Newy Speak

Tuesday, Aug 28, 2012


Visitors and newcomers will never feel out of the loop with this handy list of common Newcastle terminology that will have you speaking like a local in no time.

Air Force Club (n)
Built in 1892, this highly regarded building for its quintessential example of Baroque architecture is located at 129 Scott St, Newcastle. The building operated as the Air Force Club from 1947 to 1999 until it was refurbished in 2009 and renamed Longworth Institute after the Longworth Family who owned the building during the first quarter of last century. It now operates as a cocktail / tapas bar and function centre. Cabbies and anyone over 25 years of age only know it as the Air Force Club.

Argy (also Argy-Bargy) (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Argenton.

Bank Corner (n)
Former Bank of New South Wales at 744 Hunter St, Newcastle West, the intersection of Bellevue & Hunter Streets.

Bar Reef (n)
Surf break at the eastern most point of Bar Beach.

The Bay (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb and south shore surrounds of Nelson Bay. Can also refer to Warners Bay on Lake Macquarie.

Bero (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Beresfield.

The BHP (n)
The site of the former BHP steelworks at Mayfield West.

Birmo (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Birmingham Gardens.

Brewhaha (n)
Alternative name for The Brewery at Queens Wharf, Newcastle.

Bruiser (n)
Alternative name for The Brewery at Queens Wharf, Newcastle.

Carro (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Carrington.
See also ‘The Island’

Catho (n)
Abbreviation of the suburb Catherine Hill Bay.

Charlie (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Charlestown. Can also refer to Charlestown Shopping Centre.

Club Phoenix (n)
The former name of Wests Mayfield located at 32 Industrial Drive, Mayfield.
See also Stewart & Lloyd’s.

Commo (n)
An abbreviation for Commonwealth Hotel, cnr Union & Bull Sts, Cooks Hill.

Cowrie Hole (n)
Surf break (right-hander) immediately north of Newcastle Ocean Baths.

Dairy Farmer’s Corner (n)
The corner of Hunter St and Railway St, Newcastle West.

Dicko (n)
An abbreviation of the beach Dixon Park.

Dog and Rat (n)
Area area near Lambton High where, in the early years the miners of the township used to entertain themselves gambling on dog races known as the “Dog & Rat” because they would release a rat (wallaby) on flat open area then let their dogs chase it down. The dog that caught the rat won. The rat won if it made it to the scrub.

double pluggers / studders (n)
Unlike regular thongs, double plugger / studders use two anchor points at the side of the foot insuring prolonged wear. Found in discount chain stores and most regularly in a colour combination of black with white upper sole. Double plugger / studders are only replaced when the sole of the heel wears out completely, the final stud ‘blows’ (comes away from its anchor point), or a mate ‘borrows’ them.

Eat Street
Alternative name for Darby Street, Cooks Hill, presumably coined by a real estate agent.

Edgy (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Edgeworth.

Fannois (n)
Alternative name for Fanny’s nightclub. You know, for when it needs classing up.

Fassi (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Fassifern.

Flat Rock (n)
Surf break (right-hander) immediately north of Newcastle Baths, just behind and to the south of Cowrie Hole.

Frog Hollow (n)
Reference for the area in Mayfield bordered by William, Crebert & Ingall Streets & Industrial Drive.

Gardo (n)
Abbreviated name of Garden City, the former name of a shopping centre located in Kotara (1974 – 2003). Previously called Kotara Fair, currently called Westfield Kotara.
See also ‘Kotara Fair’.

Gog (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Dungog.

The Groper (n)
Surf break at the southern end of Nobbys Beach.

Gully Line (n)
Intersection of Turton & Lambton Rd. Stream trains transported coal from the Raspberry Gully colliery at Charlestown through to to Port Waratah traversed this intersection up until 1962.

Hairy Melon (n)
Alternative name for The Mary Ellen Hotel, Merewether.

Hamo (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Hamilton.

Hexham Grey
Common name for the species of mosquito ochlerotatus alternans, prolific along the Hunter River, especially in the area around Hexham. Immortalised by a giant mosquito sculpture atop the Hexham Bowling Club, nicknamed Ozzie and in rhyming verse by Bob Skelton – The Hexham Greys

Ho Ho (n)
Alternative name for Honeysuckle Hotel.

Hunna (n)
An alternative pronunciation of ‘hunter’.

Hunter Valley tuxedo (n)
Safety vest worn in coal mines.

The Island (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Carrington or Kooragang Island.

Iso (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Islington.

jabba (n)
A hoon.

Jeso (n)
An abbreviation of the suburb of Jesmond.

The John (n)
An abbreviation of John Hunter Hospital.

JRs (n)
The site of the notorious (former) Jolly Roger nightclub on King St, Newcastle.

Kotara Fair (n)
Name of shopping centre located at Kotara (1965 – 1974) , subsequently called Garden City (1974 – 2003), currently called Westfield Kotara.
See also ‘Gardo’.

Ladies (n)
Surf break (right-hander) on the southern end of Merewether Beach.

The Lake (n)
An abbreviation of Lake Macquarie.

Lampworks (n)
The building previously owned by Electric Lamp Manufacturers Australia from 1925 to 2002 on Chatham Rd, Georgetown. Now houses many second hand furniture and antique shops.

Les Lazarus (n)
Previous trading name for Arnold’s Swim Centre at The Junction.

The Lucky (n)
An abbreviation of the (former) Lucky Country Hotel at 1 Crown St, Newcastle.

M.R. (n)
Mark Richards was born in Newcastle and is a surfing legend winning four consecutive World Championship surfing titles (1979 – 1982). Continues to shape surfboards out of a retail store on Hunter Street, originally opened by his parents. Continues to live in Newcastle at Dixon Park.

Newie / Newy (n)
Abbreviation of Newcastle.

Nineways (n)
The junction of Belford, Chatham & Denison Sts, and Lambton, Brunker, Broadmeadow & Young Rds at Broadmeadow.

Novocastrian (n)
The term for a person who has / is living in Newcastle. There is debate about the length of time one must live in Newcastle before they can claim to be a Novocastrian.

North (n)
Surf break north of Bar Beach.

old mate / old love (n)
An acquaintance.

Ori (n)
Abbreviation of Oriental Hotel, Cooks Hill.

PD’s (n)
Pacific Dreams, a surf shop located at 9 Darby Street, Newcastle.

Pink Elephant / Pink Elly (n)
The building on Hunter St, Newcastle West formerly the Newcastle Museum and before that the Pink Elephant Markets and previous to that, a brewery.

Pogo’s (n)
(pronounced pog-o’s) A surf break between Merewether & Dixon Park beaches. Named after a wealthy printmaker and Dixon Park resident by the surname of Pogonowski who was attacked by a shark at that spot.

The Point (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Speers Point.

Pommytown (n)
Reference for the area in Mayfield bounded by Vine, Crebert & William Streets and Industrial Drive.

Rudderfod / Rudfod (n)
Alternative pronunciation of the suburb of Rutherford.

The Sexchange (n)
Alternative name for The Exchange Hotel, Hamilton.

The Shaft (n)
Alternative name for The Shaft Tavern, Elermore Vale.

Shark Alley (n)
A surf break.

Shitkansen (n)
A slow-moving train, especially between Sydney and Newcastle. Portmanteau of ‘shit’ + ‘shinkansen’, a Japanese high-speed train.

Shorty (n)
Abbreviation of the suburb of Shortland.

Smithy’s Airfield (n)
Area of land across the railway line near the Oak Factory at Hexham, opposite Hexham Bowling Club.

South (n)
Surf break south of the reef opposite surf club.

The Square (n)
Alternative name for Charlestown Square Shopping Centre.

Stewart & Lloyd’s (n)
Former name of Wests Recreation Club, Industrial Dr, Mayfield.
See also ‘Tubies’

Stinky Corner (n)
A notoriously odour prone cove of Lake Macquarie at The Esplanade & Fairfax Rd, Warners Bay.

Stocko (n)
Abbreviation of the suburb of Stockton.

Strzlecki Lookout (n)
In Newcastle it is pronounced Strez-leck-e, not the traditional way of Stre-let-ski.

Swampy Bay (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Swansea.

The Terrace (n)
Abbreviation of the suburb of Raymond Terrace.

Tiger’s Hill (n)
Alternative name of the suburb Tighes Hill.

top of town (n)
Newcastle CBD east of Darby Street.

Tree of Knowledge (n)
A fig tree of some age located at the corner Hannell St & Lee Wharf Rd, Wickham, opposite The Albion Hotel.

Tronno (n)
Alternative pronunciation of the suburb of Toronto.

Tubies (n)
Abbreviation of Tubemakers Recreation Club, now Wests Recreation Club on Industrial Dr, Mayfield.

The Vale (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Elermore Vale

Valo (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Valentine

Wash Tub (n)
Alternative name for the General Washington Hotel, Stockton.

Wicko (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Wickham.

wop (v)
To wag school; take a day off school.

Workies (n)
The abbreviated name of Newcastle Workers Club on King St Newcastle, now Panthers.

World’s End (n)
Alternative name for the suburb of Wallsend.

The Zoo (n)
Alternative name for The Burwood Hotel, Merewether.

Many names of previously iconic business in Newcastle and the Hunter Valley that are still referred to today can be found here.


  • Betty Thomas

    I am pretty sure the Pink Elly markets were in the old Newcastle Co-operative Store building in Newcastle west. I am 65 and don’t ever remember that being a museum or brewery. Would like to know if anyone thinks the same.

    • Rob Pittman

      You are right but the Museum was in the old brewery building opposite The Store.

    • Lindi Jarman

      The Pink Elephant Markets originally opened in the old Brewery, whgained its use.ich they painted a bright lolly pink. It was pretty shabby, really, but I remember buying heaps of batik skirts there as well as cheesecloth tops in the early 70s. They didn’t last there long, shutting for a while, then reopening in the vacated Co-op Store Building.The Brewery was empty for quite a while, until the Museum

  • 8 Reasons to Love Newcastle, Australia. - Meg's Megaverse

    […] the people who make maps have different names for things than we do. Some helpful soul compiled a list so don’t stress. Also, we have a chip on our collective shoulder about Sydney. A lot of […]

Leave a Comment:

Theme by Blogmilk   Coded by Brandi Bernoskie