stephenson's safety lamps to prevent underground explosions, rather than the Davy lamp which was more commonplace. If that's true then maybe Geordies have George Stephenson to thank for not having the nickname "Davies" instead.
The term also used to encompass the people living in the north east areas of Sunderland and Middlesbrough but this has been dropped by a large proportion of the people in these areas, who now prefer to be recognised as Mackems or Smoggies respectively.

These short video clips perfectly capture the essence of the Geordie accent compared to so called "Proper English". It must be pointed out however that like any other people who talk with an accent, Geordies are very capable at speaking the "Queens" English should the occasion arise.
(That last bit, which I italicised, made me giggle..as it's the sound of a Geordie getting on his/her high horse!!! )


* A person from South Shields is a Geordie or more affectionately known as a Sand Dancer. Not sure that the Wikipedia version of the meaning is correct. From what I've always understood there were a lot of Arabs** (and still are) living in South Shields. That fact combined with the location of South Shields, right on the North Eastern coast, is why we are called "Sand Dancers".

** Roman Arab reference: Arbeia (name of Roman Fort) in South Shields...Arbeia is thought to be a Latinised form of a name originally from Aramaic - the native language of the last attested unit stationed at the fort - meaning 'the Place of the Arabs'.

21 comments:

lmerie said...

Hi Hadriana! and HAPPY NEW YEAR!
It is funny how every country has their version of "north vs. south" - that was cute video! I did not know if I would catch the difference, but I did!

Cheers!

Expat mum said...

Thank god you made the distinction between Georgies and Mackems.
Funny, but I used to have a South African au pair who was Afrikaans. When she spoke on the phone to her friends and family, it was so like Geordie I could understand snippets. For example, she used to say "Howzit gannen?". Cook eh?

Expat mum said...

Cool. I meant cool! (Knackerheed.)

Fat, frumpy and fifty... said...

sand dancer how wonderful is that!! I darent look up what Cumbrians are known as!! LOL...

glad you can step away from the day and do something for yourself....

fff

French Fancy said...

Blimey, what a coincidence. I've just this minute been reading about Humphrey Davy (he of the lamp). I'll be studying him (and his lamp) in a couple of months time. Then the first blog I look at is yours and you mention the lamp.

I love it when things like that happen, although they are a bit weird.

I must say that I'm not that mad on the Geordie accent. It's okay when Ant and Dec do it but not when old Heather Mills does it. Does that make me sexist?

Troy said...

Aye, canny banter pet!

The Dotterel said...

I once offended someone greatly by calling them a Geordie - "Ahm noh a Geordie; ahm frum Doorum?" was the indignant reply. The end of a beuatiful friendship. Sue, I think her name was. Ah, well...

The Dotterel said...

And ahh can spell too, mun!

Strawberry Jam Anne said...

That made me smile Hadriana - my dad was a Geordie. In the Air Force during WW2 he was stationed for a while near Weymouth where he met my mum. They married in 1942 and he took her to Newcastle to meet his family. Imagine an innocent 19 year old, newly married, travelling all that way on a train (mostly filled with troops), and then being greeted by a family of Geordies. When she recalls that time she says they were so kind and hospitable but it was like being in a foreign country and she couldn't understand what they were saying. (My dad didn't have a very strong accent).

Catharine Withenay said...

What a laugh! So true, so true!!

Lakeland Jo said...

brilliant post- check out my blog for praise

Clippy Mat said...

came via Lakeland Jo's blog. I'm a proud Geordie, living in Canada. Love Catherine Tate. She also does a canny Geordie impression herself which I'm sure you're familiar with. Great way to start my day. thanks.
:-))

Nota Bene said...

I go weak at the knees to the sound of a girl/woman with a geordie accent, but shrivel away at hte sound of a Brummie voice...

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Hi Imerie and a very happy new year to you as well! I think every country has their own North vs. South. (I think!!) Glad you liked the clips.

Hi Expatmum...South African...that's interesting. When we were in Egypt we had a lot of divers (different nationalities) working for us. I happened to mention the word "tyke" which comes up in the second clip and a Swedish guy, Anders, said they use that word in Swedish. Not sure if in the same way though...(!!) I'm interested though because I'm convinced that I have some Viking blood in me...! (Not come across the expression: knackerheed but I bet I'll start using it soon. Cool!)

Thank you FFF. I am feeling mega guilty that I haven't been keeping up with my blogging chums but will be trying to right that wrong over the coming days. :)

FF and NB, I don't know whether this will upset you or not but I don't have a Geordie accent. As I went to a posh school in Newcastle I kind of never had it/never lost it type of thing. Which is a shame really as I like the accent. When I went to college on nearly the first or second night in Freshers Week one chap said to me..."You're from South Shields aren't you?" I did a double take. No...we didn't know one another. Apparently his nanny (note the coincidence FF) came from South Shields and said "fillem" for "film". I do say it like that when I'm drunk or angry (yes...in the middle of a Barry Norman rant...showing my age now) and out it pops. (Apparently for all you linguistic types out there...it comes from the Irish community which settled in/around South Tyneside area. They over pronounce their consonants allegedly.)

Troy, Ta hinny!

The Dotterel...sometimes I only see half my mails and I saw your second entry (before the first) and I thought what on earth is he on about? It all makes sense to me now. Maybe she was a touchy lass? Apologies to all Sues from Durham there...

At 18 I was even more miffed (or maybe not - depends how much you fancied her ;) )when I received a letter back from Durham University...beginning "Thank you for your (undated) letter"...the end of a possibly beautiful relationship as well. I went right off them.

SJA, your comment made me smile too.

1. Must get to Weymouth some time as it's a wonderful place above and below the water. Must see it before the Olympics takes it over!!
2. I used to use a bus/coach called "The Clipper" when I was student from Newcastle to London and vice versa. They used to sell a variety of filled stottie cakes (sandwiches to everyone else) on the bus. My Southampton boyfriend asked the bus conductor which types of stotties he was selling, on one journey, and he reeled all the types off. The only one I could make out was "ham and peas pudding"..my boyfriend turned round to me and shrugged then whispered..."I can't understand a word he said. Can you ask him again?" Which I did. Still could only understand the ham and peas pudding...so we got two of those. They did taste lovely in their defence!

Catharine...glad you liked it! BTW my parents used to own a shop in Jesmond called "Browns" on Acorn Road. Did you ever see it by any chance?

Lakeland Jo, Many thanks for putting my name in lights!!! Very chuffed.

Clippy Mat...nice to meet you. Glad you enjoyed it. I'll be over to yours soon. I'd have looked right now but I'm supposed to be putting the children to bed right now :(

NB: I used to be the same (re: Brummie accent) but Adrian Chiles was in my year, but not in my class sadly ...he studied English and I studied Spanish, so he's sort of brought me around to it. I do think that the Geordie accent is a very friendly one and a funny one. It's very true that we send ourselves up a lot and don't mind others taking the micky out of us. I do like our sense of humour one hell of a lot. It's what keeps me going.... ;)

Completely Alienne said...

Thanks for the video clips, especially loved the second one. I've always thought geordie sounds really friendly.

If anyone wants some more brilliant examples, I would recommend searching for Teesside Tintin on You tube - they are class!

Expat mum said...

Actually if you search Buzzcocks on You Tube there's a particularly disgusting Geordie with huge teeth. He 's apparently a nice bloke in real life and he does the North East Charvers (chavs) to a tee. Mind the language though.

Hadriana's Treasures said...

Thanks you CA and expatmum...I'll have a look over on YouTube for both of those. I'm just concerned about the Viz website...they've taken it down at the moment for renovation. It's my Geordie encyclopedia and it's not there!!!

Message for the new owners of Viz: "Divvent dunsh it yous lot!!"

Little Brown Book said...

Oooh - I'm a 'Sand Grown Un' which I am reliably informed (by my Grandad) is 'a person born in one of the West Lancs coastal towns, e.g. Blackpool, Morecombe etc'

My other half has an irritating habit of saying 'sickly sausage roll!' every time a Geordie comes on the telly.

It's the way he tells em....

MsCatCalls said...

Just discovered these two video clips and as someone who is told variously " You ? A geordie ? no way ? " and at the other extreme " I love that accent " I thought they were wonderful.

Did you say your parents owned Browns on Acorn Rd ? Was that the gift shop Morgan Browns or I am getting confused ? I loved that shop , great jewellry , cards etc .

Sorry about your recent trials and tribulations by the way .

Hadriana's Treasures said...

LBB....Geordies sometimes get a bad name...don't know why???!!! I think in times past I did fight against it but now I know more about my region and am fiercely proud of it. So Eric Morecambe/Bartholomew was a "Sand Grown Un"....well I never!

MsCC...yes my parents used to have that shop...when it was called "Browns" simply and sold women's fashion. They had boutiques all over the North East at one point. I liked Morgan Browns too...I think I used to pop in there after school....

Yes. Life is never easy (or rarely) particularly so, at the moment...thank you for your good wishes :)

Hadriana's Treasures said...

That comma should come before particularly...but what the heck!...Nothing like living dangerously.....Ha! Ha!