Geordie is the name of the English-language dialect spoken by the inhabitants of Tyneside, in the north east of England. The catchment area for the term “Geordie” can be as large as the whole of north east England, or as small as the city of Newcastle upon Tyne.
In most aspects Geordie speech is a direct continuation and development of the language spoken by the Anglo-Saxon settlers of this region. Initially mercenaries employed by the ancient Brythons to fight the Pictish invaders after the end of Roman rule in Britannia in the 5th century, the Angles, Saxons and Jutes who thus arrived became, over time, ascendant politically and – through population transfer from tribal homelands in northern Europe – culturally over the native British. The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that emerged during the Dark Ages spoke largely mutually-intelligible varieties of what we now call Old English, each varying somewhat in phonology, morphology, syntax and lexicon. This Anglo-Saxon influence on Geordie can be seen today, to the extent that poems by the Anglo-Saxon scholar the Venerable Bede translates more successfully into Geordie than into modern day English. Thus, in northern England, dominated by the kingdom of Northumbria, was found a distinct “Northumbrian” Old English dialect.
In recent times “Geordie” has been used to refer to a supporter of Newcastle United football club, and the Newcastle Brown Ale schooner glassware used to serve beer in the United States.