It’s people power in the search for a nana name

I am not alone. It’s not just me.

Your wonderful responses to my plea for a grandparent name have reassured me that even if the worst happens and I end up being nannylynne, it’s not the end of the world.

There doesn’t seem to be a prescriptive answer. It is not rocket science although Colin and Margaret Potter (via e-mail) took a sort of Da Vinci Code, forensic approach.

Colin writes:

“Many years ago we were faced with the problem of what to call a granny. When our first grandchild (of four) came along my wife considered herself far too young to be called a granny but the problem was easily solved.

Her name is Margaret Ann Potter so using her middle name as a base she took on the title of Annie and everyone was happy.

Our eldest grandchild is now 24, still calls Margaret ‘Annie’ and has a daughter of her own, who at three has joined the Annie club.”

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Colin says he doesn’t know if this is helpful because he doesn’t know my middle name or, indeed, if I have one.

Well, yes, I do have one Colin.

Marion Allen was also quick to respond. “Read about your forthcoming Little Treasure today – congratulations to all concerned! I am ‘Nana’ to all our 11 fast-growing-up tribe. Gran, grandma, grannie all seem so old. Don’t worry about joining the vast gang of grandparents, when my first arrived I felt 10 years younger – I’ll let you work out how old I should be feeling now!”

Marion, you have an entire football team... quite an achievement for someone who feels so young she is in minus figures!

Diana Whayman was moved to e-mail: “I felt that I must write and comment on your dilemma!

While on holiday in Australia a couple of years ago, I was reading an article by Australian author Di Morrisey who’d just become a grandmother.

She is now known to family as GG which stands for glorious, gorgeous, generous, gregarious grandmother.

As I’d just been made a great-grandmother I decided that I rather liked that description so I’m now GG – it’s a lot easier for little ones to say and a lot shorter to write on cards etc. Hope that this helps.”

I’m rather taken with this one, Diana, and in order to get into the mood, I suggested my husband might like to take me to Australia for a holiday. He suggested I might like to consider the alternative ‘g’ option of grasping, gobby gorgon.

Dorinda and Chris Bowers could not let the moment pass.

“Congratulations, being a grandmother is a joy! Our little grandson is two next month and we have so much pleasure in him. No need to worry about what he/she will call you for a long time yet though.

“Our little Miles lives in Ireland so sees us more often on Skype than in the actual flesh. I don’t know if this is why he doesn’t yet have a name for me – although he calls his grandad ‘Gangan’ – but he shrieks with delight when he sees us on the computer and chats away, mostly in ‘scribble’.

We will be off for a visit soon as our lovely daughter-in-law is expecting another grandbaby any day now – we jump every time the phone rings.

I hope everything goes well for your son and his wife – think of all the extra subject matter you will have for your column...”

Roy Halls writes: “How about Grandmum, it is the opposite of Grandad.” (Tick v.g. from my husband for this one.)

Another penfriend, Beryl, is nearly as excited as I am.

“I’ve been waiting for your news with anticipation. I have two grandsons now, a seven-and-a-half year old who is a lively pickle. I call him my pickled sausage and he calls me Nana Pickle. My other grandson is only nine months so doesn’t call me anything yet.

Many years ago my daughter discovered that the German for mother and father is Mutti and Farti, so this is how she addresses our cards. So presumably the German for grandparents is Gross Mutti and Gross Farti – does this help!!!?”

Er... I don’t think so, Beryl. And my husband isn’t sure he wants to be a gross farti. She continues:

“I’ve settled for Nana as it’s nice and easy. I would strongly recommend that you don’t choose Nanny.

“My mother-in-law wanted to be called Nanny but this caused some confusion with my daughter. She went to the high school, and if she said that her nanny was collecting her, other girls would ask, ‘Where does your nanny come from, my nanny comes from Sweden but my last one came from France’ or something along those lines. At least you won’t have to be called Granny Smith like a friend of mine.

Whatever you are called I’m sure you will love being a grandmother.”

A letter from Gwen Pease, of Ipswich, said:

“With reference to the dreaded ‘G’ word, I can sympathise because I felt exactly the same when our first grandchild was expected. That was 19 years ago and we have six now, four gorgeous girls and two lively boys, the youngest five years.

It was the ‘grand’ bit that I took a dislike to; made me feel like an institution. What I decided on was granma – sounded friendlier without the ‘d’.

You are the loving, comforting being that your grandchild will relate to and they do chose their own special name.”

Finally, from the depths of Suffolk, a postcard arrived with a picture of two probable grandmothers in sombreros and the message: “Old age ain’t no place for sissies.”

My correspondent, aka granny, writes from deepest Suffolk: “When our grandsons were little, I was ‘doggy granny’ and the other was ‘bin granny’ as she lives near the recycling bins in Diss!”

Now there’s an idea. I live quite fairly near the park but, truthfully, the pub is closer. The other prospective grandmother lives quite near Stansted Airport. Half-a-bitter granny and duty-free granny.

Thank you all so much. I shall be sharing more of your gems over the bump-growing season.

My husband is becoming very interested in the whole process. He has asked if I would like him to suggest a special name for me.


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