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Sunday, 1 July 2012

Coals to Newcastle

Whey aye as they say in Newcastle upon Tyne. I spent just a few hours in this great city on my recent trip to the north east. It's architecture is a great mix of old and new.

The phrase "taking coals to Newcastle" was first recorded in 1538. Once famous for the production and export of coal the phrase means bringing a particular commodity to a place that has more than enough of it already and is still a saying commonly used in the UK.

The rise of the Tyne as a shipbuilding area was due to the need for ships for the coal export trade. In 1800 Tyneside was the third largest producer of ships in Britain. Unfortunately, after the Second World War, lack of modernisation and competition from abroad gradually caused the local industry to decline and die. Such a shame not to see ships on this beautiful stretch of water.

Newcastle is right in the top north east corner of England, only 64 miles from Edinburgh. It took us about five and a half hours to drive there. Geordies, as people from Newcastle are known, have a very distinctive accent and dialect - very lovely and very hard to understand. The waiter who took are order for dinner could have been speaking Swedish frankly! Apparently quite a few Geordie words originate from Sweden although being close to Scotland many phrase are of them are of Scots origin. Have a go at some of these:

oo ye gannin? 'How are you?'
Hoo's ya fettle? 'How are you?'
Y'areet, hinny? 'Are you all right, kid?'
Champion. 'Very good, very well'
Bonny day the day. 'It's nice weather'
Cowld the day, mar. 'It's cold today.'
Whey aye, man. 'that's right'
Give ower, y'a kiddin. 'Come on, you're joking'
Hadaway man. 'I'm still not convinced'
Ya tarkin sh*te. 'I really disagree with that'
Ootside! 'Let's settle this outside'
Hoo's the Toon gannin? 'How is the Newcastle United match progressing?'

I'm off to Paris for a few days so I'll just say tara now pet (that's Geordie for goodbye)!

1 comment:

  1. Thanks for dropping by. I am back and thanks for waiting. Oh to be in Europe, you lucky thing. Hf,K


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