Month: August 2019

What’s Gannin’ On?

Site Update – Dialect Word Glossary

In a recent site update we’ve added a Glossary of Northumbrian Words, an ever expanding list of words and phrases from our Northumberland and Durham dialects. Many of theses words are highlighted in our published stories and poems, allowing readers to click on a word and find its meaning. However, the Glossary is now being expanded to include new words, together with their etymology if known and an example of the word usage. You can access it from the Main Menu or by clicking here.

Tynedale Voices Needed for Local Language Study 

An international research project is asking people in the Tyne Valley to record their dialect to help in a study of the local language.

Mirjam Schmalz, of the University of Zurich in Switzerland, and Sandra Jansen, of the University of Paderborn, in Germany, have jointly spent the last few years undertaking a linguistic study in the North of England after meeting through a Northern English workshop held once every two years in Europe.

Residents who wish to provide assistance should email Mirjam at

Newcastle University Student Seeks to Record Dialect

A study by Newcastle University student is looking for people over the age of 70 and who speak Geordie, to record their speech.  Participants will be required to record their experience of growing up in Tyneside and provide written answers to questions about themselves (e.g. age, gender, activities). There is an optional requirement to perform a hand-grip strength test. Each session will be carried-out in a quiet and convenient location and is expected to take about 90 minutes.

For further information contact Heike Pichler (Newcastle University) by e-mail ( or phone (0191 208 3519).

Muckle by Paul Mein


Ye’ll hev nae doot hord the sayin “Many a mickle myeks a muckle.”

Nowt sa true as when wa taakin aboot bilberries.

It teks yonks to fill a basket or pail with enough for a pie or tart. It’s not just that they’re deid smaal or that they hide away from yu; it’s just yu canna stop eatin them. Thiv got a tyest like nee other. The blueberries yu get in the shop are waatery. Bilberries explode in ya mooth. It myeks for slow progress in the gatherin’.

Aa was up with the grandbairns in one o’ the best places for bilberries – the hill up to the Draakstone. Porple handed, porple moothed, we med wa way to the Stone, hunkered doon to watch the cloud scud ower Harbottle. What a bonny place.

We went ower the top to the lough. Dark, deep, ghoustie.

Aa browt to mind the aad tale aboot when they tried to drain the lough. The workmen hord a voice from neewhere –

Let alone let alone

or a’ll droon Harbottle

and the Peels

and the Bonny Holystone.

Aa cud well understand why, so we med wa way, tappylappy doon the hill to the car park, lightnin wa load as we wa gannin alang.

© Paul Mein 19/6/19.

Paul Mein is a poet and writer who has returned to his native north-east after thirty years in the Midlands. He lives in Warkworth, Northumberland.

Paul has published four collections; “Voices in a mystery;” 2015 “Behind every hero;” 2016 “In quiet places;” 2017 “The language of sands” 2018.

Image from a photograph ‘Vaccinium myrtillus’ by Anneli Salo, courtesy