What’s In a Name, Grandpa?

Posted May 26, 2011

What do your grandchildren call you?  Do they use traditional secular names, like “grandma” or “pops?”  Or did your grandchildren come up with creative names?  How much do you identify with your grandparent “title?” 

In a recent New York Times article, “Who Are You Calling Grandma?” reporter, Alexandra Zissu highlights a growing trend among the emerging Baby-Boomer grandparent demographic: the antipathy toward the names “grandma” and “grandpa.”  As Goldie Hawn explained regarding her unfavorable opinion of the word “grandmother,” “it has so many connotations of old age and decrepitude!”  Her grandson instead calls her Glam-ma!

The Grandparents Circle Blog has highlighted this article because transitioning into grandparenthood can be difficult whether you have grandchildren in interfaith homes or not.  Sometimes your grandparent “name” can make a big difference in your attitude toward your new role.  What do your grandchildren being raised in interfaith homes call you?  If you have grandchildren raised in Jewish homes, do they call you by a different name?  Should it make a difference?

One Response to “What’s In a Name, Grandpa?”

  1. Susan Arruda says:

    My grandmother was British and was Granny. My mother was Granny, so I wanted to be Granny. When Charlie, now 7, my first grandchild, was little, all he could say was “Nee”. So we’re Nee and Pop-pop. As an aside, when Charlie (who lives in Denver) was about two, he went to a well-baby check-up. The doctor asked him, “Where is your head, where are your eyes, where are your toes, where is your knee?” He pointed to his head, eyes, toes, etc., then told the pediatrician that his Nee was in Delaware! She laughed with him when my daughter told the doc that his Nee did, indeed, live in Delaware! I chose to honor my granny and mother with this name!

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