Saturday, June 26, 2010

What's In a Name?

I'm at that stage in life where people often ask me, "What's your grandmother name?"  I was reminded of that yesterday when Karen hosted a Sip 'N See so that we could meet her new grandson Cooper, who is three weeks old and was visiting from Mississippi.

For the moment Karen's grandmother name is Granna, but she reminded us that it would be whatever Cooper wanted it to be.  After all, bestowing grandmother and grandfather names is the awesome responsibility of the oldest grandchild.

lucy 040LBeau and I, however, are the exception to that rule.  Oddly enough, our grandparent names were given to us not by Walker, our three-year-old grandson, but by one of our son Ben's high school friends.  My very first email address was kbeau@aol.com, so at some point Jason started calling me KBeau (pronounced kay-bow).  It stuck, and it naturally followed that Larry would be called LBeau.

When Walker was born, I said that I would answer to anything but Big Momma, but since I was already KBeau, I'd try to make that stick.  Fortunately, KBeau and LBeau seemed to be easy for Walker to pronounce, which was a good thing because Uncle Hunter tried his best to make me Big Momma.  Lucy, pictured here with KBeau, and Lauren aren’t old enough to call us anything yet, so we’ll see.

As the oldest grandchild on both sides of my family, I got to pick the names for four grandparents.  On my mother's side, there are 21 Reynolds cousins, and all of us called our grandparents Grancy and Poosie.

Grancy and Poosie 50th anniversary Grancy and Poosie on their 50th wedding anniversary

Grancy was probably derived from Granny.  Poosie came about because I couldn't say Bam Poo, which is what my mother wanted me to call her father.  They tried to get me to say "Bam Poo" because that's what Mother and her siblings called their own grandfather.  I'm guessing that Bam Poo was the result of some child's effort to say "Grandpa."

I really think some of the best grandparent names happen that way.  My friend Sherri wanted to be Honey, but when Grey started talking she became Sunny, which fits Sherri perfectly.

Papa Walker fixed My paternal grandparents had more common names.  We called them Mema (pronounced Me-maw) and Papa (Pa-paw).  Papa was the postmaster in tiny Lewisville, Arkansas.  Like any good grandfather, he kept a photo of his grandchildren on his desk at work.

1Mema Walker After Papa died, Mema began spending summers with us while Aunt Sissy, who lived at home, taught library science at East Texas State University in Commerce, Texas.  Mema couldn't sit still and was always cleaning up after us or doing other chores for Mother, which prompted one of my Reynolds cousins to ask why they didn't have a Mema maid.

This weekend KBeau and LBeau are lucky to have Lucy and her parents with us.  Next weekend we'll get to see Walker and Lauren.

FAVORITETHINGSBUTTON I'd love to hear about your grandmother or grandfather names and how you came to be called that.  Meanwhile, I'm linking up (a little late) with Laurie's Favorite Things because being a grandmother has got to be the best thing in the world.

15 comments:

the osbornes said...

Well you know that Mom is "Mar Mar", which I always thought was a bad choice cause it seems like kids can never pronounce their R's correctly. But Noah has surprised me and easily says "Ma Mar"--he just doesn't say the first R. What's funny is that he refuses to call Dad "Papa D" and simply calls him "D"--even funnier, Josh's dad is "Papa Jim" but since he won't say the Papa part he just calls him by his first name, Jim :) His great-grandfather is simply "Papa" so he won't give anyone but him that title

laurie @ bargain hunting said...

Such a fun post Kathy. It really is funny how most grandparents get their names. I picked the name Gigi before my first granddaughter arrived, and she picked it up quickly. The name that came out wrong and stuck was my son's(the first grandbaby's uncle). He tried to get her to say Uncle Matt, and she started calling him "Cat cat". Both of my daughter's children call him "cat cat" now. Have fun with the grands. Your friend's little one is a cutie, and I loved seeing the photos of your grand parents. So glad you linked up to Favorite Things Sat. laurie

susan said...

Kathy_ I love your grandparent names! My Mother was supposed to be GG--for grandmother and the initial of my maiden name. Our oldest turned it into Giggy! My godchildren and all children call me SuSu, but that is not what I want my grandmother name to be. Of course, all we have is grand shih tzu, a grand bassett hound, and a grand springer spaniel...maybe one day :)!!! That precious little Lucy could call me anything she wanted to! Love your grandparent's pictures. BTW--Sip 'n Sees are not big around here, but I'm originally from MS, and I WILL be having one if I ever have anything for them to see :)

Sarah Frost said...

Now this is fun since I will be a grandmother soon!!! And yes, I am just so excited! We always call Jack "Pops" and when I say it he calls me "Mops". So it looks like it might be Pops and Mopsy for us! I just had to add a little something at the end of Mops!!
My grandmothers were Mimi and Gomma and my grandfathers were Papa and Doc. Doc owned and operated a country grocery store and was far from being a Doc!! I have no clue where that came from!!

Baumbastic said...

This is a great topic. I was the only grandchild on my father's side. I called my grandparents "Gram" and "Dad." That made for lots of confusing times to others, because Dad was my grandfather and my father was Daddy. I think that "Gram" came about because my father called his grandmother "Gram."

The other side had one unusual name and one ordinary one. I had three cousins on that side and the twins were just over four months older I am. I'm not sure who came up with the names, but they were Nana and Fifi (Fie-fie). It was always said that Fifi's name came from the Jack and the Beanstalk fairy tale ("Fe Fi Fo Fum, I smell the blood of an Englishman.") It was sort of funny, those girls had two Nanas and always had to append the last name (Nana Shartel was my grandmother.)

Mid-Atlantic Martha said...

I had a Granny and Poppy and a Grandma and Granddaddy. My parents were Grandmom and Grindaddy, my husbands parents were Houchie (don't go there) and Pop. My Husband had a Mamie and Pop and an Aumom and Bo. We're Nana and Poppadaddy.

Marydon said...

Come to think of it, that is about what happened in our families. I love the way children make the names they 'hear' for us ...

We had a 10 year gap between the kid-lings ... the l0 yr. old was GREEN when he heard the new kid-ling call me the name he called me so we quickly changed from Mini to Mimi for the new kid-ling ... it was so precious. Now the younger kid-lings are moving over to the Mini name ... it has been interesting & fun.

Have a lovely summer's eve ~
TTFN ~ Hugs, Marydon

Keetha Denise Broyles said...

I LOVE KBeau and LBeau - - - both the NAMES and the PEOPLE!

Tricia@The Dull and the Dutiful said...

I agree -- new grandparents will answer to ANYTHING! We asked to be called Grandmama and Granddaddy, and that's what our two grandchildren call us. My mother asked them to call her G-G, for great-grandmother, and they do. My paternal grandparents were Grandma and Granddaddy, and my maternal grandparents were Momom (mom-mom) and Nandad. I was about the twenty-somethingth grandkid on that side of the family, so just followed along on what all my cousins called them! I think KBeau and LBeau are wonderful names!

xinex said...

Love hearing about the names you called your grandparents and how they came about. My grandkids call me "lala". It is supposed to be "lola" which is grandma in Filipino but my oldest granddaughter could not pronounce it and "lala" was easier for her. So my other duaghter's son just followed her and the baby is too small to say anything. But John's daughter's kids call me "lola". Kerri makes sure they call me the right way but it really does not matter ot me. I think "lala" is cute. I am glad you got to see the basilica inside because I think it is real pretty....Christine

Robin said...

I love this post and I am happy to know that I have been pronouncing your "name" correctly all this time....lol!

I was a very late in life child, so my grandmother's names were already chosen for me (Nanny and Mama Jones), unfortunately, both of my grandfathers had passed when I was born.

My father was called "Paw Jones" and my mother is called "Mama Jones" by all the grandchildren except for my daughter (and now, my son, too) who calls her "Nana". The reason for that is she was a micro-preemie and had serious health problems and delays for YEARS. She never uttered a word until she was four. When her first word came out, it was "banana". Which sounded more like "Baaaahhhhh nanananananaaaaa" She would say "banana" over and over again....we kept trying to give her bananas, but she would just shake her head "No". Finally, my mother came in, and Chelsea started yelling "BANANA!" "BANANA!" and holding her hands up in the air. She wanted my mom! So, I guess technically, my mom isn't "Nana", she's "BAnana" LOL

{{{HUGS}}}

nanny said...

Amen, definitely one the best things.....
It's so funny how names just stick...whatever the oldest grandchild names you that is it!
My mother was Nanny so that is what I wanted to be (she is no longer living). But somehow she became Nanny-O and that was what everyone called her....
I knew those tomatoes would get you craving a good ole Bradley tomato....They had some from Monticello 2 weeks ago but last week they were from Warren. They are very good but don't keep real well...I think the heat has affected them, some have blisters.
Still very good though.

Malvie said...

Well, as the next-to-youngest on both sides, I didn't get to choose ANYTHING. Further complicating things was the fact that the Tarkington cousins had chosen "Grannie" for Mother's mother, while the Jones cousins had chosen "Granny" for Dad's mother. Dad's father was "Grampy" (Jack did it; he couldn't do "Grandpa" so "Grampy" it was). Mother's father had TWO: he was either "Granddaddy" or "Papa Roy" (his name was Roy). All of his kids called him "Papa" (pronounced as it's spelled) till he died. We all kind of alternated between "Granddaddy" and "Papa Roy". His wife/live in, though, was always just "Ethel", her name.

When my sister got pregnant, Mother decided she would be "Grammie", because she couldn't stand "Grannie" (she couldn't possibly be a "Grannie"). Dad decided he would fuse the two and be "Grandpapa", and so they were Grammie and Grandpapa.

One of the cousins married into a family in which the children (her husband and sibs) called their grandparents "Grandmama'" and "Grandfather". Of course, this is also the family that (still) does Christmas Dinner as a full formal affair; tuxedoes for the gentlemen, evening gowns for ladies, with servants and full social regalia--just for their family. Whatever floats your boat, kiddies....

(Speaking of Christmas dinner, nobody in our family likes turkey at all, so we always have Swiss Steak. Put that in your pipe and smoke it...).

And now I'm to be a great-uncle, which is as close as I'll ever get to grandparenthood since Nathan and Pam can't have any. I guess, though, I'll just stick with "Uncle Nicky"....

Sue said...

First and Foremost you are always welcome at one of our crazy Atlanta Blogger events....Cheri really did drive in all the way from Bama....she knows where the good times are...and we did have a ball....as for names...we are just plain old grandma and grandpa...the in-laws are Nonna and Nanno...or something like that...Italian for grandparents...we just refer to them as the Nonna's....Baby likes us best!!

Amanda Daniel Reynolds said...

Oh Kathy, I loved reading this!