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Nan, grandma, grandfather ...

Discussion in 'English Only' started by bartonig, Jan 28, 2006.

  1. bartonig Senior Member

    UK English
    What are the (correct?) terms for your parents' parents?

    Mine are (were):

    On my mum's side: grandmother (although I only ever called her by her first name) and grandad.

    On my dad's side: nan and grandad.
     
  2. maxiogee Senior Member

    imithe
    The 'correct' terms are maternal grandfather and grandmother for your mother's parents and paternal grandfather and grandmother for your father's. However, most people grow up using a "babyname" for at least one set of them - Nan, Gran, Gramps, Dads etc. The list is endless.
     
  3. bartonig Senior Member

    UK English
    So, there are not special names for one side? Any names used on your mother's side could be used on your father's, too?
     
  4. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    The wide range of names that maxiogee mentioned means that many families pick different names for the maternal and paternal grandparents - but that is entirely a matter of personal and family choice.

    My mother was known as Nana to all her grandchildren. My brother's children also called their other grandmother Nana. In the company of either Nana, they would refer to the other as Other Nana.
    My children called their other grandmother Granny (Gran when they got older).
     
  5. jamaisvu

    jamaisvu Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    Since "Grandmother" was already taken by my maternal grandmother, I call my paternal grandmother "Grandmary." My paternal grandfather was "Granddaddy" and the other one was "Granddad."

    In the South, which is quite clannish, you hear grandchildren refer to specific ones as "Grandmother Shielding" or "Grandfather Anderson." Also "Mimi" is relatively common appelation for a grandmother. You hear invented ones, too, like "Bub-Bub" or "Nonny."
     
  6. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Welcome to the forums, jamaisvu-- for a minute you had me confused, but I see you're talking about the south of the UK. In the American South, the term "Mamaw" is common for grandmothers, from the French maman I'm pretty sure. And Papaw has evolved by anology. Those stands out regionally, but we also have the usual gamut of such names as outsiders use-- granny, grammy, grampaw, oompah, po-po, and anything else you can get a two-year-old to call you. In a pinch I'll bet even "pookydoodle" would do.
    .
     
  7. panjandrum

    panjandrum PongoMod

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
    It's strange that you should pick that example - WMPG (my granddaughter) has been known affectionately as pookydoodle, pookie, pooks, since she first enjoyed the Pookydoodle Puppy song:)
     
  8. foxfirebrand

    foxfirebrand Senior Member

    The Northern Rockies
    Southern AE greatly modified by a 1st-generation Scottish-American mother, and growing up abroad.
    Well I'll be-- maybe her grandkids will call her that.
    .
     
  9. jinti

    jinti Senior Member

    On my mother's side: Grandpa, and Grandma or Grandma Marge (her first name, to distinguish her from my other grandmother, as in "Mooooooom, telephoooooooone! -- Who is it? -- Grandma --- Which one? -- Grandma Marge). My grandfather insisted on referring to my grandmother as Granny, which is what I had called my great-grandmother. Constantly being called Granny annoyed her no end, which is probably why he did it.

    On my father's side: I never knew my grandfather, so I never had a special name for him. My grandmother was Grandma Sally (a diminutive form of her first name).
     
  10. jamaisvu

    jamaisvu Senior Member

    English - U.S.
    No, I meant the American South. Yes, "maw'-maw" exists, though I think you hear it less and less in the younger generations. I guess it now sounds too "Beverly Hillbillies." I've never heard of anyone calling his grandfather "po-po," I guess because it's slang for "police."

    I know a lot of people who call theirs "Mimi" and "Big Daddy," which strikes me as very Southern.

    In my experience grandparent naming is not that arbitrary, or at least where I grew up. Most people I know in the South call their grandparents "Grandmother" and "Grandfather." My paternal grandmother hated the sound of "Granny," "Grandma," etc., so I didn't call her anything until I was three, when I called her "Mrs. [last name]." She freaked out, so my mother devised "Grandmary," since "Mary" was her first name.

    Then again, my family is pretty formal, and "pookydoodle" would not have gone over well.
     

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