This is today's Did You Know...
No one knows for certain where the term Geordie comes from, although the following are possible explanations.
Locally the term is used to describe someone from Tyneside. Throughout Britain and the world it's used to describe someone from the North-East.
- During the 1745 Jacobite Rebellion, Newcastle was bypassed by the Jacobites, as it was a securely guarded garrison that supported King George. It was said that the region was all "for George" - leading to the name 'Geordie' derived from George.
- The Oxford English Dictionary states that the word was first used in 1876 to describe miners/pitmen. Perhaps the name originated from the region's coal mines.
- George Stephenson's miner's lamp was used by local miners in preference to the Davy lamp. The lamp and miners in time became known as 'Geordies'.
- When George Stephenson addressed a Parliamentary Commission "his blunt speech and dialect drew contemptuous sneers". From then on, colliers (boats taking coal from Tyneside to London) and the men who worked on them were called 'Geordies'.
- The term 'Geordie' was originally a form of abuse first used by local showman Billy Purvis to put down a rival. This was in 1823, when the word was used in this context due to the unpopularity of King George III who became insane.