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Alternative forms[edit]


From Middle English bolken, bulken, alteration of earlier balken, from Old English bealcan (to belch; utter). Comare Dutch bulken (to roar). More at bolk.


bowk (third-person singular simple present bowks, present participle bowkin, simple past and past participle bowked)

  1. (Geordie) To belch, to burp.
    • 1966, William Mayne, Earthfasts, Peter Smith (1989), ISBN 9780844664309, page 37:
      "That made me bowk," he said; and he bowked again. He took another swig with caution, and gave the bottle to David, and they swigged at it in turn.
    • 1997, Brian P. Martin, Tales of the Old Countrywomen, David & Charles (1997), ISBN 9780715303658, page 143:
      If this man did not feed the mill carefully and regularly it bowked with "indigestion" and this slowed everything up.
    • 2008, Sid Waddell, Taak of the Toon: How to Speak Geordie, HarperCollins (2008), ISBN 9780007247820, page 92:
      He claimed that meat or cheese made you 'bowk' (belch) and get stomach cramps — the last thing you need 'yakking' (using a pick) coal for eight tough hours in a two-foot 'cavil' (job area).
  2. (Britain) To vomit.
    • 2004, Chris Donald, Rude Kids: The Unfeasible Story of Viz, HarperCollins (2004), ISBN 9780007190966, page 275:
      At that point another of my guests, a highly respected Newcastle art gallery owner by the name of Rashida, bowked up all over the floor behind me.
    • 2009, Blythe Gifford, In the Master's Bed, Harlequin (2009), ISBN 9780373295623, page 64:
      'Take yourself to bed then. And don't whine to me tomorrow about how you bowked your guts out all night.'
    • 2010, Mike Harper, Little Mickey H: A Norbury Lad, AuthorHouse (2010), ISBN 9781449015565, page 107:
      Firstly, aged perhaps five or six after polishing off a banana and a slice of bread and butter in the back room at tea time, taking my plate out to the kitchen, I managed to make it only as far as the spin dryer in the hall before bowking richly over the lino.
    • 2011, Erica Bell, The Voyage of the Shuckenoor, Interactive Publications (2011), ISBN 9781921869549, unnumbered page:
      Misima bowked beside him, bent over double. They made twin streams of yellow bile in the heather.


  • The New Geordie Dictionary, Frank Graham, 1987, ISBN 0946928118
  • Newcastle 1970s, Scott Dobson and Dick Irwin, [1]
  • Todd's Geordie Words and Phrases, George Todd, Newcastle, 1977[2]
  • A Dictionary of North East Dialect, Bill Griffiths, 2005, Northumbria University Press, ISBN 1904794165



From Old Scots bolk (to belch). Cognate with Geordie bowk and General Scots boak (but does not have quite the same meaning).


bowk (uncountable)

  1. (South Scots) vomit; sick


bowk (third-person singular present bowks, present participle bowkin, past bowkt, past participle bowkt)

  1. (South Scots) to vomit; to throw up.