Whatever Happened to Grandma & Grandpa?

>> Tuesday, July 14, 2009

I was going to wait and post this tomorrow, but I just couldn't help myself. This was too good not to share right away!!

As I was driving Nani to ballet class this morning, my mind started to wander off. This is a dangerous thing for me (and not because I could potentially run a red light) because this is the time where I sometimes come up with some of my blogging ideas. My mind swirls with "what if's" and "why is its?". This morning was one of those mornings.

Whatever happened to calling grandparents simply "Grandma" and "Grandpa"? Once upon a time, it was an honored thing to be called "Grandma" or "Grandpa". It marked yet another phase in your long, well-lived life. Grandparents rejoiced when they received the notification of their first grandchild -- proudly announcing to the ladies at bingo that my son/daughter has finally made me a "Grandma!"


These days, things have changed. Being called a grandma has some negative associations -- old ladies with false teeth, grey hair, bifocals, house dresses and slippers. Being called Grandpa is associated with suspenders, grumpiness, wrap-around sunglasses, golf hats & plaid pants. (Sorry daddy -- if you're reading this, I know you don't wear plaid pants! Ha! Ha!). Grandparents around the world are rebelling against the age-old, time-honored "Grandma" and "Grandpa" in favor of more hip, age-defying monikers.

Now, there are still a few clinging to tradition, like my parents who are lovingly called "Bubbe" and "Grandpap"....although Nani used to call my dad "Bock-Bock" (like the sound a chicken makes) because she couldn't say "Grandpap". Deep down, I know my daddy LOVED it!


My in-laws are using "Nana" and "Pappy".


But there are those who insist on being called Meemaw, MeeMee, Maymay and Mawmaw. (E-I, E-I, O)

I've heard kids call their grandfathers Bumbo, Bumbum, Geegaw, and Boompa. (Sounds like the sounds that a one-man band makes walking down the street....remember Bert from Mary Poppins?)


But wait -- there's more! I decided that this called for some serious research. I stumbled upon
some great jewels out in cyberspace. Some are cute and some are.....well.....you just judge for yourself! (I have also added my own little commentaries....I just couldn't pass this stuff up!)

Auntie-Gramma: because I married my stepmother's brother and we bred. So now my stepmother is both an aunt and a grandma. (This is a little disturbing on SO many levels!)

Alvin and Butter-butt: My daughters started calling my father Alvin because they thought he had puffy cheeks like Alvin the singing chipmunk. They call my mother butter-butt because while they were camping, she backed into a trash basket and got a butter wrapper stuck on her butt. (Butter-butt must be a barrel of laughs come New Year's Eve!)

Banana and Papaya - We came up with this for our granddaughter when her other grandparents stole Mimi and Popi from us! (Not only do you have to worry about baby name stealing - we have to worry about grandparent name stealing too? Hmmm...maybe we should start calling my parents Avacado & Cantaloupe?)

Diva: I want the new grandkid to call me "Diva" because I think Diva sounds young & fun. I may not be young, but I'm fun! Grandma is old & gray, not young & fun.

Gaggy: We called out maternal grandfather,"Gaggy", because my sister could not pronounce "Grandpa". All the grandkids following said"Gaggy": He officially became "Mr. Gaggy " to the neighbors. (Seriously? Do you want your kids hanging out with "Mr. Gaggy" in your neighborhood?? This guy sounds like he should be on some kind of federal watch list...)

GoneGone: My grandma's name. I don't know why, but all the grandkids and great-grandkids called her that. (Grandpa must have been called ByeBye)

Grammbo: My brother-in-law nicknamed my mother Grammbo after she emerged from the woods after a solo backpacking trip, wearing a bandanna around her head. (And a deer head tucked under her arm....)


Grandma and Grandfather:
My paternal grandparents have always been "Grandma and Grandfather". I'm not sure why, but my eldest cousin started calling them Grandma and Grandfather, and we've all done it, except one pair of cousins whose mother insisted that it should be "Grandmother and Grandfather" or "Grandma and Grandpa". I think her kids use Grandpa. (Anyone who uses the words "paternal" and "eldest" must not have much imagination...here's a family that sticks to tradition!)

Grandma Goddess: My granddaughter calls me Grandma Goddess, which doesn't please "the other women" (her other grandma). (Hmmm....must be why she now calls herself "Diva" -- see grandma post above)

Grandma Meow: My son began calling my mother-in-law, Grandma Meow since he couldn't say her first name, Mary. It's also funny because she owns multiple cats. (Getting treats from this Grandma is always a surprise! Is it kitty litter or trail mix?)


Grandma - San Diego and Grandma - Tucson
We called our grandmas by their geographical locations since they could both be called grandma! (Let's hope we don't have to change it to Grandma Retirement Home)

Granny Grunt: This is the name we gave to our Great Grandmother, my Mother's grandmother. She was short and stout and every time she stood up or sat down, or did just about anything, she grunted. One of my cousin's teasingly called her this one time and it stuck. (Just about anything?? Hmmmm.....)

Kinky & Pa: My maternal grandparents were called Pa and Kinky! I think someone tried to call her by her name, Carina, and Kinky came out and stuck.She was known to our whole town as Kinky or Aunt Kinky. (I'm seriously not going to touch this one with a 10-foot pole.....not even the one that's probably in Kinky's bedroom!)


Lolli & Pop:
My Mother-in-law chose the following names for herself and my Father-in-Law to be called by their grandchildren: She is: Lolli He is: Pop Get it? Lolli-Pop.... Just makes me roll my eyes every time I think about it!!! (Ba-dum-dum)

In the end, no matter what your children call their grandparents, they will always be loved and cherished and will have memories to last a lifetime!


melaniet42 July 14, 2009 at 7:23 PM  

This is TOO funny! My daughter has three sets of grandparents. My husband started calling his mom "Granny" long before she was a grandmother because she was very conservative, and that stuck once grandkids came around. Her husband is Grandpa, because it fits with Granny. My parents are NiNi and Poppop, because I had a Poppop when I was a kid and because my mom's name is Ginny AND I used to call myself NiNi when I was a kid before I could pronounce my name. And my father-in-law is Paw-Paw because my stepson started calling him that and Poppop was already taken; his wife is a Bubbe...something to do with what Jewish kids call their grandmothers. Phew...how confusing!

LeAndMatt July 14, 2009 at 9:16 PM  

Hi. Visiting from the Blog Hop. Thanks for stopping by our blog. I loved your post...now if your first commenter was confusing enough...see if you can follow this:
My son has the following:
MawMaw Kat (my mom Kathy) and Papa John (my stepfather John); PawPaw B (my dad Bennie) and MawMaw G (my stepmom Gloria); Mimi (my stepmother in law) and Papa T (my father in law - last name starts with T); great-grandmother - Grammy and great-stepgrandfather Pops; great-grandmother Maw Maw Laura (first name Laura) and great stepgrandfather Papa John (yes he has two - different sides of my family)

Confused yet?
Thanks again!

Valerie @ Frugal Family Fun Blog July 14, 2009 at 9:46 PM  

That is so funny!! Emily calls my parents Abuela and Grandpop, and Mark's parents are called Grandma and Papock. I've never thought about this before, but you are so right... whatever happened to grandma and grandpa???

Erica July 15, 2009 at 4:05 AM  

I've always called my grandparents Mammy & Pa, but I never thought about it. Now my kids call my mom Grammy. She was one that definitely didn't want to be a Grandma (or called that anyway). Now, I also know a grandma in our church who is called Honey. How's that one?

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments July 15, 2009 at 4:46 AM  

Funny post haha!

Our family also has the list of different names. (actually, it really was helpful and we knew exactly who was who when we would talk about them... instead of saying.."which Grandpa or which grandma?" with our kids.

Hubby's side:
Voovoo (his mom's dad-Portuguese for grandpa)
Granny (his mom)
Papa (his dad)

My side:
Lolo (my mom's dad -Philippine language for grandpa)
Grandma (my dad's mom)
Grandpa (my dad)
Lola (my mom-Philippine language for grandma)

With our daughter (theluckiestmrs) just married, we are looking forward to when we become grandparents. (I want a cute name a little one can actually say... so have been thinking about that :o)

Personalized Sketches and Sentiments July 15, 2009 at 4:55 AM  

I went to "follow", but a message popped up that said "unable to do your request at this time. please try again later."

So, i'll try again later.

(your little ones are adorable :o)

oh, you asked which unit. My husband flew blackhawks in Hawaii and Alabama, and then apaches in Alabama, Kentucky (with the 101st Airborne), and retired here in Georgia witht he 3rd ID, still over the Air Field Safety for Hunter and Ft Stewart (same office, but now in civilian clothes)...I think uniforms make dressing up in the morning sooo much more convenient... at least, it would for me...hm, maybe that's a reason I chose dental hygiene-the comfy scrubs-no brainer. haha
Sorry for the long post!

3 Bay B Chicks July 15, 2009 at 6:32 AM  

You are hilarious. I should know better than to drink my morning cup on coffee while reading your blog.

I nearly choked and died from laughing after seeing the last picture. I have no idea where you found something like that, but it totally cracked me up.


Linda Vujnov July 15, 2009 at 8:25 AM  

You are so right. There are some crazy names out there. My mom is Grandma. That is simple.

{Kimber} July 15, 2009 at 8:50 AM  

great post...
we have a MAWMAW, 2 grannie's, mamaw...I'm confused half the time...I know THEY have to be!

Lori July 15, 2009 at 2:45 PM  

Thank you for visiting my blog. Congratulations on 2 beautiful kids, they are so cute! I think your job sounds wonderful!!

Mimi July 15, 2009 at 5:38 PM  

Funny! I'm divorced & remarried so my kids have 4 sets of grandparents.

Monnie & Bucka - my parents, it's what my oldes called them when he was little & they loved it so it stuck. My grandparents are called great-monnie & great-bucka.

Mimi & Pippi - my ex's Canadian, that's the French for G & G.

Oma & Opa - my husbands parents, just live above only German.

Mamaw & Grandaddy - My ex's wifes parents, I don't know why.

Too Many Hats July 15, 2009 at 9:01 PM  

Butter-butt LOL.

My mil did not want to be a grandma, sad I know, and she said so. I asked what she wanted to be called instead and she said her first name. I wasn't going there, so she is grandma to my kids - I would have done Nana or just about any other endearing name, but calling your grandma by there first name is a no.

Chaukie July 16, 2009 at 5:44 AM  

I have often asked myself the same question. When I was a kid (& still) I called my grandparents by Grandma or Grandpa & then their last name. That was the way everyone did it. Now, it seems as though if they go by Grandma/Grandpa they may just use their first name because otherwise they feel like their parents.

I have let all of our kids' grandparents choose what they wanted to be called because they didn't like what I was used to. However, my grandparents (their great grandparents) use the same format I did, with the exception of "great" being added. I just think this way is much more respectful.

As a society, we seem to have lost the respect that was once there. Heck, even at the bank they refer to me by my first name (& it's not like they know who I am).

Helene July 16, 2009 at 10:42 AM  

Where on earth did you get that pic of my MIL?? I nearly spit out my OJ when I saw that pic. It seriously looks like her...whoah!!!

This post is hysterical...I especially enjoyed your commentary with the wierd names for grandparents. Yeah the auntie-granny one is definitely disturbing (and confusing to the young'ns).

My dad's wife wants the kids to call her "Glamma", you know like Goldie Hawn's grandkids. She read somewhere that Goldie insists that her grandkids call her "Glamma" (combo of Grandma and Glamour). Funny thing is that my kids refuse to call her that so I love to watch her frown everytime they say, "Hey Brenda....". But then again, we both know I'm evil personified.

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend July 16, 2009 at 8:11 PM  

Too funny....Just blog hopping and enjoyed reading your blog. I love reading about new blog friends....


Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend July 19, 2009 at 10:45 PM  

That is FUNNY.....so glad you stopped by to visit me...

chili pepper July 20, 2009 at 9:25 AM  

Holy Stars! This is too funny. In the beginning I was thinking well why don't my kids call their grandparents Grandpa and Grandma. It wasn't because of any stigma but because of the excessive amount of grandparents...My mom was Grandma and dad was PoP Pop. My daughter called her father pa and somehow that worked into Pop Pop in kids language. Then my parents divorced and so my dad's new wife became Nana because it would confusing to have two grandma's. Likewise, my in-laws country farm folk, were Pappy and Granny because you couldn't have two grandmas and grandpas and another set of grandparents in my sister in laws first or second marriage (she's on her third) had already taken grandpa.

My step brother and his family have had so many marriages and divorces and kids from so many different parents...he was married and had one baby. They divorced. He married wife number two who had been married before and had one child. Wife number one remarried and had another baby and now there are 6 sets of grandparents. Wife number one divorced again and had another baby and now more grandparents. Husband of wife number 2 remarries and now there are more. In order to raise the kids as siblings all the kids are shuffled in a group from family to family and there are so many sets of grandparents, Aunts and Uncles that I don't even know how they name they all anymore!

The fathers, step-fathers, half fathers or whatever are confusing enough for me to keep straight.

So sad to say, I think mostly it is just another symptom of our complicated society dealing with one of the more subtle side effects of immorality and divorce.

Although, I do know of two families who choose to go by the traditional names for grandparents in their native country. Which I personally think is kind of cute and sweet.

Jane August 26, 2009 at 8:34 PM  

I am still chuckling! What a fun post!!! Although our offspring are not planning children anytime soon, I am "Grammi" to their dogs. (Yes, you read that correctly.) Who knows what any future grand-KIDs will call us.

(My mom is "Great Ma" to her 10 great grands. Not bad...

Have a super day...
Jane (Artfully Graced)

Stacey November 24, 2010 at 7:57 AM  

Cute post! I think my favorite is Grammbo! And I'm going to not comment on the Kinky one. Ummmm...

Thanks for linking up today!

The Lazy Mom

Jenilee November 29, 2010 at 11:08 AM  

It is amazing how many names people have for grandparents! fun post! :)

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