Common or Unique? What name do Minnesotans give to their Grandparents?
In 2004 I became a grandfather; my stepson Brett became a father to Lexi. The world changed for the better that day. When we learned the kids were pregnant, my wife said she didn’t want to be called Grandma, or Maw Maw, or Granny (the last 2 are really popular in the South). She chose the name “Mimi”, it had an appeal that was more her. I looked up what the origin was for that name as a grandmother, and the best that could be found was that it came from France, my wife has Italian heritage on her mother's side, so that’s not where it came from for her.
When I was asked what I wanted to be called, I had to think about it. On Lexi’s Mom’s side, she had “Poppy” (Lexi has older cousins, so “Poppy” was already spoken for). I settled on being called “Gampi”, which I felt was a shorter, cooler sound for Grandpa. When Lexi started talking, she couldn’t say her “G’s” so she called me “Bampi”, which stuck (and sometimes its BAMP for short). I’ve only met 1 other man whose grandchildren called him that, and we both felt it was special because it came from our grandkids and not from us deciding what we would be called.
Traditional terms like Grandma or Grandpa don’t seem to be as relevant as they used to be. It seems like people are becoming grandparents at younger ages these days and that may have something to do with it. Names like “Nona” or “Pop Pop” seem to be making their way into mainstream society. Sometimes, like in my case, the child can't say the name correctly and it leads to a whole new name. For some, religious history has an impact on what they call their family members.
So, what do you call your Grandparents, and do you know why you call them that? Please share your personal stories.
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