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On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 7:57 AM, Ben Carnehl <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>  There's a third reason that I have heard about: with widespread divorce and blended families, many children may have so many "grandparents" that it helps to have unique names to help distinguish them.

Even extended lifespans are sufficient reason to have distinct
appellations for maternal vs. paternal grandparents, since most
children now, I suspect, have four living grandparents in their early
years (I had four living grandparents until I was twelve, whereas my
grandfather, for instance, had all of his grandparents die before he
was born, and both my father's grandfathers died before he was born).

My brother and I simply called our grandparents "Grandpa/Grandma
Henry" and "Grandpa/Grandma Milner", but most of my cousins had, or
still have, distinct terms for their paternal and maternal
grandparents -- "Grandpa/Grandma" for maternal and "Papaw/Meemaw" for
paternal grandparents, for instance.

On Mon, Jun 7, 2010 at 10:21 AM,  <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> That brings up a related question. When I was growing up, "dad,"
> "daddy," "papa," and "pop" were all synonyms for "father." But in
> recent years, I have come across several families where "dad" refers
> to father but "papa" refers to grandfather. Seemed very odd the first

One of my first cousins once removed calls her maternal grandfather
"Papa Dude" (and her maternal grandmother "Gran-Gran"); I don't know
offhand what she calls her paternal grandparents, or her
great-grandparents.

-- 
Jim Henry
http://www.pobox.com/~jimhenry/