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  #21  
Old 14.04.2011, 18:48
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Re: Uncle Bob, Auntie Mary, Uncle Jim, Aunt Shelia...

Growing up we always referred to Auntie XXX and Uncle XXX but once I left home it changed with them being referred to by the first name only. They sign Christmas cards etc with their first names.
Although there is one Uncle (a**ehole of the family) who will put on my facebook page "Hi Ka pai it's Uncle XXX here". Well of course it is you, you plonker

As kids we always talked about our grandparents as Nana & Grandad Gore which wasn't there surname but the town they lived in. Saying Abernethy as a kids was a bit tough. My mother & her siblings called their Abernethy grandparents after the dog!!

My kids know their Uncles and Aunts as Uncle xxx & Auntie xxx and both set of Grandparents are Nana & Poppa John and Nana Judy & Pops. As they don't really know them (NZ is a tad far) the first name in each set defines who we are talking about and the grandies don't object to the first name being used either. As for what we are known as by our nieces and nephews, I don't actually know. I always sign things as Auntie Ka pai and Uncle Bob but only one set of them reply to us. With my husband being the youngest of 4, his oldest niece is 22 where as our oldest child is only 6!

I have 2 close friends back in NZ who send the kids birthday cards and Christmas presents and have always been known as Auntie Lisa and Auntie Amanda. My kids know these "Aunt and Uncles" better than there biological ones.

I guess now that families are spread world wide "adopted" grandies, aunts and uncles are friends, neighbours etc.
I think it is great children have exposure to an "extended family" when their biological ones are so far away, as it provides them with some extra stablibilty and someone else to talk to.
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  #22  
Old 14.04.2011, 19:49
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Re: Uncle Bob, Auntie Mary, Uncle Jim, Aunt Shelia...

Can't help but smile about calling non family members "uncle" (and sometimes aunt), and wonder if this didn't stem from the war and post-war years.

Many widows, with children seeking male companionship - it was probably more acceptable to all, to refer to the new man as an "old lost family member" .... e.g. Uncle Bob (just my thoughts, based on no facts).

But then this led on to the next extreme as in the case of Pvt. Pike and his "Uncle" Arthur (his mum's long term lodger).

Anything for respectability ............ stupid boy.
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  #23  
Old 14.04.2011, 20:54
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Re: Uncle Bob, Auntie Mary, Uncle Jim, Aunt Shelia...

When I went to Sunday School all the teachers were referred to as 'Auntie' X. When I in my time became a Sunday School teacher I started a mini rebellion as I couldn't bear, at 18, to be called 'Auntie'... it made me feel old!

I also had a hard time adjusting to the fact that now I was a Sunday School teacher I didn't have to call the other teachers (many of whom had taught me) 'Auntie' any more...
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Old 14.04.2011, 21:10
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Re: Uncle Bob, Auntie Mary, Uncle Jim, Aunt Shelia...

We always (and still do) call our aunts and uncles with the title, but they are all in their 80's and we're the youngest nieces and I think they'd be upset if we didn't and it would just seem wrong. God parents we also called auntie and uncle til they asked us to stop (I suppose I was about 16-18yrs). Although my auntie got annoyed about this and always refers to herself as my 'real auntie' as she is my only true auntie. Everyone else was Mr or Mrs X. My cousins delight in calling my mum auntie as she's younger than all of them (except 2).

Parents we always had to call by their first names. That's a bit strange!

My best friend always refers to herself as Auntie X when talking to my son and I was a bit worried that she was expecting to be asked to be god-mother, but I think it's just that was how she referred to her parent's friends.

Husband (swiss) thinks the whole thing is weird! Having said that, his uncle is his god-father so is called götti and they don't speak to his other uncle/aunts. Shall just go and ask him....

He says that they do and it's usual to do so until you're grown up or they ask you not to!
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  #25  
Old 14.04.2011, 22:02
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Re: Uncle Bob, Auntie Mary, Uncle Jim, Aunt Shelia...

I am a great-uncle myself, which means I'm ancient, and I still call my Uncle Ernest 'Uncle Ernest' and my Aunt Dorothy 'Aunt Dorothy' -- ok, not exactly, but the Swiss German equivalents. My kids, around 30 y.o., do the same when they talk with their uncles and aunts.

When I was a kid, there was a funny phenomenon in our family, caused by a change of language. Whenever I, my li'l bro and our four cousins on the paternaly side went to our grandparents' on vacation, we were often taken along to visit relatives. We were told that we were going to see, say, "Bäsi Ursula" or "Vetter Hans." We all came to the conclusion that Bäsis were old women and Vetters old men, somehow related to us.

In reality, Bäsi is a very old-fashioned Swiss German word for a female cousin (Base in Standard German), and Vetter (same in Standard German) is the male version. Those people were the cousins of our grandparents. They were called Bäsi and Vetter already when they were kids. The terms have nothing to do with an age difference, let along old age, as we believed.

To this day, when I meet my cousins, we often formally address one another as "Bäsi" and "Vetter," just for fun and to evoke sweet childhood memories. "Bäsi Barbara, could you please pass me the salt?" I think other, younger, people who hear us doing so must think we are totally nuts. Younger generations may know those terms from old books and movies, but they would never use them.
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Last edited by Captain Greybeard; 14.04.2011 at 22:47. Reason: Silly typo...
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  #26  
Old 15.04.2011, 07:56
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Re: Uncle Bob, Auntie Mary, Uncle Jim, Aunt Shelia...

I like being Auntie Alison, particularly since I live so far away, it helps somehow to show they remember I'm not a stranger when I see them. My grown up niece and nephew have dropped it now, which is fine, we're close. My young niece and nephew know me as Auntie which is good. And I'm now a Great-Aunt to my older niece's twins, which was a bit of a shock at first - frankly feels I should be grey-haired, tucked up on the sofa in my slippers in front of the telly, knitting, with my glasses perched on the end of my nose - oh wait... Hopefully they'll just stick with Auntie when they can speak... Also now Auntie Al to my closest friend's first baby, which is really nice .
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