Black and white photograph of Sage Gateshead

Geordie consonant sounds

Although most British accents share the same 24 consonants, there is some variation from place to place. Listen to examples of distinctive consonant sounds associated with speech in Newcastle upon Tyne and Tyneside.

All British English accents have at least 24 consonants. Most sound the same from region to region. But there are variations.

The sections below give examples of consonant sounds associated with a Geordie accent. Each feature is accompanied by a brief explanation and a description of the circumstances in which you might hear this alternative pronunciation. Click on the sound file to listen to a recording of a Geordie using the target feature. Click on the additional links for other recordings on this site where you can hear speakers who share the same pronunciation.

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Pronunciation feature: glottal reinforcement of <p>

Definition 

a <p> sound is produced simultaneously with a glottal stop 

Circumstances where this feature is particularly noticeable

When <p> occurs between vowels in words such as happy and paper or across word boundaries in phrases such as keep up and stop it and when <p> occurs at the end of a syllable preceding a vowel in words such as jumper or phrases such as pump up.

IPA symbol 

p͡ʔ

they had a proper staircase

Recordings where this feature also occurs

 

Pronunciation feature: glottal reinforcement of <k>

Definition 

<k> occurs between vowels in words such as lucky and striker or across word boundaries in phrases such as kick off and walk away and when <k> occurs at the end of a syllable preceding a vowel in words such as thinking or phrases such as drink up.

IPA symbol 

k͡ʔ

mean I’m lucky. I’ve been lucky – dead lucky!

Recordings where this feature also occurs

 

Pronunciation feature: glottal reinforcement of <t>

Definition 

<t> sound is produced simultaneously with a glottal stop

Circumstances where this feature is particularly noticeable

<t> occurs between vowels in words such as matter and water or across word boundaries in phrases such as up and when <t> occurs at the end of a syllable preceding a vowel in words such as winter or phrases such as sent off.

IPA symbol 

t͡ʔ

does, it does help oneself to, uh, to feel a better person

Recordings where this feature also occurs

 

Pronunciation feature: uvular <r>

Definition 

a sound produced at the back of the throat, very similar to the <r> sound we associate with French and German

Circumstances where this feature is particularly noticeable

Commonly known as the Northumbrian burr, this pronunciation is increasingly rare today, although it can still sometimes be heard among older speakers in rural Northumberland.

IPA symbol 

ʁ

was delivered very often the same day it was produced

Recordings where this feature also occurs

  • Jonnie Robinson
  • Jonnie Robinson is Lead Curator for Spoken English at the British Library. He has worked on two nationwide surveys of regional speech, the Survey of English Dialects and BBC Voices, and is on the editorial team for the journal English Today. In 2010/11 he co-curated the British Library exhibition Evolving English: One Language, Many Voices. His latest publication Evolving English WordBank: a glossary of present-day English dialect and slang (2015) draws on sound recordings made by visitors to the exhibition.

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