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Can anyone help with spelling of Grandmother

11 Mar 2007 /  #1
I'm gonna be a first time Gramma and I want to learn the correct way of spelling Grandmother in Polish. I've seen 3 ways and I don't know the correct one. I'm Polish, but we spelled it Busha---just as it sounded when we first heard it. We kept it that way in the family with all of my siblings and our children.

Can anyone help me, please? I spelled it Busia---on the baby shower invitations, was I incorrect? Thanks soooooooooo much.
11 Mar 2007 /  #2
Babcia or Babunia or Babusia, or Busia (Busha):)
ella - | 46  
11 Mar 2007 /  #3
Can anyone help me, please? I spelled it Busia---on the baby shower invitations, was I incorrect? Thanks soooooooooo much.

"Busia" or "Busha" I never heard it before in Polish language .

Grandmother = Babcia

U can always create your own word when naming grandma . One of the known name is : "Babunia" = "Nanny"
karturn 9 | 20  
13 Mar 2007 /  #4
We say Babcia but in the Children's english/Polish dictionary I have for my daughter they say Babkia. A friend said that that means an old,old, old lady!

Mark3181 2 | 19  
13 Mar 2007 /  #5
I've been learning about grandmother in my polish language lessons in Krakow just the otherday

and it's def Babcia
ella - | 46  
20 Mar 2007 /  #6
We say Babcia but in the Children's english/Polish dictionary I have for my daughter they say Babkia. A friend said that that means an old,old, old lady!

no such word as "babkia" ,in polish we have "babka", but it's not proper word for grandma.

grandmother= babcia
great grandmother = prababcia

grandfather = dziadek
great grandfather = pradziadek
Michal - | 1,865  
30 Mar 2007 /  #7
It is probably the name Basia from Barbara. It might not have anything to do with 'grandmother'.
3 Apr 2007 /  #8
I'm a Pole living in Poland speaking Polish all my life and there's no such word as Babkia, it musts ba a misprint. 'Babka' is a form used in formal situations e.g when telling a story about your grandmother, filling a form etc. and it sounds a bit rude when you call your grandmother Babka ( when talking to her). Babka can also mean in informal, coloquial lg. a woman e.g. tamta babka się na mnie gapi ( that 'woman' is staring at me) or Who was it on the phone? - Jakaś babka ( Some woman)

Me again... Busia was the name of the lady-Gummibear in Polsih version of the TV Show. She was kind and fun and a bit of dream nanny type so ... don't worry about those invitations.
10 Apr 2007 /  #9
I have found that Busia seems to be a "Chicago" Polish word....not real Polish. When I went to Poland 5 years ago, I talked about my Busia and not a single person knew what the word meant. I kept getting corrected. I was shocked because she can speak Polish and her parents were from Poland, but I found that the Polish she speaks is an Americanized (I call it Chicago style) version. Since I can only say thank you and beer in Polish, I didn't had no clue that there were different "types" of Polish! But trust me, I went all over Poland, from the North to the South, East and West and not one person knew.

So I don't mean to deliver the bad news, but it sounds like you at least want to be informed.

Bottom line, if you want to be called Busia, I say go for it! People in the U.S. will know what you're talking about, but be doesn't exist in true Polish!
29 Jun 2007 /  #10
what would aunt and uncle be.
krysia 23 | 3,058  
29 Jun 2007 /  #11
Aunt - Ciocia
Uncle - Wujek
29 Jun 2007 /  #13
Grandmother = Babcia

I like that one
Ranj 21 | 948  
29 Jun 2007 /  #14
I'm gonna be a first time Gramma

Let me be the first on the forum to congratulate you on being a firstime Grandma! What an awesome job.....spoil them rotten, be their favorite, and then send them home to mom and dad! That's what life is all about......:)
MADNAI - | 7  
30 Jun 2007 /  #15
babka it's kind of cake or colloquial about lady (niezła babka)
babcia grandmother (moja babcia)
babunia grandmother (but in a little (form or meaning) ) about unknown old women (grandmother)
babusia grandmother (but in a little (form or meaning) ) artificial form
baba vulgar form for women
babsztyl about annoying women
babsko about big annoying women

moja babcia (my grandmother)
kochana babciu (to grandmother) my honey grandmother
o mojej babci (about my grandmother)
z moją babcią (with my grandmother)
23 Aug 2007 /  #16
I would like to understand my husband's Polish family pronunciation. He called his grandmother "Bob-she". He called his grandfather "Jahd-gee". Is this the correct pronunciation. His family was from Philly. Is this a Philly version?
Zgubiony 15 | 1,554  
23 Aug 2007 /  #17
Is this a Philly version?

I don't think there's such a thing.

Bob-she is not proper's more like bab-cha and djia-dek
Kangur 1 | 6  
23 Aug 2007 /  #18


The way your husband is pronouncing them makes them mean belonging to grandma/pa ie., u babci = at Grandma's. Zgubiony got the pronunciations right, although "jardek" might be easier to understand than djia, if you're not Polish!! :)
31 Aug 2007 /  #19
My grandmother was native to Poland. Came to PA in 1903. My mother, born in PA, was raised by her grandparents (my grandma wasn't married when she got pregnant, and so she dropped my mom off to live with 'her parents', my great-grandparents. To make a long story short, my mom's grandparents were like her parents. My mom's side of the family spoke fluent Polish all the time. My mom called 'her parents' (which were her grandparents) Baba and Jaja. My mom told me that "Baba" was her grandmother, and "Jaja" was her Grandfather. They may be short for Grandma and Grandpa, such as "Gran" and "Pappa"... but I did research both Baba and Jaja on the web, and if you search them as Polish Grandma/Grandpa, they do come up as one variation of how to say Grandma (baba) and Grandpa (jaja).... other than that... I'm not sure on what would be formal, rude, a child's version, etc. Like all languages, there are nuances. My family, according to my grandmother, was from the Polish and Russian border, and some of the dialect was a little Russian.
jnowiski 2 | 121  
31 Aug 2007 /  #20
Бабушка? :D
Gosiaa 2 | 89  
1 Sep 2007 /  #21
babcia = grandms
babciu ! = calling out to !
u babci = at grandma's
do babci=to grandma
dla babci= for grandma

dziadek pronounce (dz=j ) grandpa
in polish "j" pronouce like (y year)
tomek123 2 | 21  
2 Sep 2007 /  #22
Alot of Americans who say they are Polish call their babcia their babci.
As in: my babci makes the best gulumpki (another americanized version of golabki)
6 Oct 2007 /  #23
Okay, here is an update: I went to a local Polish Food Market (Deli) and ran some words by them (my family is from Poland) - and some curse words I got 100% correct, and I was 'correct' on how to pronounce Grandmother and Grandfather - but had no clue how to spell them in Polish. The owner of the store wrote it down for me:

Dziadzus = Grandfather (pronounced: Jda-Juice)
Babcia = Grandmother (pronounced: Bob-cha)

The owner was a female, and she was speaking fluent Polish with several customers who were sitting and eating in her "deli" - which also sold some really neat and odd items (food items.) In any case, she (and some customers) agreed that "Ba-ba" and "Ja-Ja" were "okay" for slang if you aren't living in Poland. A child will mispronounce the words, so there are many variations.

The owner was very nice and said "You come back to see me to ask me again if you have any other words you want to learn." Very nice lady. Oh, it all made me miss my mom... a LOT. My mom spoke Polish often, and I should have learned it when I was younger (or paid more attention, I mean.)
Vincent 9 | 903   Moderator
6 Oct 2007 /  #24
Babcia = Grandmother (pronounced: Bob-cha)

I wonder why she pronounced Bab like Bob? I would have thought the "a"would have been pronounced as "a". So confusing this polish language :)
12 Nov 2007 /  #25
My mother didn't speak English until she was age nine. At age nine, her parents (my grandparents) died, and she was put into 'foster homes' (this is back in the 1930s and they didn't call them that back then.)

In any case, she went from home to home, until she lived for a long time (years) with a Jewish family, who spoke Yiddish as the primary language in the home. My mother ended up being best friends/family with Jews (Polish Jews.)

Growing up, my mom spoke fluent Polish and "Yiddish", and mixed all that with English. So, it was hard for me to tell what was Polish, Yiddish, or just her talking, as she mixed them all together.

She would pronounce "grandma" as if you put "Bob" and "Cha" together. (Bob-Cha.) And "grandpa" as if you put "Jah-Jah" together.

Problem was, as I was growing up, I learned a bit of both Polish and Yiddish mixed, so I get them confused now.

To make it all 'worse' - my family is from the Polish and Russian border, which was moving around from wars in the 1800s, and so the Polish my family spoke or speaks has (aparently) some Russian in it.

Yes - very confusing!!!

RJ_cdn - | 267  
13 Nov 2007 /  #26
Babcia, Babunia and Babusia are commonly used in Poland
It is common in North America to make names shorter. So Busia is simply a shorter version of Babusia
Vincent 9 | 903   Moderator
13 Nov 2007 /  #27
Thanks for taking the time to explain that Shawn.
20 Nov 2007 /  #28
Although I called my grandmother grandma, my cousins called their other grandma "Bop-chi" like you husband. THey were from Jersey, but their grandmother was from Poland. Perhaps it's something to do with that area of the country, how things are pronounced.
Piorun - | 658  
20 Nov 2007 /  #29
It has nothing to do with the area of Poland you’r from.
Proper pronunciation is babcia period.
This sounds to me like a second generation Polish-American family where Polish language is not used at home. The words just get mispronounced over period of time. You hear this kind of Polish in US all the time.
2 Dec 2007 /  #30
My Polish grandmother and grandfather settled in Chicago and raised their children there. Us grandchildren called my grandmother Busia and my grandfather Jaja.

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