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Grandparents

A forum for discussing US dialects (accents).

Grandparents

Postby mchugh » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:04 pm

What do you call grandparents? My family calls maternal grandparents Grandmom and Granddad (not Grandma and Grandpa) and paternal grandparents Nana and PapPap
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Grandpa and Toopa

Postby Dr. Goodword » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:19 pm

These terms do not show much regional variation. They tend to be personal and vary according to "idiolect", the dialect of one family or person.

My oldest grandchild calls me "Too-pa" (or "Two-pa") because at one point in her life she could not remember "grand" but did (at last) remember one of the numbers I had been trying for several days to teach her: one - two - three.
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Postby Perry » Thu Mar 30, 2006 11:37 pm

Years ago I used to watch a very popular French tv show that trotted out very young talents (or at least hopefuls). When asked who had come to the program with them, the most common answers went something like, "I came with Mama, Papa, Maman, Meme, Pepe, etc." It was anyone's guess which appellation went to which generation.

My kids sometimes call their grandmother grandma, and other times safta, which is grandma in Hebrew. They don't use much Hebrew anymore, except for this. At one point, late last year, my 4 year old (influenced by some movie) started calling her family members with the formal "sister, brother, mother, father, grandmother". It took a while for that to wear off.
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Postby gailr » Fri Mar 31, 2006 11:14 pm

We call ours grandma and grandpa, on both sides, across generations. I made points with one set by referring to them as dthedicheck and babushka for awhile. (That's written phonetically, kids; I've seen the stash of Christmas cards from the old country and it ain't a pretty sight, what with all them strange symbols attached to r's and j's and what-not...)

It was initially a shock to be greeted as aunt gail by my siblings' kids at holidays. I still have aunts, and, let's be honest, that term means "people your parents' age." I countered the shrieks of "auntgail!auntgail!auntgail!auntgail!" by responding "neicevickie!neicevickie!neicevickie!neicevickie! what is it?" This cracked them up and I've addressed them all by "title" ever since.

I am an honorary tanteto a friend's baby, which comes with the solemn obligation to teach her the finer points of taunting when she can speak in complete sentences. There is no etymological connection, but encouraging a love of words and wit is appropriate in a mentor. Even those who have mysteriously become their parents' age.

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Postby Perry » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:20 pm

Great strategy Gail.

BTW, I just remembered the name of the program I referred to. It was L'ecole des Fans. (Excuse the lack of accent; I'm much better at spoken than written French.)
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Postby Brazilian dude » Sat Apr 01, 2006 3:52 pm

Last Saturday I was accosted by this girl, who used the (to me) very offensive appellation of tio (uncle) to trade the perfume that she had gotten at the theater door for mine. I was so outraged that I asked her if I looked that old, and she simply said, "I don't know". I would have taken it better if she were a 9-year-old, but she must be around 17.

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Postby Bailey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 2:08 am

Now that's funny, wait until they start calling you sir. Back in the early fifties the kids called older men Daddy or
Daddy-o.

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Postby Perry » Sun Apr 02, 2006 12:03 pm

I thought that people called each other Daddy-o in the beatnik days, i.e. no age differntial could be inferred from this.
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Postby Bailey » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:32 pm

I found this in Wikapedia
The term Beat Generation refers primarily to a group of American writers of the 1950s whose work strongly influenced the cultural transformations of the '60s. The principal works of the movement are considered to be Jack Kerouac's On the Road (1957), Allen Ginsberg's Howl (1956), and William S. Burrough's Naked Lunch (1959).

The phrase was introduced by Jack Kerouac in approximately 1948 to describe his social circle to the novelist John Clellon Holmes (who published an early novel about the beat generation, titled Go, in 1952, along with a manifesto of sorts in the New York Times Magazine: "This is the beat generation"). The adjective "beat" (introduced to the group by Herbert Huncke) had the connotations of "tired" or "down and out", but Kerouac added the paradoxical connotations of "upbeat", "beatific", and the musical association of being "on the beat".


But I have to confess that Maynard G. Krebs was my sole introduction to beatniks, from "The many Loves of Dobie Gillis" starring Tuesday Weld, Bob Denver(before Gilligan) and the thuroughly forgettable Dwayne Hickman.

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Postby azhreia » Sun Apr 02, 2006 4:51 pm

We are fortunate in my family to currently have five generations. That's my grandparents (Nan and Uncle John, maternal grandmother and maternal stepgrandfather), my mother (Granky), me (Mum/Grandma), my children, and my so-far only grandchild.

When my oldest daughter was very very small she was a precocious speaker - saying her first meant words (mum, dad) at 6 months, and speaking in complete sentences by the time she was 12 months old. But any word that ended with 'n' automatically got a 'k' sound attached to it. My mother wanted to be called "Gran" because *her* grandmother had been Gran, and it was different to what my generation (myself, my brother, my 2 cousins) called our grandmother (Nan). Gran therefore became "Granky", and that has stuck. My stepfather, who was alive at the time, was to be "Grandad", but Jo altered that too, first to "gran-tad" and then to "Tad", which also stuck.

When my son and his girlfriend had their baby, her mother wanted to be Nanna, her father to be Pop - which suited me just fine, as I've never cared much for "Nanna", so I chose to use the name my stepfather's mother used, "Grandma", which my granddaughter generally mangles to "Gamma". Only time will tell if "Grandma" becomes the pronunciation, or if "Gamma" sticks.

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Postby tcward » Mon Apr 03, 2006 3:34 pm

My siblings and I grew up calling our mom's parents "Grandma" and "Grandpa", although her father passed away years before any of us were born. But because she was a stay-at-home-mom, we did much more daily conversing with her than with our dad, so we always called our dad's parents "Grandma Ward" and "Grandpa Ward".

My son when he was 2 or 3 was just learning the verbal ropes and at first called my mom "Meemaw" and my dad "Peepaw". My dad didn't take to that very well... ;)

Fortunately for him, the regular forms took over in a year or so. We have trained them that Shannon's dad is Grandad, her mom is Granny, and her step-mom is Grandma Diana. My mom is Grandma Ward and my dad is Grandpa Ward to them.

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Postby Brazilian dude » Mon Apr 03, 2006 9:31 pm

Now that's funny, wait until they start calling you sir.

They just did. A boy stopped me on the street and asked, "Senhor, que horas são?" (Sir, what time is it?). I need not tell you I instantly remembered this thread.

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Postby gailr » Mon Apr 03, 2006 11:38 pm

Brazilian dude wrote:
Now that's funny, wait until they start calling you sir.

They just did. A boy stopped me on the street and asked, "Senhor, que horas são?" (Sir, what time is it?). I need not tell you I instantly remembered this thread.

Brazilian dude


As you may know from your visits here, Dude, it is a sad day the first time a woman is (at least up north!) "ma'am'd". The most horrible thing about being "ma'am'd" is that, somehow, everyone she ever meets, from that day forth, can somehow sense that she has been "ma'am'd" and will refer to her as such.

More socially damning than the Scarlet Letter: it's the Blue-Rinse M... Image

I still remember the day I was happily minding my own business when suddenly--and without provocation--some smart-assed, chicken-chested, inbred, beardless-wonder bag boy "ma'am'd" me! But I'm not bitter about it...

-gailr

On the other hand, look on the bright side, Dude. Now you can start appealing to all those girls who like older men.
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Postby Perry » Tue Apr 04, 2006 9:34 am

One of the nice things about our culture in the ATF (American Foundation of Taekwondo) is that everyone is sir'd and ma'am'd as a sign of courtesy, regardless of age. When the kids & I are in the same class, I am just as likely to address one of them as Miss or Mr as they are to call me sir.

So not only does Taekwondo help keep me young, but it takes the age stigma out of "sir" and "ma'am".
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Postby Brazilian dude » Tue Apr 04, 2006 10:12 am

On the other hand, look on the bright side, Dude. Now you can start appealing to all those girls who like older men.

Over 18 are welcome. I don't want any trouble.

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