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Scottish National Dictionary (1700–)

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First published 1956 (SND Vol. IV). Includes material from the 1976 supplement.
This entry has not been updated since then but may contain minor corrections and revisions.

GEORDIE, n. [′dʒɔrdi, ′dʒo-]

1. A guinea coin (Ayr. 1923 Wilson Dial. Burns 171; Bnff.2 1946), gen. yellow Geordie; also white Geordie, a shilling. See White, adj., 3. Also in Nhb. dial.Ayr. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 56–58:
He draws a bonie, silken purse . . . whare thro' the steeks, The yellow letter'd Geordie keeks.
Ags. 1790 D. Morison Poems 13:
They cost the Geordies red an roun'.
Edb. 1821 W. Liddle Poems 172:
If ye can mak auld stockens burst, Wi' yellow Geordies.
Wgt. 1877 G. Fraser Sketches 36:
A handful of “yellow Geordies”.
Fif. 1893 J. Skinner Autobiog. Metaphys. xxxvi.:
A man . . . who has only to put his hand in his pocket, and out come the yellow Geordies.
Arg. 1896 N. Munro Lost Pibroch 205:
Said he to his wife, jingling the Geordies in his hand on the day he got them, “Here's the price of a hero.”

2. A soubriquet for a yokel, a rustic (Inv.1, ne.Sc., Ags.18, Rxb.4 1954), often country Geordie; also for a miner, as in n.Eng. dial.Abd. 1889 Bon-Accord (28 Sept.) 20:
I haed fully expeckit tae see the haill kintra side turn oot . . . tae tak' pairt in the proceedin's, bit barrin' a few country Geordies wi' sticks in their hans, there wis nae demonstration at a' tae speak o'.
Kcb. 1900 Crockett Stickit Minister's Wooing 326:
Ordinary Scottish Geordies settled for generations in one coal-field.
Dmf. 1937 Gallov. Annual 97:
Juist imagine what the dour Geordies o' Annan Waterfit will say.
Bnff. 1950 N. Paterson Behold Thy Daughter 12:
Labourers, apprentices, women and children, and geordies from the outlying farmlands.

3. A name given to a pig (Bwk.2 1954).

4. A poor cod, Gadus minutus (Bch. 1930 Fishery Board Gl.).

5. Phr. & Combs.: (1) broon Geordie, a gingerbread (Dmf. 1954); (2) by (the) Geordie, int. = by George! (wm.Sc.1 1954); †(3) Geordie Bungell, a local name for the game of prisoner's base; (4) Geordie penny, the big copper penny of Geo. II. and III. used by boys 50 years ago in the game of pitchers (Ayr. 1952 per Dr Boyd); (5) plain Geordie, the flat bottom crust of a loaf of bread (Ags., Per. 1954); (6) Uncle Geordie, see quot.(2) Ayr. 1887 J. Service Dr Duguid 196:
Wife! By the Geordie, a lade o' meal wad ser' 'ou better!
(3) Ayr. c.1840 A. F. McJannet Irvine (1938) 232:
The Rev. David Landsborough when as a boy he attended the Academy (1838–1842), says the game most in fashion was Geordie Bungell. “The part of the green in a line with the Academy building was considered the centre; half the boys occupied it, the other half ran across it — those who were caught and touched three times on the head joined those in the centre, and the running went on till all had been caught.” Its very name is now unknown.
(5) Ags. 1933 W. Muir Mrs Ritchie xxviii.:
[They] ran out again to bite crescents out of it until the crisp crust could be nibbled, the square sturdy crust known as “plain Geordie”.
Wgt. 1897 66th Report Brit. Ass. 615:
To find out who was to be her husband, the young woman took an apple in one hand and a lighted candle in the other on Halloween, and placed herself in front of a mirror, and then ate the apple in the name of ‘Uncle Geordie', i.e. the devil.

6.  A name given to a bull.Ayr. 1866 Trans. Highl. Soc. 86: 
"Geordie," by the more attentive farmers is usually confined to the house during the "rutting-season."

[Dim. of proper name George (in sense 1. of the King, George III.) with suff. -Die substituted for -gie.]

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"Geordie n.". Dictionary of the Scots Language. 2004. Scottish Language Dictionaries Ltd. Accessed 24 May 2024 <>



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