Grandmother, aka…

When I was born, I was the first grandkid on both sides, and in two cases, the first great-grandkid. So I was lucky enough to have not four, but seven 'grandparents' growing up. But it led to a bit of confusion on my part. So many grandparents. Luckily, all my grandmothers (which I had four of) had different names for "grandma," so that made it easier to tell them apart.

When I was born, my dad's mother decided that she didn't want to be "grandma Hillinger," so she chose to become "Nana," and has been ever since. Which made mom's mother simply "grandma" instead of "grandma Bordewick." Much easier for a child to remember.

On my mom's side, both of her grandmothers were still alive, and already had their own version of the term Grandmother for me to use: my grandfather's mother's name was "granny," and my grandmother's mother's name was "Nain" (a Northern Welsh term meaning "grandmother").

It makes it a little easier when tracing back in my family tree. Unfortunately, it only goes so far, because those names tend to fade out of use once the person they were used for is gone. I do know that my grandfather's mother went by "bubbe," which is the Yiddish term for grandmother, and that my grandmother's paternal grandmother went by Gu (pronounced "gee," the Southern Welsh term for grandmother), but beyond that, they all devolve into "grandma" or "grandpa" ___.

Still, I find it amazingly cool, just how many terms my extended family managed to use for a simple word like that. But then, when you're finding a name for someone who symbolizes the love for a family, it's not surprising how personal some of those names can get.

Nana (and me)

Grandma (and me)

Granny (and me)

Nain (and me)

Bubbe (with her first grandchild, I believe)

Gu (with her husband and their two daughters, May and Sophia)


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About this blog

This blog is maintained by two sisters who have had a life long interest in geneology.
Mika writes here mostly about our family (Hansen, Hillinger, Bordewick, Park, etc), and her search for more information.
Shannon mostly uses this space as a place to make the many stories written about and by her husband's family (Holly, Walker, Walpole, etc) available to the rest of the family, present and future.

Our blog is named Oh Spusch! mostly because Shannon is bad at naming things. The first post I put up includes a story about the time Walker's great grandfather took his whole family out to see a play and the littlest kept saying "Oh! Spusch!" No one ever figured out what she meant by that.