Maybe it’s a grandparent thing…

I don’t remember my dad ever calling any of us kids by nicknames. We had names–and those were used. Granted, they were shortened somewhat…unless we were in trouble. If all three names got used, we knew we’d better snap to attention!

However, my grandmother (his mother) had a nickname for us–pretty much the same one for all of us. Snickelfritz. I don’t know where she came up with it…or why. And we eventually outgrew it.

Then we became parents…and suddenly things changed. My dad had nicknames for all  of his grandkids–different ones for each. The earliest was pretty bland–“Avis the Mavis”. I don’t think there was any particular meaning–just the rhyming. But then he got two grandkids 6 weeks apart…a boy and a girl. Our son got the nickname “Skunk”…and his cousin was “the prune.” Later another grand-daughter…and another nickname (which unfortunately I can’t remember now).

And eventually came our grandchildren–and more nicknames. Our two oldest grandsons didn’t have nicknames that stuck–but our third one sure did! For some reason, he got the nickname “George” from my dad. That was fine for a number of years–and then he got old enough to understand and talk…and things changed! My dad said to him one day, “Well, hello, George!”…and his quick response was “I’m not George. You are!” And that settled it. From that day until the day my dad died, he was George to our grandson. It was never Grandma and Grandpa…it was Grandma and George.


He is now taller than I am…but he is still “Shorty” to me. Probably always will be. And he has a younger sister. Her name is a beautiful name–but do I call her by it? Not very often.

Most of them I refer to her as “Ladybug.” I don’t know why–it just seems to fit.

We also have a great-grandson. Haven’t decided on a nickname for him yet, but it will come. It’s a little more of a challenge, because he doesn’t live close to us. But the name will come.

My husband’s side of the family doesn’t use nicknames. Names were selected for the children at birth–and that’s what was used. My side of the family loved nicknames, and we seem to have inherited that.

Maybe it’s just a grandparent thing.

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