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|Grandparents Need to Stop Giving Themselves Weird Nicknames|
Jan. 6th, 2010 at 1:59 pm
Is there an increasing trend of grandparents giving themselves weird nicknames?
I recently had a conversation with a friend who has a baby that is the first grandchild of his wife’s parents. He said the new grandparents were trying to decide what they’d like to be called. His brother-in-law had recommended “Poompa” (?!) for the grandpa. The grandpa didn’t like that option and instead wanted to be called “Misha” (??). My friend just wanted to call him grandpa. This has set off a rhetorical tug-of-war, with the grandpa referring to himself as “Misha,” and my friend insisting on “grandpa.” My question is why this grandpa feels compelled to have any nickname at all. What’s wrong with just being grandpa?
Nicknames usually happen organically; you don’t get to choose. And when you do, it either doesn’t stick, or it’s just kind of obnoxious (e.g., Kobe Bryant giving himself the nickname “Mamba”).
There are plenty of weird grandparent nicknames that probably happen organically, often when a little kid can’t pronounce “grandpa” or “grandma” and comes up with her own term. Sometimes it’s a regional/cultural issue. I’ve heard “Baba,” “Nana,” and “Memaw” for grandma. My wife’s grandparents from Georgia were “Papa” and “Granny,” and grandparents who are immigrants to the United States sometimes have their grandchildren call them by the term for grandma or grandpa in their native language. I really don’t like any of these odd names, but I understand that nicknames happen, and sometimes you just have to live with them. But deliberating over what to have your grandchild call yourself, and then coming up with some weird nickname is just obnoxious.
Are you familiar with other weird grandparent nicknames? How did they originate?