Dennis R. Preston preston at MSU.EDU
Sat Feb 14 13:43:09 UTC 2004

I have always assumed that the "nana" = grandmother speakers were
simply using a phonetically altered form of Italian "nonna." If this
is not the obvious etymology, I'm quite happy to give it up.


Beverly Flanigan <flanigan at OHIO.EDU> wrote:

Ah, Pop-Pop!  My ex-husband from Baltimore used that term for his
grandfather, and I think he said Mom-Mom for grandmother.  Is this just a
Maryland/New Jersey thing, or is it more widespread? (I think of Nana as
more recent and "fancier.")

to Kathleen E. Miller's:

  Dad, however, had recollection of the place going back to the
mid-40's when he would go down the shore with Pop-Pop and Nana.

I grew up in the early '60's calling my paternal grandparents Pop-Pop
and Nana; they were from Reading, Pennsylvania, so it was at least a
little more widespread. I hadn't ever thought of it before but I
assume it was my father's terms for his own grandparents. I'll bcc
this to him and report back.


*** John McChesney-Young  **  panis at  **   Berkeley,
California, U.S.A.  ***

Dennis R. Preston
University Distinguished Professor
Department of Linguistics and Germanic, Slavic,
        Asian and African Languages
Wells Hall A-740
Michigan State University
East Lansing, MI 48824-1027 USA
Office: (517) 353-0740
Fax: (517) 432-2736

More information about the Ads-l mailing list