‘Geordies’ is a term used to describe the population of Tyneside, but is also a nickname for anyone from the region. The word itself is a pet-name for ‘George’ and is said to have derived from George Stephenson’s safety lamp for miners. The Geordie people and their strong, often highpitched accents have been portrayed in numerous famous television programmes, such as When the Boat Comes In, Auf Wiedersehen, Pet and Our Friends in the North. Well-known Geordies include Paul Gascoigne and Jimmy Nail. Stereotypical Geordie culture is working class and very streetwise, supporting ‘the Toon Army’ (Newcastle United Football Club). The mythological stereotype associated with Geordies is macho male, as encapsulated in Reg Smythe’s cartoon character Andy Capp: a workshy, beer-swilling, rentdodging pigeon fancier. This tough, misogynist image is particularly unpopular with local corporate bodies and feminist groups.
   See also: Cockney; dialect; scouse

Encyclopedia of contemporary British culture . . 2014.

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