Saturday, December 17, 2011

Saturday rerun: Hey there, Geordie Girl!

Hey There Geordie Girl!

If you don't know who Cheryl Cole is, don't feel too bad.  She is the darling of olde England.  Pretty and talented, she rose from poverty in the city of Newcastle Upon Tyne (I guess if we named our towns like that, we could say that people hailed from Glen Burnie Upon Linthicum or Lutherville Upon Timonium, but we don't seem to have time to do that sort of thing here) to become a winner on a show where people become singing stars.  Her name before she married English football player Ashley Cole was Cheryl Tweedy.  I checked, but her father's first name was not Conway.

Yes, Simon Cowell is involved in that show she won, under his real name of Simon Upon Cowell.  And Simon brought her to America this past March, after she recovered from the malaria that almost took her life last year (I tell you, this woman is a walking Lifetime movie) so she could be in the American version of his show The X Factor.

And now all of a sudden she is an Ex Member of the judging panel of that show, for unspecified reasons.  You can read this article in the English newspaper, but no need to take a jet over to Merrie Olde.  Just click 'ere and you got it, guv'nuh! And as you see from this picture, she is as pretty as a picture, and is bound to have plenty of success in whatever nation she resides.  I wish her well, and I thank her for getting me to read up on something I consider fascinating.

When I was reading all this about her struggles with America and being homesick, I kept seeing that her fellow British kept calling her their favorite "Geordie."  Well, I knew that Brian Johnson - the one from AC/DC, not the one from The Breakfast Club - was once in a band called Geordie before he got the call to replace tiny terror Bon Scott.  I didn't know what a Geordie was, but it turns out that people from this Newcastle Upon Tyne are all called Geordies!  Here's this from Wikipedia:

"Geordieland" is a term usually referring to the entire region surrounding Tyneside including Northumberland and County Durham, but excluding Wearside where locals are referred to as Mackems.

And the article goes on to say that George is a popular name in that town, so maybe that's why they call the natives Geordie, or maybe it was because they have a lot of coal mines there, and the miners used to wear a "Geordie" brand headlamp. 

Again, I am fascinated by England, for reasons of my birthline and because as a child, I spent many a happy hour in the dentist's waiting room reading all those "There Will Always Be An England Dept" spacefillers in The New Yorker.  But there is an entire dialect in this town, this Northumberland region.  They speak English, to be technical about it, but they sort of have their own words for a lot of things, such as "bairn" for children, "ahent" for behind, and "lowy" for money.

It must be fascinating to live in a city with a lexicon all its own.  Attention Newcastle Upon Tyne residents!  We do the same here in Baltimore Upon Highlandtown, where a police nightstick is an "espantoon," a guy driving a horse rig around to sell produce is an "A-rabber," and lightning bugs are called "fireflies.

I love words.  Here are five more:  Merry Christmas and Happy Holidays!

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