Choosing Your Grandparent Name [PHIL-OSOPHY]
A friend of ours is becoming a grandfather for the first time and I can tell he's a little fidgety, but that didn't dawn on me until I casually asked him what he wants his grandchild to call him.
"You mean like a name, right?" he replied.
I could tell it was the first time he was asked the question. So I taunted him a bit.
"Yeah, you know, a stage name, a handle or family moniker," I teased.
Choosing your grandmother or grandfather name can be almost as challenging as it was to select your own kids' names that you passed by your folks. Think back 75 years ago. There weren't as many different names for grandparents back then as we have today.
In our family, it was an easy selection because we used the same titles our parents used from our ethnic backgrounds: Papou, YiaYia and Meme, from our Greek and French heritage. But this world is changing fast and what once was is no longer.
Do you want to be a G-Daddy or a G-Ma? Nowadays, they've separated different names in categories like trendy, playful, personality, new-family, traditional, international and more.
You won't believe the lists of tags: Mams, Bubbie, Ninny, Ma-Da, Ninni, MeMaw and 65 others. For the guys: Popsi, BoBo, G, PapPap, Gumpy and about 50 others.
Then there are re-marriages to think about or muddled words that eventually evolved into the grandparent's name, like Pumpy.
As I look around, I believe traditionalists like me are quickly fading into the sunset because a lot of families are ditching the old in order to find something unique to identify the special grandparent that they are. I've come to the conclusion that the reason we have more diversity in grandparents' names is that today's grandparents want to be contemporary and trendsetting.
It might be good to get the nod of the parents-to-be – not that they paid you the same courtesy when naming the child, because that would be too fuddy-duddy.
Phil Paleologos is the host of The Phil Paleologos Show on 1420 WBSM New Bedford. He can be heard weekdays from 6 a.m. to 10 a.m. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org and follow him on Twitter @PhilPaleologos. The opinions expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.