Don't be a spenk! 15 mackem insults and what they mean

Some of them we may not have heard since we were in the playground.

Friday, 27th September 2019, 5:43 pm
We've rounded up 15 of the most evocative Mackem insults - all the ones that aren't swears, at any rate!
We've rounded up 15 of the most evocative Mackem insults - all the ones that aren't swears, at any rate!

Some of them we might still be using today with our friends and co-workers. The more we like them, the more we call them horrible names. The North East boasts some colourful slang, and Sunderland folk have a huge number of playful insults to pick from. Here’s our run-down of the 15 insults you’ll know if you’re a mackem – though hopefully you haven’t been on the receiving end of more than about six of them. Do you know some that aren’t here? We probably can’t use them ...

Minging typically means disgusting or gross, and can refer to anything from food that's gone off to a person's physical appearance. It's used around the country but especially here in Sunderland.
Spenk is our city's own version of a dork, geek, or dweeb

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A clip refers to someone whose dress sense, personal style or grooming is not all it ought to be.
A hackey look means 'giving the evils'. It can be a scowl, a stare, the raising of an eyebrow. There are also parts of the North East where hackey can mean literally dirty; i.e. "Look at us man, I'm all hackey".
Sackless is another way of saying gormless. It describes someone who's not up the task - no matter what the task may be!
'Hadaway' basically means the same as 'get away' - an expression of disbelief. It's meant a little more harshly though, especially when combined with a followup suggestion we won't be using here on a family website.
An unattractive and possibly unclean and unhygienic person - a meff is the minger's minger.
Rank is the even worse version of minging. Milk that's gone slightly off might be minging, but milk that has curdled is rank.
Charvers to us are what chavs are to much of the rest of the country - except with less Burberry and more trackies tucked inside socks. Young and lairy, they're the stereotypical hoodies - though often without the hoods.
Clem is the unkind way of referring to a unit of weight - specifically a stone, and the weight of someone's body. Someone who weighs 20st might be referred to as weighing 20 clem.
Someone who returns from the gym might indeed be liftin' - but not with weights. This variety of liftin' returns to strong body odour.
A radgey is a very angry person - though it can also be the act of exploding with rage, which is referred to as throwing or chucking a radgey. A person in an extremely bad mood might be referred to as 'proper radgey'.
A neckender is another way of calling someone a loser, and similar to the word nacker, which means the same thing.
Something that is described as proper shan is twisted, unfair, unjust or generally wrong. If 'shan' were a legal judgement, the case would be thrown out of court.
And the worst insult you could ever call a Mackem is... Geordie. Need we say more.