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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.


  • IPA(key): /boʊk/
    • (file)


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

  1. (Tyneside) To belch, to burp.
    • 1966, William Mayne, Earthfasts, Peter Smith (1989), →ISBN, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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, 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
  • 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



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.