Norration and stangy rack up the points

KNOWING your onions when it comes to Northumbrian dialect could help you to improve your word score when playing a classic game.

To give regional forms of English a fighting chance by bringing them to the attention of a new generation, Scrabble experts are including a selection of some of the most ‘at risk’ regional words from across England within the official Collins Scrabble Dictionary.

Among those approached was Kim Bibby-Wilson of the Northumbrian Language Society (NLS) and two of her suggestions from Richard Oliver Heslop’s dictionary of Northumberland Words, which was published in the 1890s, have been included.

Stangy means a pointed needle that stings the cloth, which was particularly well-used in the late 19th century.

A norration is large amount of noise coming from situations such as an incident on the street or a party in a pub.

Mrs Bibby-Wilson said: “The Scrabble people asked for words that would help to raise the profile of regional dialects, although they could not be too long and some of the Northumbrian words are already in its dictionary.

“But we managed to find two that were accepted. In fact, quite a few elderly people still say ‘what a norration it was’.

“It’s great that the people in charge of this game are showing an interest in regional dialects and the request came just before we hosted National Dialect Day in October, where a range of competitions and activities took place in the town centre.”

The other suggestions put forward by the NLS included puzzly-os (a Northumbrian word for noughts and crosses) and hippletyclinch, which means lame in the leg.

The regional words will become officially playable within tournaments from the publication of the next Collins Scrabble Dictionary.

l A Christmas get-together of poetry and readings is being held by the NLS on Saturday, December 8. It will also feature the society’s version of Call My Bluff, called ‘whe’s tellin hoafies?’

The event will take place in the Chantry Bagpipe Museum between 2pm and 4pm. Admission is free for members of the public, who are encouraged to bring some food along for a yuletide bait.