THE Gaelic speakers of the north-west Highlands of Scotland are the only people in the world who have a word to describe the delicious sense of anticipation that comes just before one takes a sip of whisky (the word is sgriob, for those who don't know).
All Lions fans - even the vast majority who wouldn't know Gaelic if came up and slapped them on the face - would have felt a similar sense of joyful expectation just before the tour venues were announced for this year's British and Irish Lions rugby tour.
Which great sporting citadels would they get to visit this time? The names of which great cities would they have picked out in gold on the backs of their tour T-shirts?
Then they were told: it would be those sporting meccas of Perth, Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Canberra and . . . Newcastle.
This one venue sparked more head-scratching and atlas-scouring among Lions fans than all the rest put together.
That is because, to be honest, most Brits don't really know much about it.
Of course, the secret is starting to get out now, what with Lonely Planet voting Newcastle one of the top 10 cities in the world in its 2011 edition.
But, apart from the backpackers, most Brits head up from Sydney to Brisbane, stopping off at Noosa Heads or Byron Bay and blow past Newcastle as if it wasn't there.
Indeed, if you say "Newcastle" to your average Brit heading out for this tour, you'll get responses ranging from "Howay the lads" to "nipped up from London for a stag weekend there once - very cheap and very, very cheerful".
Not one will reply: "Newcastle? Wonderful city, near to Lake Macquarie, great access to the wonderful Hunter Valley vineyards and superb surfing - great."
Well, one person might - and that's me.
While most of my other fellow Lions supporters were trying to work out whether Newcastle was a misprint on the tour itinerary, I was already booking my flight from the UK and planning my tour around this one fixture at Hunter Stadium.
There are several reasons for that. One is that, as a Scot, I feel it is my duty to pay homage at the site of Scotland's greatest away victory on a rugby field for 30 years.
That was, of course, last season's extraordinary 9-6 trouncing of the Wallabies at Hunter Stadium, when the Scots brought the weather with them, brought the Aussies down to their level and secured their most high-profile victory since their last big away win (in Ballymore, Brisbane, in 1982, when an Andy Irvine-led Scotland won 12-7 against the Wallabies).
But I also want to come back to Newcastle, because I stayed there for the whole of one winter and know that it is far more than simply being a drab industrial, coal-and-shipping hub that many Brits think it is.
So given my experience of this city, what advice would I give my fellow Lions tourists as they descend on Newcastle in their thousands this week?
First, I would say - don't expect to understand Newcastle unless you make time for rugby league.
My first night in Newcastle back in the 1990s coincided with a State of Origin game.
I had no idea what that was but, after joining several thousand others in the Newcastle Workers Club to hear Roy and HG give their own, inimitable commentary to an extraordinarily passionate, brutal and skilful game being shown on a huge screen behind them, I started to appreciate it was something special.
It was a small step after that to watch the Newcastle Knights, and it was only then, sitting on one of the huge grass banks at Marathon Stadium, as it was then, that I started, slowly, to understand more of what Newcastle was about.
I would tell my fellow fans to explore the beaches, the restaurants and the bars of Newcastle and, of course, to tour the wineries - while obviously getting some other sucker to drive.
But, oddly enough, the real reason I have so much affection for Newcastle is just because so few Brits actually bother to stop off in the city.
When I arrived in Newcastle, hardly anyone had seen a British backpacker before.
"What on earth are you doing here?" they'd ask.
However, because I had made the effort to take the time for their city, they took the time for me.
As a result, I was overwhelmed by the generosity and the warmth of the welcome I received.
So when I meet my fellow Lions tourists, I shall tell them not to get too worked up by the match itself.
I will urge them to take the time to enjoy the city itself and the region outside.
That is because, by putting it in the itinerary, the Lions have given thousands of Brits an excuse to visit Newcastle - an excuse which, actually, they shouldn't really have needed in the first place.