What’s in a name?

It’s not really until your children have their own children that this becomes  an issue.  Until then you’ve just been ‘Mummy’, or ‘Mum’, when they’re older. Occasionally ‘Mother!’ when they’re feeling frustrated with you and sometimes ‘Ma’ when they’re being patronising.

Not long after the announcement that our eldest son’s wife was expecting our first grandchild came the question, ‘what are you going to be called?’ Gran, Granny, Grandma, Nanny?  None of them seemed appealling, all conjured up pictures of little old ladies in cardigans with glasses and a bun! We all know that grandmothers aren’t like that any more don’t we?  Take me, I run marathons, take part in cycling challenges, do the  decorating, gardening, voluntary work… I don’t have time to sit and knit.  And although I cook and bake, I like to think I’m more Nigella than Mrs Overall!

So to alternatives, what about ‘Nonna’?  A bit more romantic sounding in a foreign language, or as my husband is Welsh, what about ‘Mamgu’ for me and ‘Dadcu’ for him? Or ‘Yaya’ which is Greek, I don’t fancy ‘Gamma’, ‘Mom mom’ or ‘Gangan’ either.  The problem was compounded by the fact there were 4 great grandparents too, so we needed names for them as well.  I didn’t want to claim the ‘Glam-ma’ title, as used by Joan Collins and stolen by L’Oreal and Jane Fonda for their latest ad, it seemed a bit too pretentious for me.  I did toy with ‘GrandShar’ but in the end it will probably be what the children call us when they can talk.  My mother in law is called ‘Mussey’ by most of her grandchildren as the eldest couldn’t pronounce ‘Grandma’ and all the rest followed suit.  It seems as if it really is out of the mouths of babes!

7 Responses

  1. My goodness…a Gran who runs marathons…I am impressed.
    Personally I love being called Granny even though I do not knit either…or bake come to think of it.
    Even Graaaaaaaaaan when I am annoying them is fun!
    Nice post.

  2. In our country women of grandmotherly age is called Goggo.. (meaning Revered Old Lady).
    My mum is called Ouma Bokkie because she called the kiddies Bokkie (meaning fawn) and so they started calling her Ouma (which means grandmother in Afrikaans) Bokkie (fawn).
    Like you said – out of the mouth of babes… you go off and decide on a fancy name and some little blighter goes off and calls you what rolls of his tongue best… *grin*

  3. Interesting! Never thought about it really, our kids call my mum “nanny France” and DL’s parents “nanny & grandad England”!! In France nanny & grandad are called “mammy & pappy”…..but I guess it still conjures up the aunt Bessie look!! 😉 x

  4. So. . . Do you have a “grandmother” name yet?

    • Well the two eldest live in the US & the 3 yr old says ‘Gramma’ in a southern accent. The other two are only just learning to talk!

  5. I never thought about it that way. As soon as my youngest sister could talk she called me Rae-Rae and that name has stuck with me ever since.

  6. Nice post – I just can’t imagine my children having children! We have a Nana and Grandad, a Nana Bea and Gramps, and a Papa and Mitz. At the moment my kids call me Mummy until they want to get my attention, when they use my first name!

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