I've lived in the North-East of England for over 10 years now but I always wondered about this particular usage of the word "like". For years I have heard countless sentences or questions that sound like:

"Are you all right like?" "I've been to ... and it's pretty good like"

I have learnt to use it not by literal understanding but rather the context and I know it can't be translated into other languages.

Has anybody got any idea where it came from? Are you from other part of England and use it just like the Geordies? (it's only my assumption it occurs in the North-East and nowhere else)

  • 1
    youtube.com/watch?v=jAGgKE82034 is a TedTalk with more general information on this, and how different places use "like" differently. I haven't seen it for a month, but overall, I enjoyed it.
    – aschultz
    Commented Jun 8, 2017 at 22:10

3 Answers 3


I think it's more of a dialect thing than anything. It's just a filler word, like 'Um' or 'Er'. The only difference is that it comes at the end of the sentence, and seems to be quite specific to that region. I think a few other regions have similar dialects, and also use 'like' at the end of their sentences. For example the Liverpudlian (Liverpool) accent.

  • It is not only used in the north of England. There are plenty of occasions where I have heard people from Essex saying 'like' at the end of sentences. I do wonder if it is a generational thing too... like. :-) Commented Jun 22, 2017 at 12:02

I'd say this is best explained by this Geordie lady (at 8:37)

"wememba dat wo put 'lAke' on da end o'sentences... just because wo CAN" :-)


Here in the U.S., we'd say "are you, like, alright?". I've just heard this use of like at the end of a sentence and think it's the same thing - a filler, as Michael said, only it shows up in different places in sentences depending on where people live/are from.

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