Return to Geordies & Geordieland

Where Is Geordieland & Who Are Geordies? – Have Your Say

Geordieland is in the north east of England and is widely believed to encompass the areas of Newcastle Upon Tyne, Gateshead, North & South Tyneside, West Durham & Northumberland which includes Tynedale & Hexham …

The late great Sir Bobby Robson who was born in Durham & one of the greatest North East comedians Bobby Thompson who was born in Penshaw near the City of Sunderland, were both happy and proud to be classed as Geordies.

North Easterners who have migrated to countries all over the world are also still happy to be called “Geordies”, no matter which part of North East England, they originally came from.

What Do You Think?

This ongoing situation poses a few question that obviously require an answer

Are people in the areas in and around Sunderland & Middlesbrough happy to allow a small minority of football supporters to take away their Geordie heritage?

What We Say: 99% of the people from Sunderland, Middlesborough and East Durham used to be content to be classed as Geordies, however in recent times “some people” class a Geordie as being a supporter of a particular Football team.

This is certainly not true, because many Geordies support more local football teams such as, Blyth FC, North Shields FC, Ashington and South Shields football clubs (to name but a few), without it impacting their Geordie heritage.

Are all those north easterners, who do not follow the local football teams or in fact even football in general, really happy to be classed as Mackem’s or Smoggies?

Remember: If someone says something you view as stupid, obnoxious or disagreeable, but it is allowed below, it must be because they were canny enough to word it without using crude or threatening language.

So be canny or your reply won’t be allowed… Simples 🙂 


Leave your comment/reply below 😀


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    • Neil Johnston on October 9, 2020 at 4:35 pm
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    Everybody and their grannies want to be classed as Geordie FFS if they live in the NE. Sorry and not wanting to insult anyone from or living in the NE but to be Newcastle (Toon) born and bred is the only one and it says Newcastle on ya birth certificate. Hexham/Corbridge and out that way and up to Ashington ya Northumbrian, South Shields ya sand dancers, Durham pit yackers, Sunderland are Mackem’s Etc etc. Be proud of where ya born, I am cause was born NEWCSATLE

    1. Beg to differ like, Wallsend, North Shields, Tynemouth, Whitley Bay ? none of those towns are in Newcastle Neil, not NEWCSATLE 😛

    • Kirk Hogan on June 17, 2020 at 11:07 pm
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    My grandad was a jarrow man, born in west Coe south shields,came down on the marches , met my nan in east london and hence ,had london off spring…
    Was told by him that he was a proper geordie ,and anyone south of the Tyne was a macaam, and a smoggie, my grandad went to school with Catherine cookson and I’d in the jarrow museum, love geordies

    • Maggie on April 30, 2020 at 10:01 pm
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    Geordie has to do with coal mining, shipbuilding, fishing and the river Tyne. Nothing to do with football (Magpies) or a hatred of all things Sunderland. People from the North East, including County Durham, Northumberland, Tyne and Wear, can all call themselves Geordies.

    • Alan. on October 2, 2019 at 1:17 pm
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    Whitburn in Tyneside?
    Is it really?
    It used to be just north of Seaburn.
    Which is in Sunderland.
    A very comfortable walk in fact.
    How things have changed!
    Must be that tectonics business!
    I was born in Sunderland……erm………a long time ago.
    I never heard the term Mackem in my life there.
    I don’t think anyone knows where Sunderland is nowadays !

    • Margaret R Wideopen on September 26, 2019 at 4:41 pm
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    Just to add to the debate I was born in Dunston not far from the Staithes,and my first memory is hearing the foghorns on the Tyne.I take issue with anyone who dares say that I’m not a Geordie and proud of it.And yes I’ve been asked on more than one occasion if I’m English,both here and abroad!

    • Susan Colledge on April 1, 2019 at 9:16 pm
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    Oh for goodness sake………….. my Dad is from South Shields and he is a Geordie, albeit he has passed away sadly………… let’s not worry we are all Canny People and proud to be from the North East over the Tyne xx 🙂

    • rob smih on January 5, 2019 at 12:35 am
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    Reading most of the comment here made me sad. I was born in a County Durham pit village in the 1950’s, I spoke with a Geordie accent and when my family moved to London in 1960 kids at school wouldn’t believe I was English, such was the ignorance about anyone from the north. In 1968 we moved to Australia, where I still get asked where I come from because of my accent. ( I’ve always said north east England and when they look at me with a blank expression, I tell them I’m a Geordie and then recognition shows on their face.)
    I always thought that people from the north east were bound together by their common work, struggles and the fact that the south of England pretty much ignored the north east. When Thatcher decimated the coal industry and ship yards were closed down, the rest of England didn’t seem to care about the “Geordies”. I used to be proud to be called a Geordie, even when the term was used as an insult, but reading many of the comments here, I apparently don’t qualify. So much petty rivalry, divisiveness and almost snobbishness(?), about who is, or is not a Geordie.
    Once all of the north east was Northumbria, at times it was part of Scotland and for a long time it was home to the largest Viking population outside of Scandinavia. (That’s where many Geordie words come from) I would have thought that an area with such a long and important history and an enviable record of struggle and individuality would want to focus on what unites them, not what divides them, but apparently not. Remember William and “the Harrowing of the North” to quell the resistant north east after he defeated Harrold at Hastings? He murdered thousands of men women and children,. and destroyed their homes and farms, Never once did he ask if they were all Geordies. Or Henry VIII and his brutal oppression of the north east. He didn’t bother about whether people were from north or south of the Tyne either. There should be more to unite the people of the north east, than to divide them, especially when it comes to arguing over who’s entitled to use a name.
    I remember the “Big Meeting” as a kid in the 1950’s. Thousands of miners with their bands and banners marching though the streets of Durham, the camaraderie and solidarity on display regardless of which pit village they came from. Another time, another pace, I suppose.

    1. Thanks for that Rob and if you have looked around you will have noticed I agree with you totally. Nicely said 🙂

    • Hall Dean on November 28, 2018 at 8:37 pm
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    There is of course no set definition. It a question of whether you feel you belong to it. The dictionary definition is often a person born near the banks of the Tyne. This is the simplest definition and encompasses the most areas associated with being a Geordie. For example: Tynemouth, North Shields, Wallsend and Newcastle on the North Side, as well as all those Mackems on the south side hahaha.

    • Ian on November 9, 2016 at 11:56 pm
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    Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside, Gateshead. They make up the the area known as Tyneside, where real Geordie is spoken, thats Geordieland. People from Durham Hexham etc dont have Geordie accents.

    • Margaret Rob on April 23, 2016 at 7:08 pm
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    I was born and brought up in South Shields when it was in County Durham and did not know anyone who classed themselves Mackems. If you chopped me up you would see Geordie printed right through me like a stick of rock.

    • Vicky P on March 7, 2016 at 7:54 pm
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    Excuse me!!! I loathe being called a Geordie – I am a Mackem. Geordies are born and bred Newcastle only.

    1. Thanks for your comment Vickie.

      I was not born in Newcastle I was born “in a hospital on the banks of the river Tyne” about 4-5 miles away from Newcastle City centre.

      My post code is not a Newcastle postcode but it is a North East UK postcode, my accent is definitely Geordie “ask anyone in the country” who hears me, and I am proud to be classed as a person with a rich tradition and history which goes back 100’s of Years.

      Where and when did the word Mackem first appear? Is it used in a city in the North East of England? where is Mackem history and tradition?

      Finally, if you keep getting called a Geordie does that not tell you something?

    • Katherine on February 4, 2016 at 7:48 pm
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    My definition is: If you’re from the north-east, (Northumberland and Durham) you’re a Geordie. You might not like it – there are many Scots who don’t like to be called British, but that’s what they are.
    If polled, as the Scots were recently, it’s more than likely that the majority of the people of Sunderland, would vote for an independent Mackemland. Many people in Northumberland turn their noses up at the toonies and are at pains to point out that they’re not Geordies!
    There are many definitions of ‘Geordie’ and you’ll get a different answer, depending on who you ask. That answer will often be based on pride or prejudice or both.

      • Ian on November 9, 2016 at 11:49 pm
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      Newcastle and the Tyneside area (real geordies) are not in Northumberland, theyre in Tyne and Wear

    • Allan on September 28, 2015 at 8:10 pm
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    I have worked all over the world all over Britain born and bred in South Shields ( Sand-dancer ) but wherever I have been I have always been recognised as a Geordie and proud of it

    • Dennis on May 17, 2015 at 9:30 pm
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    yes mal i know what plamers hooter was iwas brought up with it as i lived in philip street just across the road the shipyard

    • Dorothy Cessford on February 4, 2015 at 4:51 pm
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    My father born in 1900 in Gateshead and my mother born in 1901 born in Newcastle both they and their parents classed themselves as Geordies. I was born in Felling, Gateshead, Co. Durham, and later moved to Wallsend , Co Northumberland, both Felling and Wallsend are now part of North Tyneside.
    My grandparents were born before George Stephenson invented his lamp and whilst the pitmans lamp may have been called a Geordie this was not the origin of the name. I like my parents maintain that the name Geordie was given to the supporters of King George II but not only from Newcastle but from parts of Northumberland and Durham too. The common definition of a Geordie when I was growing up was to be born in spitting distance of the Tyne, should this be true then Geordies come from quite a large geographic area. I now live in Scotland, am Geordie through and through. If you live in the Tyneside area, think of yourself as Geordie, want to be a Geordie then step up claim your title and God Bless you.

    • Eddy on October 13, 2014 at 5:15 pm
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    I thought ‘Geordies’ originated a few centuries ago during the wars with Scotland. The locals from the general Tyneside area joined King Georges army to fight the Scots? I could be wrong

    • Mark on October 10, 2014 at 10:51 pm
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    People from Durham are durhamites not gerodies.

    I think grouping the whole of the North East as Geordies does a lot of areas around the area an injustice. Nothing against Geordie. It’s got nowt to do with football, if you support Newcastle your a magpie, nothing to do with birth place.

    • Mark on October 10, 2014 at 10:39 pm
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    People from South shields are sand dancers. Geordie came from the use of the george lamp as opposed to the Davey lamp by miners in Northumberland.

    • Katy on October 8, 2014 at 5:17 pm
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    Im born and bred in county durham, and im proud to call myself a Geordie.

    The term Geordie originated in the durham pits, south of the Tyne, further down south to york and even as far as the welsh pits all used a lamp called the Davey lamp, the lamp was invented by a man called humphery Davey, however the durham pits didnt not use this lamp, a man called george stevenson invented a lamp that worked better than the davey lamp, this lamp was named the Geordie lamp after george stevenson. Geordie originated south of the tyne a term used to name the durham pitmen.

    In recent times the term geordie was to describe those living in newcastle centre north of the tyne mainly through football and media, they latched onto the word geordie and claimed only people on the north could be classed as a geordie. Not true. As a large region we are both geordies weather north or south of the Tyne.

    Its very annoying when people on the north of the tyne say people like me born on the south in north durham are jumping on the band wagon and are plastic geordies. Truth is geordie originated on the south of the tyne and has spread through the north. We should all be proud to be geordies. Above all geordie comes from the heart.

    1. I would like from peterlee to Scotland to be thought of as Northumberland and Scotland to be our neigbours.

    • Mal S on September 17, 2014 at 3:57 pm
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    My dad, who was born in Jarrow said to me that, as a Cockney is someone born within the sound of Bow Bells, a Geordie is someone born within the sound of Palmers Hooter!! (For those who are now a bit mystified, Palmers Hooter was sounded at 5pm every weekday, to sound ‘knocking-off’ time at the shipyard.) I used to hear it in Hebburn.

    • Graeme on July 23, 2014 at 3:34 pm
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    I’m from Sunderland but moved out over 10 year ago. Since then, I do still prefer to be classed as a Mackem but I’ve completely lost the animosity towards Newcastle that seems to be so inherent in lifetime Sunderland residents and that Newcastle residents hold for Sunderland. In fact some of my best friends are Geordies.

    It’s important to me to make the distinction, however, as it has become nationally recognised that Geordie = Newcastle and Mackem = Sunderland. You wouldn’t want someone calling you a Scouser if you were a Manc and vice versa.

    My dad is from Durham and is called George though, and everyone calls him Geordie, which he doesn’t mind. When he was growing up his uncle used to take him to Newcastle and Sunderland football games, he supported both. My stepdad was in the Navy and got called George, cos he was from the North East.

    To be honest, it’s whatever you identify with. You can’t tell anyone whether they’re a Mackem or Geordie, and they can’t tell you either, cos if you let someone tell you whether you’re one or the other, then you’re not either at all, because if there’s one thing we have in common, it’s an immense sense of pride.

    • Hildinho on February 25, 2014 at 9:37 am
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    To me being called a Geordie is an insult, I’m from County Durham but class myself as a Mackem, in my view a Geordie is an unskilled poor and often overweight lowlife who doesn’t work. They are roundly mocked by the rest of the north east for their stupidity.

      • Joe Hawkins on June 8, 2014 at 12:31 pm
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      I might have known you would get the typical sour grape and jealous attitude from someone who comes from outside the area.
      Roundly mocked by the rest of the North East, You wouldn’t have an identity if it wasn’t for Geordies!
      There are also Geordies who support Sunderland as a lot of the fan base were born in Tyneside ie Jarrow, Hebburn, South Shields etc
      All of these people are proper Geordies because they were born on the banks of the Tyne and probably in a Tyneside hospital.
      Sunderland’s Training Ground “

        • Joe Hawkins on June 8, 2014 at 12:40 pm
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        Pressed the wrong button sorry!

        “The Charlie Hurley Centre” is also in Whitburn which in on Tyneside!
        Mackem, The word doesn’t really exist and only starts showing up in 1980 as an insult!

        With a lot of Sunderland’s population originating from Scotland who moved down to work in the mines and the ship building, Their proper name is a “Jamey”.or “Jamie”
        They would also distinguish between the ships being fitted out on Tyneside to those being built on the Wear.
        They would say, “That’s a Geordie, Or that’s a Jamie!

        So go away with your ill informed prejudices and manipulated “Sky Sports” Bigotry!

        • JJ Brody on June 26, 2014 at 3:58 pm
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        Well said Joe, I could not have put it better myself.

    • Josie on January 4, 2014 at 11:40 pm
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    As far as I am concerned you are only a geordie if you were born and bred in Newcastle. Anyone else outside of Newcastle is jumping on the popularity the geoerdirs are enjoying at the moment and are nothing more than plastics. By the way I was born and bread in Heaton, which for anyone rading this may not knoe is in Newcastle a walk from the toon and the Tyne. Now hadaway and shite!!!!

    1. Of course you are entitled to your opinion Josie … but tell me … are you saying Tynesider’s from the likes of Wallsend ( and I am Wallsend born and bred by the way 🙂 ), North Shields, Tynemouth, Whitley Bay etc, or Northumberlanders from Blyth, Ashington, Hexham, etc … are not Geordies or “geoerdirs” as you called us 😛 ?

        • Esther on February 19, 2014 at 7:42 pm
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        Whitley Bay and that are all like towns inside of Newcastle

      • Jenny on November 29, 2014 at 11:16 am
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      This is for Josie. I am a True Geordie, born on the south side of the Tyne. Those from Newcastle are Northumbrians and Sunderland are Wearsiders.

        • Ian on November 9, 2016 at 11:52 pm
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        Wrong, Newcastle isnt in Northumberland, it’s in Tyne and Wear

      • Diane on May 10, 2015 at 2:15 pm
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      I find it interesting that Josie makes a reference to people ‘jumping on the popularity the geoerdirs [sic] are enjoying at the moment and are nothing more than plastics.’ How sad for my great grandfathers and all their siblings and cousins who were working in pits, fighting and dying in wars and/or travelling to Australia and other countries proudly wearing their Geordie title. But they are just plastics: made from the left over toxic sludge from the refining of fuel, which will forever pollute the world.
      Fancy taking time passing on and spreading language, stories and songs; enriching the world with their folklore and humour, and it was all a wrought, because they were just fakes, just pretending to be something they weren’t. How completely embarrassed we should be of these men and women for causing such a huge fraud on not only their families but the people they settled and lived with under such vilely false pretences.
      Imagine also, if you can, the diabolic waste of their time and talent because it turns out they were just canny fortune tellers who knew to jump on the popularity of ‘geoedirs’ a hundred years before it happened.
      But never mind, I now know not to teach any more of those silly songs to my grandchildren, because although my predecessors could spit in Tyne, they were on the wrong side of it.
      And I guess we’d better scrap some detail off some headstones too. The war memorials and cemeteries are really going to get a beating while we put things right, aren’t they?

    • Gigabri on November 24, 2013 at 10:45 pm
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    The Scots give the name Geordies after being pushed back to the north of the Tyne. King Georges army hence Geordies, Gateshead gate to the north, so Geordies historically come from south of the Tyne. Now days its the in sound of tyne (fog horn) and Newcastle and Gateshead should be a metropolitan anyway.

    • John on November 10, 2013 at 1:45 pm
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    A true Geordie, of which I am one, is a person born between the Tyne and the Wear.

    1. But that would mean I am not one which cant be true, because am on the North side of the Tyne

    • Sandy on July 17, 2013 at 3:41 am
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    So, does that mean I can’t Claim to be a Geordie? I have 9 generations of Geordies from Cullercoats and Newcastle, but I was born in Toronto Canada. Can I be a Geordie too?

    1. Why Aye! Of course y’e can cousin 🙂

      • john on November 10, 2013 at 1:50 pm
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      Sorry Sandy. You are not a Geordie. Only people born between the Tyne and the Wear are true Geordies. It’s just like Cockneys – they have to be born within the sound of Bow Bells.
      I now live in Australia, but having been born in Low Fell – I’m a GEORDIE, and proud of the fact.

      • john on November 10, 2013 at 1:58 pm
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      The major question has to be “do you know, and can sing the Gerodie anthem”?

    • Bob Bruce on December 28, 2012 at 9:03 am
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    When is a Geordie not a Geordie………..? When it’s not in their heart

      • Geordie H on December 28, 2012 at 1:35 pm
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      So True 🙂

    • Bob Bruce on December 28, 2012 at 9:01 am
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    Well i’m proud to call myself a Geordie being born in Gateshead and only a mile form the tyne. Also when I was born and i believe up until the late 70’s Gateshead was in the provinc of Durham. It can also be noted that Bedlington where i now live which is in Northumberland was also a province of Durham at one time…

      • Geordie H on December 28, 2012 at 1:36 pm
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      Exactly … Well said Bob !

    • Geordie Sandy on April 5, 2012 at 4:09 pm
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    What if you live south of the Tyne but north of Newcastle? Like South Shields is? We’re all Geordies end of.

    1. Yeh Well Said !! End Of 😀

    • Mark Heslop on November 17, 2011 at 4:10 pm
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    To distinguish who or what is a geordie you must look at what is closest to a geodies heart, i.e. football, food, drink and work, the theory of a geordie being only from north of the tyne is tosh, as a person from gateshead or jarrow for example, lives a lot closer to SJP (football), shipyards and city center boozers than someone from say bedlington or hexam, and indeed is a tynesider rather than from rural northumberland. to me a geordie is someone from the metropolis based on and around the tidal river Tyne, it is also worth bearing in mind the geordie anthem is a gateshead based song (blaydon being south of the river)

      • Jarrow_Geordie on April 20, 2014 at 1:12 am
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      Yes, I think you’ve got this spot on and I’d say this definition is generally considered by most people as the correct one. It’s a pity that there’s the odd person with a daft, outdated parochial attitude rather than working together for the greater good of the whole conurbation.

      I wonder what a Newcastle United fan who held this kind of attitude would say if they got their wish and all the fans from south of the Tyne stopped going to St James’ Park. I bet it wouldn’t be long before they wanted them back when the stadium was half empty.

    • cj on October 28, 2011 at 8:50 pm
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    There is no direct proof that geordie came for the pits nor that the jacobrite rebellion of 1745 when people of newcastle were accused of being the supporters of hanoverian king george ll . But I don’t think people south of the tyne are geordies I know people over the water south shields that don’t class themselves as geordies as with people from wasington many south tynesiders class themselves as mackems and in my eyes I feel they are right to. I cant stand the twang of south tynesiders and am glad there is a good stretch of water between us it would be even better without the bridges.

      • Jarrow_Geordie on April 20, 2014 at 12:58 am
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      Of course people from south of the Tyne are Geordies. Fair enough, when it comes to football there’s a fair few Sunderland fans from Hebburn, Jarrow, South Shields but they aren’t Mackems. They are Geordies who support Sunderland. It’s just wishful thinking from any Sunderland fan from South Tyneside who is calling themselves a Mackem.
      Mackems are from Sunderland, it’s as simple as that.

      Where abouts are you from mate?

      And the comment about the bridges is just silly.

    • Peter on August 16, 2011 at 1:21 pm
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    Geordie seems to have been an endearing term used for the Pitmen of Durham and Northumberland in the 19th Century.

    • Derek Smith on April 25, 2011 at 10:24 am
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    I was born in a place called the Teams in Gateshead less than a mile of the river Tyne i was brought up to believe that true Geordies were born within 3 miles of the river.

    You might be amazed to find that the River Tyne actually stretches a long way and takes in a very large area. 🙂 Geordie

    • lilian moore on October 10, 2010 at 3:07 pm
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    Geordies only come from North of the Tyne, no matter what you say.

      • Geordie Directory on October 10, 2010 at 10:45 pm
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      So what about people in Gateshead? Jarrow? Hebburn & what about the great Sir Bobby Robson, born in Durham, who was without doubt always a proud Geordie.

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