My Babusia was first generation born in the USA. Her parents arrived in the US as young teenagers and were sponsored by their employers in Baltimore MD. They each held menial jobs, Joseph worked as a stevedore on the docks, Josepha worked for a doctor doing laundry. They married young, shared a home with other immigrant siblings, and had 13 children, only 7 survived to adulthood. Throughout the years, the Polish language was spoken less and less in their shared household. After their death, their adult children would often debate proper pronunciations of the few Polish words and expressions that they remembered. I was once schooled on the proper way to say Babucia because have the accent on the first syllable, changed the meaning from Grandmother to a scarf that was worn on a woman's head. Their grandchildren and great-grandchildren (including me) did not have a problem with taking liberties with these inherited words.... my grandmother used the Polish name of Babucia.... but we spelled it Babushia or Babusha,(with the accent on the second syllable) and I shortened to the breathy baby endearment, Busha. She did not have a problem with this, BECAUSE she only had a third grade education. This was not because she was stupid, it was because she needed to go to work when she was 9 years old!. This was not uncommon practice in the early 1900's. So her inability to properly write or read Polish, is perfectly understandable. It was largely a lost language to the first generation because education was not a priority... SURVIVAL was the only priority. She did not give me the Polish language, but she did give me the values of endurance, steadfast faith, and unconditional family love.
I believe that ANY Americanized version of the name Babcia of Babucia, should be respected because it reflects the adaptation that was required for the immigrant's survival in their new land. And for me, Busha embodies the best traditions and values that Poland had to offer our country. So let us embrace these Americanized Polish names because they represent our immigrant foundation of young survivors.