What is a Geordie?

As the local Anglophile (Kingdom, Mock the Week, Top Gear, Fifth Gear, QI, Blackadder, Monty Python, Doctor Who lately, The IT Crowd), I still have no idea what a Geordie is. I think I had to borrow this spelling from somewhere on the internet.

What is this, and why is it mocked? Even Wikipedia was written so densely and close to the subject that I didn’t get the point.

What’s the problem with the Wiki article?

There’s your answer right there.

Right, and Geodies are sometimes mocked (though not to their face, because they have a reputation for being “hard”) because a strong Geordie accent can be almost incomprehensible even to most other English people. (Much more so than any other English accent.)

Whenever I hear the word I think of Alan Price’s Jarrow Song.

My name is Geordie McIntyre, an’ the Bairns don’t even have a fire
So the wife says “Geordie, go to London Town!”
And if they don’t give us half a chance , don’t even give us a second glance
Then Geordie, with my blessings, burn them down

Come on follow the Geordie boys, they’ll fill your heart with joy
They’re marching for their freedom now
Come on follow the Jarrow lads, they’ll make your heart feel glad
They’re singing now, yes now is the hour

It’s just a nickname for people from Newcastle upon Tyne. The Geordie accent is very distinctive, and I think that’s the only thing I ever hear people mocking Geordies for. That, and being “Northern”.

Then again, I live in Scotland, where all English regions are mocked equally.

Try Auf Wiedersehen Pet, and some of the standup comedy of Ross Noble to get a taste of geordie-ness.

I don’t suppose there’s a map online somewhere with all the nicknames shown; scousers, monkey-hangers, etc. It’d make a handy stickie sometimes.

I don’t think Geordies or their accent are mocked particularly. No more than any other regional identity anyway. There are a couple of stock jokes about Geordies, such as the one njtt mentions - it can get pretty cold in Newcastle (by English standards), but the joke is that the locals are hardened to it and go around in sleeveless T-shirts at all times.
I think I read somewhere that a mild Geordie accent is one of those ones that people find appealing, and accordingly advertisers and the like increasingly use it in voiceovers. If you want an accent that many people find comical, try Brummie (Birmingham area)

The lovely lass on the left is Cheryl Cole, and she has a very appealing Geordie accent

The title of the thread made me think, “someone has to explain a Star Trek character?”

Damn. I would sworn it was doing an impossible engineering feat, with the more archaic version being a Scottie. Not to be confused with a McGyver, which is just doing anything plainly impossible (but hella cook looking).

And I was thinking about this version of Geordie

Geordie:- person from the N-E of England, and specifically the conurbation around the mouth of the Tyne River (and arguably the Wear River). The extent and borders of Geordiedom are somewhat debated.

Aye, you’ll certainly get an argument if you call someone from Wearside a Geordie. Them’s Mackems, them, man.

Gives new meaning to that character’s name, eh?

There was also Mark Knopfler and James Talyor’s song about Mason and Dixon, Sailing to Philadelphia. “The Geordie and the Baker’s Boy…something, something Iroquois.”

Clarification: I live on the NE coast of England, 60 miles north of Newcastle-upon-Tyne but 25 miles south of the Scottish border. To many of you this may not seem like much, but in this neck of the woods… Hoo boy.

Technically a Geordie is anyone born within the limits of Newcastle-upon-Tyne, who was also born within sight of the river Tyne itself. This combination is very important. The majority of the city has no line of sight to the river at all. Also on the south bank of the river is the town of Gateshead. Much of Gateshead is on a steep slope, and so has an excellent view of the river. No-one native to Newcastle will ever describe Gateshead as part of the Toon, even though it’s a short stroll over a number of bridges.

Toon is another important desriptive of Newcastle. This covers all of the city, regardless of the river itself. Where I live anyone from Newcastle is called a Toonie. As with much north-east english slang, the ratio between affection and insult with this term is conveyed by tone.

The funny thing with the term Geordie, is that despite its specific use, its origins are unknown. I’ll not go into them myself, but I will link to this Wiki page. I will give warning however, while the section on that page matches what I’ve been told about the origins of the term, there are significant errors in other parts.

I don’t know, do you have one for all the American regional nicknames? Hoosiers, and Buckeyes, and Hillbillies, and Cornhuskers, and Cheeseheads and the like? I am sure it is all at least as complicated and arbitrary.

I have a couple of geordies in my eve online corp, and it is highly funny to hear them if they get really excited because they get really slangy and hard to understand … though not as difficult as the Glaswegian that used to be in the corp. Talk about 2 cultures separated by a single language … I am still not certain Glaswegians speak english … :smiley:

Actually, I knew the word from the song Itches in Me Britches:

I was born of Geordy parents
One day when I was young
That’s how the Geordy dialect
Became my native tongue