Thursday, May 20, 2010


I think it is odd that I have so many names.  My wife calls me by one but my daughter calls me by another.  My family of origin used the name "Grandad" for grandfather.  I knew my great grandchildren would find it too long to say "Great grandad" so we just used "Grandad" for all generations.  My great grandson said in the foyer of a business that we were there for "my grandad's" order.  

My wife called one of her grandmothers "Grandma" and the other "Nana".  The one woman was friendlier than the second so my wife was surprised to find herself deciding that "Nana" was the best name she could give to her great grandchildren as her own name.

I was surprised when I learned that in some parts of the British Isles, father is called "Da", much like "Ma" for mother.  I was familiar with Ma but I only used "Mom".  I liked the sound better and I was never corrected.  I had a stepfather whom I loved and admired and he was "Dad".  My sister and I agreed that our father was "Daddy", often with the accent on the last syllable to be sure it was heard and used to differentiate one man from the other.

Three of our four great grandchildren are still too young for school but the oldest is not.  We get many comments from the teachers about the surprising number of individuals who show up to take him home from school.  There are at least 7 people who pick him up on different days.  In these times of heightened security and privacy concerns and practices, it is not easy for busy teachers to know who is showing up and if that person is legitimately empowered to go off with our great grandson.

I think it is impressive that several people of different generations can have a conversation and all use different names to refer to each other without anyone getting confused or misunderstanding a reference. 

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