Fun labels for our elders

My mom and dad as grandparents --

My mom and dad as grandparents — ” Dud” and “Betty”

What did you call your parents and grandparents in your early years — and what do you call them today, if they are still living? I’m certain a huge diversity exists among families nationwide.

Here’s my experience: When I was very young, living in Hawaii (my birthplace), I called my mother “Mummy” and my father “Daddy.” “Mummy” may have reflected by mother’s New England upbringing.

At some point, as I recall, my parents felt I should be calling them something less childlike. So I started calling them Mr. and Mrs. Rur. What?? Surely that label was unique globally!

“Rur,” as I recall, was a contraction of “Red Ryder,” a comic strip character created four years after I was born. Don’t ask me how this young brain of mine thought of these as labels for parents! I can’t recall what my older brother Dick called them.

When our three daughters were tots, they called my parents Betty and Dud (short for Dudley). That was my parents’ call, obviously. But our daughters called Margie’s parents Grandma and Grandpa. How ordinary!

One more cute example of uniqueness: When Margie and I become grandparents, our older grandson, Ian, called me “Grandpa Kit.” Mark, the younger, followed suit — only it came out as “Poppa Kit.” And that’s what both boys call me to this day — Poppa Kit. Margie is simply “Tutu,” Hawaiian for grandmother.


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