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Don't Eat With Your Mouth Full

Where can we live but days?

steepholm steepholm
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Time and Taid
My cousin Vicky (daughter of my mother’s elder sister) visited my mother yesterday when I was there, and in telling of some cute thing that her granddaughter had said, inadvertently revealed that the girl addresses her as “Flo(w)”. The reason, apparently, is that her daughter-in-law’s parents had already bagged the titles “Gran” and “Grandad”, and they had to find an alternative. “What about Nain and Taid?” Vicky suggested, these being the Welsh equivalents. Her husband, however, who is very English, complained, “Taid? She may as well call us Ebb and Flow!” And so it was decided.

I suppose this must be a common problem, and potentially a tricky diplomatic one. Vicky seemed to believe that the mother's parents always (and rightly) had first dibsies, but is that a widespread convention? There was no such competition in the case of my own grandparents: they were Nana and Grandpa on my mother's side, but my paternal grandmother died before I was born, and my grandfather on that side preferred to be addressed in Esperanto, as "Avo". (To be honest I thought that was his name until years after he died.) The conventions for my own children's grandparents were dull enough, but evenhanded: Grandpa/ma + First Name. It seemed to work.

Vicky is always stylish, and on this occasion was wearing a very nice Alexander McQueen cardigan. When my mother admired it, she gave it her - and I think it suits her well.


My mother turned 94 the other day.

That is a handsome cardigan!

My grandparents were also Grandma/Grandpa + Firstname, although on my dad's side were occasionally (and more to my cousin than me) Grammy and Gramps. And on my mother's side, my grandpa would always initiate phone conversations with 'Hello, this is your grandfather.'

Porridge, however, has 'Gran' and 'Grandpa Guns' on his mother's side, and 'Nainy' and 'Nodge' on his father's. Nain is easy enough, but I expect Nodge was just related to some baby-talk he once said that stuck. Grandpa Guns...well, the Welsh tradition is to identify people by characteristics....

When my brother and I were young, maternal grandmother was Gran-gran (named by me, apparently, when I was learning to talk), while our paternal grandmother was Grandma. We only had one granddad, so he was Grandpa.

Our grandkids use the Granny Firstname/Grandpa Firstname system of naming.