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Subject:Re: Mommmmmmmmm! From:"Virginia L. Krenn" <asdxvlk -at- OKWAY -dot- OKSTATE -dot- EDU> Date:Fri, 18 Nov 1994 15:48:50 -0600
My father (from San Antonio) called his mother, "Mother". She was
raised in South Dakota.
My mother (from Temple, Texas) called her parents "Mom" and "Pop".
They were from Czechoslovakia.
I (raised in Oklahoma) called my parents "Mama" and "Daddy" when I
was a child and "Mom" and "Dad" as an adult. (My sister continued to
say "Mama" throughout her adult life.)
We called our maternal grandparents "Grammaw" and "Grampaw", but
wrote it as "Grandma" and "Grandpa".
We called our paternal grandmother "Donna". (This was not her name.
She adapted the Spanish "Dona" because she didn't want to be called
My children and grandchildren use the same terms that I did.
I suspect that Laurie has a point in referring to the personal
relationship being shown by the names parents use.
My mother insists on being called "Mother" and loathes the word "Mom."
Her mother went by "Mother" and so did my dad's mother. Her parents
went by "Grandmother" and "Grandfather" to us, and now my parents do
the same for my kids. I think my dad went along with that because of
social climbing -- he came from a working-class background and wanted
to achieve, and she came from an shabby-genteel well-educated
background, which he wanted to emulate. My mother is also a social
climber to some extent; the formality seems to go along with that.
My mother's parents went by "Mr. and Mrs. Stookey" to my father. Talk
about formal! My parents tried to go by "Mother and Father Hunter" to
my husband, but he wasn't having any of it; he calls them "Mother and
Dad," as I do.
My in-laws go by "Mama" (or "Nana" to the grandkids -- my
mother-in-law is an American raised in France by Americans) and
"Daddy" ("Grandaddy" -- he's from New Jersey). I like this a lot
more, and my husband and I go by "Daddy" and "Mama." But when I have
grandchildren, I plan to be "Grandma" (pronounced "Grammaw"), since I
would like to be the kind of grandmother that my father's mother (also
People get to be called what they want to be called, in my book. (I
can't always convince my husband of this -- see above.) I hate to be
called "Mother" and "Mommy," so I've taught my kids to call me "Mama"
And by the way, I'm an Army brat raised mostly in Virginia and Germany
but also in Kansas, Rhode Island, and Pennsylvania, and I've also lived
in Ohio, Connecticut, and California. My parents and their parents
come from Illinois.