Fine Art Friday & Grandparent Names

Cottage Vincent van Gogh

I’m doing a joint garage sale with my MIL today.  I had an oversized book of van Gogh prints in the sale for $2.  I started looking at it and pulled it off the table, putting it back in my stack.  I used to believe I didn’t like van Gogh, and it’s true there are some fractured paintings not to my taste, to quote my friend Dana (I miss you!).  But this Cottage just draws me in and seems to have a very long story to tell.  My house is small, but if I have to I will frame some of the pictures and hang them in the garage. 

~     ~     ~

I was watching my grandson Gavin one day when his other grandpa dropped something off at our house. 

“Hey Gavin,” I called, “look who’s here!”

He came running and grinned the cutest grin and said, “DaddyDad!” 

That’s how I discovered Gavin’s name for his other Grandpa.  He could never master Granddad…it came out DaddyDad.  So here’s the lineup for the little guy, excluding the massive list of aunts and uncles:

Daddy and Mommy

DaddyDad and Grammy (my DIL’s folks – I can’t wait to give her a Grammy Award)

Papa and Nana (that’s Curt and me)

Grandpa and Ma’am (the great grandparents)

Granddad and Grammy (the other great grandparents who live out of town)

It’s silly, but names for grandparents fascinate me.  Some, like Opa, come from national origins.  Others, like my oldest brother, Grumpy, come from the limitations of a child’s speech.  I remember recently when George Grant became a grandpa, he was amazed at how many choices there are in Grandma names and how few in Grandpa names. 

I would love to hear from you, lurkers and all, either what you called your grandparents or what your grandparents call you, OR what names you’ve heard which delight or tickle you.

16 thoughts on “Fine Art Friday & Grandparent Names

  1. I called my dad’s folks Grandaddy and Gramma; my mom’s folks were Grammy and Gramper. Actually Grammy is still Grammy – to my kids, too.
    My kids call my dad Papa and my mom Grandmama.
    My husbands’ parents – who they hardly ever see are Grandpa Duane and Grandma Marlene.

  2. My sister-in-law, who’s from Texas, has her kids call her parents, Mamaw and Papaw.  My dad HATES those names (he thinks it sounds too “hick,” but apparently it’s pretty common in the South) and they call him Poppie, and my step-mom, Nana.  It’s only Poppie, because they call my brother, Papa. And my mom is Grandma Alice to them.  Talk about confusing!
    My kids just call my dad Papa and Joan is Nana.  I DO like “DaddyDad” though!

  3. My maternal grandparents were Dee and Daya. My paternal were Granddaddy and Orma (she was a 2nd wife, I didn’t know my father’s mother as she had passed before I was born). My ILs are Papa and Grandma. My parents are BaaBee and DanDan (long story, but my son, the eldest of the grandchildren, named them). Now that I’m a grandmother and yet still have a toddler, my name is Grandmoma. My dh is called Dr Pops. At least that’s what we’re planning on, since that lil guy doesn’t really talk yet.

  4. Mel, I’ve heard Mamaw and Papaw and <grimace> – not my fave.That just reminded me of one of my dear friends growing up who called her folks Ma and Pa. The only girl I knew who did that.Noel, what a cornucopia of names. I like the way BaaBee and DanDan go together. And I like Dr. Pops. Very much!! (the name, you know)!)

  5. All I know is…I don’t really like Grandma and Grandpa.
    It fit for my Grandparents.
    But not me. :o)
    Some day I will have to come up with something…
    not yet tho,
    I’ll think about it tomorrow.

  6. My grandparents were Mémère and Pépère (pronounced “Mem’-may” and “Pep’-pay”) or, for my dad’s parents, “Mem” and “Pep” for short. My mom’s parents got their surname tagged onto the end, while my dad’s parents got their first names tagged on, but only to differentiate when we weren’t with them.My parents have follow the same tradition. My dad forgoes any tag, as he’s the only Pépère. My mother and step-mother get first name tags. My step-mother isn’t at all French, but I wanted my kids to have a Mémère and a Pépère who belonged together. My dh’s grandparents were simply grandmas and grandpas, with first- or last- or nick-name tags. When oldest dd was born, I was hoping to find something a bit more ethnic for his parents. My dmil is of Austrian descent, so I looked at the German. I thought I’d found it: “Grandpa” is “ompah” and “Grandma” is “omah”. But Omah was my dmil’s not so dear mil’s first name, so that idea went the way of the dodo. His parents ended up as Grandma and Banca. Our oldest couldn’t say “grandpa” and her version stuck.We aren’t grandparents yet, but I’m hoping to convince my husband to be a “Pépère” to go along with my “Mémère”, even though he has not the smallest smidge of French anything in him. I think the kids will help me on this, at least a couple have said that that’s their preference.I think one of my favorite grandmother terms came from “The Cosby Show”. When “Claire and Cliff” became grandparents, she insisted that she wasn’t a grandmother, but “a mother, twice removed”.

  7. Lynne! I love it. Love It! We *could* have had this discussion a few years back. (Back to the too late to change verse!) It doesn’t really work with my husband’s German background, though. Are you French?Donna you’re ready for grandbabies, girl!

  8. I had to laugh when, after my mom decided on “Grammy Flo”, we asked Mr. W’s stepmother if she liked “Grammy Joan”.  “No”, she answered primly and decidedly.  “Grandmother Joan will do.”  She doesn’t get feisty often, so ‘Grandmother Joan’ it is!
    Personally, I can’t wait to take up my maternal grandmother’s moniker, although she herself was not well-loved: MomMom.

  9. We haven’t had to think about this too much yet, but when our time comes, I want to be Granny, and Steve will have to be…”Grumpy”! He’s really very jolly, but we have a strange sense of humor here.About Van Gogh, I have one of his paintings (well, it’s a poster) hanging above the piano in the parlor. It’s First Steps, copied from Millet. It is lovely. Once in Monterey I saw a beautiful chalk art picture of his “Starry Night” on the sidewalk, too. It seemed so sad to think of it getting washed away.

  10. My aunt and uncle (the Texas ones, you know) are Meemaw and Peepaw. 
    I love Becky and Rahn: Marmie (from “Little Women”) and Papa.
    In Zimbabwe, it is Gogo and BabaNkulu (“old father”) and we jokingly call the projenitors that, though their official names are the BORING ones.

  11. Yes, Carol, I come from French Canadian stock – 100%, third generation American-born. My husband is of very mixed ancestry (half Austrian, half everything else, it seems, except French).Donna, “Mémère Boucher” has a lovely lilt! And how else could it be pronounced?

  12. My stepdaughter Jennifer calls her grandparents “Sissy and Gampy”. No one can really remember where Sissy came from, but we think Jennifer overheard her grandpa calling his daughter “Sis” and Jennifer thought he was calling her Grandmother that. She has called her Sissy for 38 years and she is the only grandchild to call her that. Another granddaughter calls my MIL “Nanny”.I am so eagerly anticipating my still-a-few-years-away grandparenthood that I will be thrilled with whatever name my grandchildren give to me. It is truly one of my most fervent prayers to be actively involved in my future grandkids’ lives. Blessings,Sandy

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