Why asking for ‘PP’ leaves me feeling flushed!

Grand Central column
Grand Central column

What’s in name? Quite a lot, as it goes.

Shakey may contend that which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet. But, loathe to gainsay greatest English speaking scribe bar none, it’s bard advice.

PP teasing time

PP teasing time

Monikers matter. Nomenclature is king. All hail appellation. Without it, we’re merely numbers. And, paraphrasing Prisoner Patrick McGoohan, “we are not numbers, we are free men”. And women.

So sobriquets – nicknames to you and I – are not only affectionate. But oft obligatory. Otherwise we’ll all descend into chaotic confusion. Or confusing chaos. Either way, the sky will fall in. And the world end. As we know it.

Perhaps not, but you get my drift. There’s no room for doubt in the fractured family dynamic. Such uncertainty requires clarification for newest additions to our extended kindred. Clan so dysfunctional, it makes Simpsons and Sopranos appear normal.

Long story short-ish, Ella entered a world with more relatives than I’ve had hot dinners. Which, as an increasingly expanding gut-busting waistband attests, is many and varied.

Remarriages and other such seismic life shifts have resulted in genealogical jumble, generating ever growing family tree boasting more branches than Barclays.

There’s cousins continually coming out of the woodwork. Or, more accurately, womb. Aunts aplenty and, unless I’m very much mistaken, Uncle Tom Cobley. And all.

Our two year-old’s grandmother, grandma, gran and nana number four. As do grandfather, granddaddy, grampa and grandpop. So how best to differentiate between multiple male grandparents?

Exhaustive research revealed traditional alternatives including Big Daddy, Big Paw, Bumpy and Boppa. Thoroughly modern alternatives included all manner of elder titles from Ace and Boss to Rocky and Skipper.

Popular Poppy and Gramps meanwhile could respectively be too easily modified into Poopy and Grumps. Foreign language variations on this theme were similarly fraught with difficulties.

French Canadian Pépé had an air of animated malodorous skunk about it. Hawaiian Tutu Kane sounded, well, more like a mummy. Dead one at that.

Chinese YehYeh smacked of American indie rock band. Italian Nonno was non-starter. So we collectively plumped for GPP. For Grand Papa Pago.

Initially, learning formative vocabulary, she could only get her tiny tongue around last two initials. Now Ella can articulate the entire acronym. Indeed, she can now say “Galapagos”. But she resolutely chooses not to.

Instead she takes great delight in mischievously calling “PP” at any given opportunity. Across the road. Around the park. Among the aisles. Anywhere. And any time.

Which is just fine by me, welcoming it as unique and endearing badge of honour. But one that can cause continual kerfuffle during current toilet training!