What makes a granny? This is not a rhetorical question, I need an answer …

What comes to mind when you hear the word Granny ?  And WHY in the name of all that’s holy is this a cross -section of what I get when I looked online for granny cartoons?  Rocking chairs, zimmer frames, grey or white hair – remember Wayne Rooney’s “granny” scandal? She was in her late forties.  Lots of grannies are. Do the math. Have a child in your early twenties,  your child pups in his / her early twenties –  don’t really need a calculator, do we?

So women with children have a reasonable chance of being a granny in their forties, a fairly good one in their fifties, almost guaranteed in their sixties:  yet all the cartoons show dear (or feisty) old ducks, Indian summer gone, winter well on its way, average age, hmm, 80?

And hey, on the subject of 80 – Sophia Loren is 80, and going on tour. The first word that sprang to my mind when I watched her being interviewed was not ‘Granny’.  I have a cousin who is roaring into her 80s. She’s tall, plays golf, skies, gardens, travels a huge amount, she’s fresh-faced and fit as a flea, you’d unhesitatingly knock 20 years and more off her age. She’s very good at being a granny, skies with the grandkids and all. Not a rocking chair in sight.

But back to the fifty-something granny – I said to a male buddy that I was looking into the granny thing and his instinctive reaction? He said he couldn’t help, he never met either of his.  He’s sixty, single, and has dated several .

It’s a sign of the times that we of potential granny age aren’t seen automatically as grannies, and I’m very happy about that, but what word would sum up the woman whose offspring has produced offspring, if they aren’t dear old ducks?

Hence my opening question. What comes to mind when you hear the word Granny? This isn’t idle wittering, I’ve challenged myself to write a ‘granny’ story but this granny – you know me by now – is not a dear old duck.  I have no idea what her grandchild is to call her.

South Africans have a lovely option with the Zulu word for grandmother, gogo, pronounced gaw-gaw,  which I will absolutely claim in real life when the role is available. It’s a bit niche, though, Zulu not being one of the world’s widely-spoken languages.

I’ll be back to worry at this question later, but for now I’ll leave you with this, because it is currently my favourite cartoon.  In fact – I know Goodreads blogs don’t always include my pics – I’m going to add it to my profile, because I really do like it.  The credit to source shows on the photo.


5 thoughts on “What makes a granny? This is not a rhetorical question, I need an answer …

  1. Hmmm. I’ve always found it is the oldest grandchild that names the grandparents. This is why my father-in-law ended up being called Dander. However,my mother has a phobia about getting older so her naming was a sensitive subject. My daughter wasn’t given the freedom to come up with something but was told she was to call her Grandy. This comes from A Woman of Substance by Barbara Taylor-Bradford and was acceptable to my mother as the Grandy from that novel was such a fabulously formidable woman.

    My daughter has just got married and while grand-parenthood isn’t imminent I don’t imagine it’s very far over the horizon, however we have already had a taste of what our names will be. We dogsat for our grand-doggie while the honeymooners did their thing and Grampy and Grammie (I mean, really!) became a thing… let’s hope when a grandchild does arrive it has a fabulously original imagination and comes up with something spectacular 😉

    • Fantastic, jiggle that spelling and you are a Grammy award! 😀

      Your mum isn’t the only one sensitive about it, I know many who rebel but come ON, look at the cartoon. No matter how fabulous one is in real life, that’s the perception which goes with the name. Just wrong, tchah.

  2. This is a tough one. I was a late baby. My Gran was 60 the year I was born, and already white haired and very much the stereotypical “granny”. An older cousin, who is now in her 60s is due to become ‘Grandma’ this year, while her younger sister embraced ‘Nana’ in her 40s. I know ‘Meemaw’ is popular in Texas (and possibly other southern States), and a Twitter chum called his German granny ‘Oma’. Growing up, one of my neighbours insisted her grandkids call her by her first name, as she thought ‘granny’ made her sound old.

    There are no hard and fast rules about what a granny should be called. You can choose your own, or maybe the kids with come up with their own unique name for you? Stranger things have happened. 😊

    • It is a tough one, isn’t it? the best by far is kids coming up with their own names – I thought it sooo cool that my childhood friends called their grandparents Dan and Bepop. My daughter had an Omi and an Opi but as a child she called them the Ompi and that name stuck for years. 😀

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