The Grandparent Naming Survey

Here at excd.lab we recently launched our Grandparent Naming Survey.  It’s being run by Jo Hickey-Hall, Research Support Assistant, as part of the Usage subproject for VariKin.

VariKin-Usage specifically investigates how people use kinship language by using corpus linguistics, surveys, and interviews to quantify patterns of usage in spoken and written language. How frequently are kinship terms used in different contexts and what meanings are more prevalent? Do patterns vary between languages, and can the patterns of usage at the individual level be linked to historical processes of change? 

In this survey, we’re asking people to share the different names they use for  their grandparents (e.g. Nan, Grandma) to help us better understand grandparental kinship relations within English-speaking families in the UK.

We’re interested in how styles of grandparenting may indicate emotional closeness and whether these are reflected in the different kin terms attributed to each grandparent. We are also particularly interested in whether kinds of relatedness can be determined by line of descent to the grandchild (eg. is there a difference in how mum’s mum relates to the grandchildren compared to dad’s dad etc).

It’s a difficult time for everyone at the moment, but many respondents are enjoying the opportunity to reflect on family relationships, especially thinking of their own grandparents or their children’s grandparents and we particularly want to hear from grandparents themselves!

Here is the link:

Please do take part and share with others.


Featured image: Jo’s ‘Nanny and Grandad’ circa 1943.

Leave a Comment