What’s The Story In Your GRANDparent Name?

What’s The Story In Your Grandparent Name?

By Debby Carroll – Author of Grandparents from A to Z

A few years back, before we became grandparents, my family met a three-generation family through mutual friends. All seven of the grandkids called the grandmother, “Dick.” That seemed unusual but we were hesitant to ask someone we just met so personal  a question as, “Why do your grandchildren call you Dick?” But after thinking about this for some time and joking about all the many ways that could have happened, we simply had to know. So, we asked our mutual friends to ask their friends how “Dick” came to be. They returned a few weeks later with this simple explanation — When the first grandchild was born, she tried to say “Grandmother” but it came out Dick and that stuck.

My husband was dumbstruck, as in he actually could think of nothing to say to respond to that. This was astounding because my husband is known for his quick and rapier wit. To pass up the opportunity to use his often middle-school-level sense of humor and comment on a grandmother known lovingly to all as “Dick,” well that just wasn’t like him at all and everyone in the room knew it.

grandparent nameSo, we waited.

Finally, he said, “Why didn’t they just say ‘no’? I mean if the kid was trying to say grandmother and it came out bastard, or poop, or moron, you’d say, ‘No, honey, it’s not moron, it’s grandmother,’ wouldn’t you? Why would they let ‘Dick’ stick?

Then he got wistful. “Okay,” he said, clearly deep in thought, “if we have grandkids I’ll go as far as ‘Schmuck.’ The kids can, if they have to, call me ‘Schmuck,’ but anything worse than that, I’m putting my foot down.”

Some years later we were having dinner with my daughter and son-in-law. “Get your Schmuck T-shirt, ready, Dad,” she said, “because I’m pregnant.”

Our grandson Avery was born 7 months later. He calls his grandfather, “G.” My husband figured that was really easy to say and was unlikely to morph into Schmuck. But, he’s only three so who knows what he’ll call “G” later?

What’s your grand name story? Tell us in the comments. 

Grandparent nameAbout the Author – Deborah Carroll

If you can relate to this post, you might enjoy my blog. You can also download a copy of the grandparent oath there, suitable for signing. Visit at deborahdrezoncarroll.com/blog.

And, if you are a grandparent or know a grandparent, you might love my book, Real Grands: From A to Z, Everything A Grandparent Can Be.

Follow Deborah Drezon Carroll on Twitter:

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  1. I’m YaYa to my two granddaughters, Rosabella (Rosie 10) and her sister Liviana (Livi 8 1/2). I had been encouraging one year old Rosie to say Grandma but she didn’t try. It was too hard. When I took her to a playground, she repeated some sounds, but not Grandma. Then a Greek child called out to her grandma “Yaiyai” and Rosie said it out loud perfectly. I eagerly said, “Fine; call me YaYa,” and that’s who I remain.

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