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Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
23 Jan 2009 /  #1
Many if not most US-born Polonians are familiar with the term busia (sometimes phonetically respelt busha) as an affectionate term for a Polish grandmother. The Polish-born find this strange and incomprehensible, but these are terms interjected into English speech. "We're gonna go by busias's tonight" would probably be understood by every Polish American. It probably is a contraction of the hypocoristic (endearing) form babusia, from which the first syllable got lost.

Also in America the term babushka (from the Russian word for grandmother бaбушка) is used to mean a kerchief or head scarf, typically worn by elderly women. It is debatable whether or not the term babushka has had a reinforcing influence on busia. Personally I don't think so. Other Polonian terms of endearment include dziadzi and cioci (some also say kabasy for kiełbasa).

Since grandmothers have always held a special place in the Polish, heart the affectionate diminutives of babcia are quite numerous and include:
Babusia, Babeczka, Babuś, Babciutka, Babuchna, Babunia, Babuńcia, Babunieczka, Babula, Babulina Babulka, Babuleczka, Babuleńka & Babulinka. These vary from village to village and family to family. English has: gran, granny, grandma and nana.
purplelady 1 | 32  
23 Jan 2009 /  #2
Thanks, P3, for your evidence to solve the busia dilemma--it makes a lot of sense. I think you're right about "busia"; I believe it would be understood by most PolAms, even if it were not their primary term for their grandmother.

Busia, babcia or one of those other lovely terms for grandmother--they were wonderful ladies, good cooks and bakers, and kept their homes warm and welcoming for their families.
Eurola 4 | 1,909  
23 Jan 2009 /  #3
Today's 'busias' have their own life, they stil work, they have their own life... even date. There are very few true busias left in 'merica, even in Poland, I'm, 'freid.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
25 Apr 2009 /  #4

Anyone ever encounter such English speech by 2nd generation Polish Americans?:
We gonna go by busia's who's making kabassi. Was youse on a wedding yesterday?
Dat ain't no good. Ciocia Mary's coming over.
nunczka 8 | 458  
25 Apr 2009 /  #5
HA,HA, Garageski, Brewski, Wuja JOE, Carski ,Madonna on a half shell
anubis - | 35  
25 Apr 2009 /  #6
Was youse on a wedding yesterday?
Dat ain't no good.

Those are just colloquialisms not indicative in any way of a particular ethnic background, but more of education level and social class of the speaker.

The use of Polish honorifics is another matter. Peppering English speech with them is quite common among second generation Polish-Americans. Growing up in a family where Polish was the primary language, grandmother was "babcia", uncles were "wujki", aunts "ciocias", it's ingrained in their speech patterns to retain those relationships intact in their Polish form.
OP Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446  
26 Apr 2009 /  #7
Do you know what are graczki?
When you go to the gracz you need a ki to open the door.

Archives - 2005-2009 / Genealogy / US POLONIAN BUSHA (BUSIA) DISPUTE/DILEMMA RESOLVEDArchived