Accents and dialects fascinate me, and I’m fortunate to come from an area in Britain renowned for its almost incomprehensible accent, let alone dialect, in some patches of the northeast. My particular home turf is Ashington and ‘pitmatic’ is spoken there. A couple of reminders of my heritage have happened recently – meeting a local councillor who told me she came from Newcastle, until we narrowed it down to Ashington itself, and we immediately launched into an exaggerated conversation which left others baffled. Then my great friend from my long-past nursing days (oh dear – your life in our hands…?) came to stay in our BnB and suggested we go axe-throwing (it must be said that Rory should have no worries about my ability to hit a target with said weapon!), and we recalled the phrase, ‘Hoy a hamma ower here, hinny’. And in a book of Geordie jokes she brought as a present, I rediscovered words and phrases I’d totally forgotten, like ‘ganzie’ – cardigan, ‘Aall fettle ye’ – I’ll sort you out, ‘netty’ – loo, ‘lugs’ – ears. Great reminiscing. An’ reet difficult to read oot the jokes in a proppa Geordie accent, man!

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