I read the thread 'Local Sayings and thought I would add me tuppence worth
I think one thing is for certain, the North East dialect, for it is far more than an accent, is a wonderful assimilation of the many languages used during various times in the region. One must remember that the land North of the river Humber until 1913 was regarded as a wilderness and good only for exploitation. The vast majority of the population were poor peasants. Communities were, in the most, small and isolated, a bit like Ryhope. Hence fashions were unheard of or unaffordable. Things changed little or very slowly.
When I speak of the many languages used. I do not mean forced down our throats and into our larynx by conquering armies. Languages adopted under these circumstances are despised and usually dropped as soon as the conqueror retreats. Take for instance the Celts. The Cornish, Welsh, and Manx Gaelic languages are thriving now! I believe that the North East was never really conquered and that the snippets of language adopted by the area are because the locals were fond of the words. The peoples non-native to the area were allowed to stay as the hospitality of North Easterners has always been as legendary as that of the ancient Japanese, and because these incomers had something of benefit to offer. An argument may ensue regarding the occupation of the far North East but lets look at the facts.
The Celts passed through on their way West. They cannot have lingered as there are very few red haired people in the region. In fact gingerness is accepted as abhorrent. Little of their lingo survives either. A few exceptions are abhag meaning 'terrier'; and 'aayai' meaning 'come on';. Terriers (Abhagf) are still animals held in great regard by Northerners; "Once he gets his teeth in" "He fought like a terrier" etc. however apply these descriptions to a woman and things are different. Hence "Divant argue with wor lass shes abhag."
'aayai' is pronounced 'a' (ha) 'ay' (w) 'ai' (ay) = haway, as in "haway the lads."
The Romans made a half-hearted attempt, settling as far North as York (soft Southerners). Their time in the region was again limited to planning and supervising the building of Hadrian's Wall. Seen as a benefit, the people of the North East built the wall in a hope to isolate themselves further from the ginger people to the North. The workmanship in the wall is remarkable but it is widely recognised by scholars that the architects were poor, in that had the river Tyne been used as a barrier and the wall been built on the South bank further benefits could have been had. Latin words adopted are such as; stottie (a sort of Roman sandwich) as in stottie cake. t'otti (descriptive phrase meaning hot blooded often used to describe young women).
The Roman decline in Briton was due, mainly to the wall. All soldiers were required to do one tour of duty, lasting a year, on the wall. Leather mini skirts and sandals are not practical dress for men in the North of England (apart from in Newcastle's thriving gay village). Stories of ferocious midges, freezing winds, constant rain and ugly auburn people showing off their arses soon reach Rome. Volunteers for the Legions dropped and the empire crumbled.
Next arrived the Vikings. The most loved of all the visitors. Contrary to popular belief they did not come ashore raping and pillaging. This is Victorian romance. Anyone who has met Scandinavians will soon tell you they don't have a good rape or pilage in them. The sacking of Lindisfarne was down to an over zealous monk calling time too early in a mead hostel. Vikings did like to consume vast quantities of alcohol. This is probably why even todays modern Scandinavian languages have very few words. Take Norwegian. The Norwegian language has only 83 words in common use. Including 'nowt'; (zero), ten of these are numbers! Of course one word has many meanings. For example take 'bern' this means farmer, bean, pray, hunt, bear, river, fire, etc.
This is greatly demonstrated in the classical poem by Jan Tore Brevigson;
"A Bean Farmer Went a Hunting"
"Og Bern Bern ot Bern"
Og Bern Bern ot Bern.
Bern bern gren.
Bern bern bern ot og bern.
Og Bern Bern ot Bern.
Bern bern bern bern ot bern bern.
Og Bern Bern ot Bern.
Gren og bern
Ot bern bern
This poem is guaranteed, if recited with the correct emphasis, to produce peels of laughter anywhere in Europe, North of the Artic Circle.
The North Easterners of old loved these amicable drunks and took them into their hearts. Many Viking words exist in the Northern dialect. "Barn"; meaning child among many other things, is where we take our bairns from. "Yhem" for home. "Gate" meaning street "Noo I've oft been doon to Sand Gate" etc. "Hopp" pronounced Lopp means jump and or any animal that moves in that way such as rabbit, frog, flea, prawn, grasshopper etc. Just as well a Norwegian didn't discover Australia! Oh and be careful if you ever order rabbit pie in Norway!
Such was the love of these nonsense jibbering pissheads that many married Northerners and there decendants live hear today. They are easy to identify as all Scandinavian surnames end in 'son' or 'sen'
eg. Robson, Wilkinson etc.
Next the Normans..... You'll have to wait :wink: