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Spelling of "howay"[edit]

Howay is the attempted "standardised spelling" of haway. I'm from the northeast and nobody up here spells the word "howay" in fact, many Geordies and other northeasterners resent the word being spelled in this way and they see it as an[other] attempt What a loads of rubbish, 'Howey' is the way it is and should always be spelt! southerners to set the standard in our "language". "Howay" is occasionally used by the upper classes to try and show their "connections to the working class" but seriously, "howay" is an insult! It most likely came about because the people who originally put it into the dictionary couldn't make out the difference of Geordie "a" and "o". There have even been petitions to St. James' Park to change the saying above the door of the changing room from "Howay the lads" to "Haway the lads". When Jimmy Carter (US President at the time) visited Newcastle he even read it as "haway the lads" not howay.

Therefore I think that this whole article should be moved to "haway" with "howay" made the alternative spelling, NOT the standard spelling. —This unsigned comment was added by (talk) at 19:44, 22 October 2007.

What a load of rubbish, 'Howay' is the way it is and should always be spelt! —This comment was unsigned.

It's spelt many ways and both howay and haway are acceptable in my opinion. I'm not sure which part of the toon your from but both forms seem to be spoken, I have friends from both ends of the City and difference in pronunciation spans the range from haway to howay. Remeber its a varied dialect and any attempt to have the proper spelling will only marginalise folk. This article will not be moved.--Williamsayers79 08:08, 23 October 2007 (UTC)

Quebecois French

I find it interesting that in Quebec and Canadian French they use the exact same expression with the same meaning. I don't think they use it in France, but I could be wrong. I think it's spelled "aweille" or "aoueille" and basically means "let's go" "vas-y" or "on y a va" and it's more or less pronounced the same "haway". I'd be interested to know if linguists have looked into the origin of that expression... why would that word turn up specifically in Quebecois French and Geordie English? —This unsigned comment was added by Jubie123 (talkcontribs).

It appears in Beowulf, too, as the first word (after the Prologue) in the first part. In the 1898 Oxford University Press Edition, it is spelt 'Haway!' and translated 'What Ho!' —This unsigned comment was added by Fredibus (talkcontribs).

Are you sure? It's not in the Bosworth-Toller dictionary, and "y" was an umlauted "u" in Old English, so "-ay" would be very unusual. Are you sure you're not looking at a scanno for "Hwæt"? Chuck Entz (talk) 15:07, 25 January 2016 (UTC)


i'm afraid you're all confused. Howay is geordie, Haway is mackem (plastic geordies to you) speak —This comment was unsigned.


The article is correct in stating the term as 'Haway'. There has been a swing to the other term 'Howay' by people who can't understand the structure of the word and so associate it the 'How' part with the word how. It has nothing to do with Geordie or Mackem influences but mor a grasp of the word structure itself. The word probably came from the term 'have way', which was used by early settlers to express an urgency to 'move on'. They used this a lot and also the term 'have a care' to signify taking care. So the term most probably derived from 'have way' and has been shortened over the generations to ha'way.

Please learn your linguistic history before commenting. Oh and the whole language of the north east is a mish mosh of all the invading tribes and cultures who came and settled in the area from Europe and elsewhere. So the Geordie dialect is in fact a bastardisation of many languages, as indeed is English itself. We in the north east can take little credit for our dialect ourselves but we can be proud of it. Ian, linguistic historian —This comment was unsigned.

Just look at the sign at sjp, it says howay, the Mackems sign says haway, make of that what u will —This comment was unsigned.

I write it ha'way but do not claim that to be definitive. However, I am interested in how that relates to haddaway - they could even have been the same word originally, although the meanings have diverged. —This unsigned comment was added by Fredibus (talkcontribs).