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Papaw: Father or grandfather?

psych_psych_ Registered User Posts: 1,549 Senior Member
edited March 2010 in Parent Cafe
A poster on another forum I read, recently posted that their "papaw" died. :( I want to give them my condolesnces and am unfamiliar with the term--does it refer to one's father or grandfather?

Thanks.
Post edited by psych_ on
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Replies to: Papaw: Father or grandfather?

  • curmudgeoncurmudgeon Registered User Posts: 12,128 Senior Member
    I've only heard that word used for grandpa.
  • SEA_tideSEA_tide Registered User Posts: 3,876 Senior Member
    I use Papaw/Papa for my grandfathers. I know that some kids' books use the term Papa for the father, but especially with the spelling in this case, I'm thinking it is referring to a grandfather.
  • somemomsomemom Registered User Posts: 9,988 Senior Member
    Grandpa? ?
  • toledotoledo Registered User Posts: 4,635 Senior Member
    Grandfather. Often times these people will then refer to the grandmother as MeeMaw or Nana.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    Is the basis for these nicknames from a foreign language?
  • mantori.suzukimantori.suzuki Registered User Posts: 3,347 Senior Member
    I vote grandfather.

    When I was a kid, both of my grandmothers were Grandma and both grandfathers Grandpa. My wife's grandparents, however, were Mimi and Papa.

    Our own kids ended up using hybrid names for whatever reason. My dad is Papa Joe*, my wife's dad is Papa Vern*. But my mom is Grandma Wanda*, while my wife's mom is just Mimi.



    * names changed to protect me from being associated with them
  • NJresNJres Registered User Posts: 5,712 Senior Member
    your pa's pa is your grampa, aka papa. Not to be confused with the 3 legged dog who walked into a bar and said, "I'm lookin for the man who shot my Paw"
  • toledotoledo Registered User Posts: 4,635 Senior Member
    Oh, I forgot about Mimi, another common reference. I heard all of these while living in SE Texas. Would say these nicknames are a southern thing?
  • justamomjustamom Registered User Posts: 119 New Member
    I don't know the source of the many different "names" we use for grandparents, but my sister is asking that her first grandchild (due any day) call her "Nana". Why? Because she says that she thinks she has a better than 50% chance that "Nana" will be his first word!
  • JHSJHS Registered User Posts: 15,740 Senior Member
    "Papa" could be either, but is more likely to mean "father". "Papaw" or "pawpaw" would only mean "grandfather". Don't ask me to explain why, but I have a high degree of confidence in this.
  • mantori.suzukimantori.suzuki Registered User Posts: 3,347 Senior Member
    Would say these nicknames are a southern thing?

    I would say so.
  • PackMomPackMom Registered User Posts: 7,667 Senior Member
    My S's have called their grandfather (my FIL) Pawpaw all their lives. DH called his grandfather the same thing. Grandmothers are "grandma firstname".

    I have friends who are grandmothers that go by Mimi, Nana, Nona, Mom-Mom and Me-moma
  • IloveLAIloveLA Registered User Posts: 1,304 Senior Member
    no cutesy names for my Southern grandmother. She was Granny. Which is what my kids now call my mom. We did call my Southern grandfather Papa though. My cousins called their other set of grandparents Mammer and Papper.
  • ellemenopeellemenope Registered User Posts: 11,380 Senior Member
    Our kids have called their grandparents Grandma and Grandpa (Insert Last Name). In my father's family (one side which was French Canadian from way back), his grandparents were known as Mem-ay and Pep-ay. Haven't decided what to ask the grandkids to call us. Other family members have chosen Pop-Pop and Mimi. Not sure about those for me...
  • musicamusicamusicamusica Registered User Posts: 6,468 Senior Member
    As an "only grandchild" at two, D was confused that I called my Dad "daddy" --the same name she called H. So she named her Granddad "deedah" (reversing the vowels of daddy.) So "Deedah" he became to all his grandchildren.
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