The Globe and Mail reports that younger couples (and, presumably, their parents) are scrambling to come up with creative names for grandparents. There are several reasons for this.
- So many of the younger couples come from blended families that their children have more than the 'standard' four grandparents, and they need to find additional, distinguishing names for all the different grandparents.
- Many grandparents and their children look for unique or chic monikers. Others use names which reflect a blended culture. Indeed, Ms. Eclectic usually just goes by her first name with our grandchildren but for one family the use of first names for older persons by children is deemed inappropriate, and so to that family she is "Nana" in keeping with that portion of the grandchild's heritage.
In my case, I selected "Gramps" because it makes me sound old, grumpy, and doddering, characterizations that I found amusingly self-deprecating 21 years ago. They seem so apt these days. As the article says,
Names like Granny and Gramps “give off a vision of being old,” explains grandfather John Dawson in The New York Times.
Indeed, I recall as a teenager referring to old men auto drivers (typically any male who drove at, rather than over, the speed limit) as "gramps", as in "Come on, Gramps. Get that heap moving."
But having selected the name "Gramps", I love it. And now, given all the newly devised names that others are coming up with, perhaps "Gramps" will become the new retro-chic, as forecast in the article for Grandma and Grandpa:
Before long, good ol’ Grandma and Grandpa will sound retro chic.
The only problem I ever had with using the name "Gramps" was when our first grandchild had troubles pronouncing it as she was learning to speak, and it came out "Dumps". Fortunately, that name didn't stick!