What’s In A Name?

This morning on Woman’s Hour there was a lively discussion with 71-year old Virginia Ironside, grandmother of two and author of “Yes! I Can Manage Thank You!” and Helen McCarthy, historian of modern Britain at Queen Mary University of London debate how the role of grandmas has changed over the past 100-years.

One aspect was what grandmothers should be called which reminded me of the poem in Grandma’s Poetry Book (page 54) What’s In A Name.

I thought I should share this with you below.

 First, note that Grandma’s Poetry Book is available from the author, the illustrator and Troubador Publishing. It can be ordered via independent bookshops and already sits on the shelves of THREE Dorset bookshops. Bookshops are preferable to Amazon but if you really have to …… hmm It will soon be on the shelves of Dorset National Trust shops. Many readers are returning to buy more books (two or even three – one bought five for friends’ Christmas presents!) Today, 10 April, one reader bought a second book from the illustrator as her mother-in-law liked it so much she wanted one to send to South Africa.

What’s In A Name?

Nannies go by many names.

Some families sport a few.

They’re either, Nanny, Gran or Nan

Or Grandma, ‘Her’ or ‘You’.

I am known as Nanny Wo Wo.

I’m the one who has a dog.

But if I lived in Holland

I might be Nanny Clog.

So glad I’ve given up the smoke

So I can’t be Nanny Fags.

Must temper shopping habit

Or I might be Nanny Bags.

I’ve had to stop the whiskey,

So I can’t be Nanny Booze.

I’m down to only twenty pairs,

So I can’t be Nanny Shoes.

How well I do remember

My little shrunken Nan.

To us she was Small Grandma

The other one was Gran.

Grandad may be Pops or Gramps

But who cares what you’re called?

When you’ve had the chance to be a bear

And round the garden crawled!

Grandma’s Poetry Book was published in November 2014.


9 thoughts on “What’s In A Name?

  1. Very nice. This would be a lovely poem to read with English learners. It is interesting to see how different countries use different names for parents and grandparents.

  2. This is a lovely poem that my children would enjoy too, it has that appealing rhyme and humour. In our family it’s easy to distinguish between the grandmas: one is Giagia (Greek for Gran), the other is Mamaie (Romanian for Gran). But when I was a child I used Mamaie and their first names to distinguish – I’d never have dared to call them Gran Fags or Bags!

  3. haha… that is really cool… the clog gramma from holland is cool… our kids call our gramma’s with the citiy names they’re living in… and always good if a gramma is not drinking ya know.. smiles

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