Geordie (//) is a nickname for a person from the Tyneside area of North East England, and the dialect used by its inhabitants, also known in linguistics as Tyneside English or Newcastle English. There are different definitions of what constitutes a Geordie. The term is used and has been historically used to refer to the people of the North East. A Geordie can also specifically be a native of Tyneside (especially Newcastle upon Tyne) and the surrounding areas. Not everyone from the North East of England identifies as a Geordie.
Geordie is a continuation and development of the language spoken by Anglo-Saxon settlers, initially employed by the ancient Brythons to fight the Pictish invaders after the end of Roman rule in Britain in the 5th century. The Angles, Saxons and Jutes who arrived became ascendant politically and culturally over the native British through subsequent migration from tribal homelands along the North Sea coast of mainland Europe. The Anglo-Saxon kingdoms that emerged in the Dark Ages spoke largely mutually intelligible varieties of what is now called Old English, each varying somewhat in phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicon. This linguistic conservatism means that poems by the Anglo-Saxon scholar the Venerable Bede translate more successfully into Geordie than into Standard English.
In Northern England and the Scottish borders, then dominated by the kingdom of Northumbria, there developed a distinct Northumbrian Old English dialect. Later Irish migrants influenced Geordie phonology from the early 19th century onwards.
The British Library points out that the Norse, who primarily lived south of the River Tees, affected the language in Yorkshire but not in regions to the north. This source adds that "the border skirmishes that broke out sporadically during the Middle Ages meant the River Tweed established itself as a significant northern barrier against Scottish influence". Today, many who speak the Geordie dialect use words such as gan ('go' – modern Norwegian Ganga) and bairn ('child' – modern Danish barn) which "can still trace their roots right back to the Angles".
The Geordie dialect and identity are primarily associated with those of a working-class background. A 2008 newspaper survey found the Geordie accent the "most attractive in England". Indeed, the variety has recently acquired a "cool" flavour in the perception of many.