‘Bonny lad’ - People in Newcastle city centre are quizzed on Geordie words and phrases

Watch more of our videos on Shots! 
and live on Freeview channel 276
Visit Shots! now
We’ve been putting people to the test in Newcastle city centre by asking members of the public to translate common Geordie words and phrases.

As we all know, there are many Geordie phrases and terms that are used to describe certain things or get across emotions.

Phrases like ‘give owa’ and ‘belang’ have been used for years and are still in the vocabularies of many across the North East to this day.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

We wanted to know how many people still understand what some iconic Geordie words and phrases mean.

Dot, Aoife and Linda correctly got all the phrases right. Dot, Aoife and Linda correctly got all the phrases right.
Dot, Aoife and Linda correctly got all the phrases right. | NationalWorld

So we took to the streets of Newcastle city centre to find out.

First up was Dot, Aoife and Linda who worked as a team to correctly translate all of the phrases that were put ot them.

”Bonny lad is a nice looking fella or a term of endearment,” they said, before continuing: “clobber is clothing.”

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Another term that we asked the public to translate was ‘belang’, which is quite simply another way of saying ‘belong’.

Fiona confidently knew that ‘clobber’ was a term for clothes. Fiona confidently knew that ‘clobber’ was a term for clothes.
Fiona confidently knew that ‘clobber’ was a term for clothes. | NationalWorld

So if someone says they “belang Newcastle”, it means that they are from Newcastle.

Another participant was Colin, who self-proclaimed that he has a “posh accent” but knew what the words and phrases mean as he was brought up in the North East.

He said: “Divvin’ dee means don’t do it and give owa means just stop, cease or desist.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad
Despite his self-proclaimed “posh accent”, Colin was confident in his North East upbringing to correctly answer the questions. Despite his self-proclaimed “posh accent”, Colin was confident in his North East upbringing to correctly answer the questions.
Despite his self-proclaimed “posh accent”, Colin was confident in his North East upbringing to correctly answer the questions. | NationalWorld

“The last one is mint which generally means that it’s good.”

One word that stumped a number of participants was clobber due to the fact that it could have a dual meaning.

A man called Ricky was unsure about the meaning and said: “Clobber is getting into trouble, having a fight maybe.”

Ricky took part in the test on the streets of Newcastle. Ricky took part in the test on the streets of Newcastle.
Ricky took part in the test on the streets of Newcastle. | NationalWorld

However, a participant called Fiona confidentially stated that ‘clobber’ is a term for clothes.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

Colin highlighted that it could mean two things, commenting: “It could mean to beat them up or it can mean clothes as well.”

The words that we tested people on in Newcastle city centre were: ‘bonny lad’ ‘belang’, clobber’, ‘divvin dee’, ‘give owa’, and ‘minted’,

Read Newcastle’s news on the go with our free email newsletters - bringing the headlines to your inbox. Catch up on the day’s news and sport and enjoy even more from the NewcastleWorld team. Visit our website here to find out more and sign up.

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.