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Dziadzia / Babcia - help me with spelling/pronunciation

26 Nov 2006  #1

Okay, so I'm polish and I've always called my grandfather jaji....well at least thats my poor atempt on how to spell it. I think it is spelled like dziadek but I don't pronounce the k, is it suppose to be silent? My mom has no idea, 'cause she's only like 25% while my dad is 100% and he thinks it's dzadzie, but then again, he's lived in america all his life and not so sure. Please help!

26 Nov 2006  #2

dziadzi (jajee) or dziadek which is a granfather as well - no - the K in dziadek is not supossed to be silent
17 Feb 2007  #3

I've got a babci and a dziadzi and you've got it right, ja-jee.
mushins5 - | 1    
24 Sep 2007  #4

Hi, I am soon to be a grandmother. I have seen Babcia is that correct?
If so, how do you pronouce it.
kochanie 3 | 58    
25 Sep 2007  #5

It's Babcie I think. You say it bab-cha. And congratulations!! :) x
porta 18 | 297    
25 Sep 2007  #6

Nope ,it's babcia :)

And congratulations :)
mypips33 - | 1    
19 Mar 2008  #7

Merged:Pronunciation - I know not again with Grandmother

ok i need help with how to pronounce these and what is the true word for grandma- grandmother in TRUE POLISH-

please like this- BUSIA- BUSH-A??


Krzysztof 2 | 973    
19 Mar 2008  #8


that's the official one you find in a dictionary,

babunia, babusia are diminutives, while busia is a shorter form of babusia (and I don't hear it in Poland, but I read on these forums that "busia" is common among American Poles or Polish Americans, if you prefer)

and when kids start talking they rather use "baba", as they can't pronounce more difficult words for some time :)

for pronounciation, copy and paste the words into:
(try both female and male voice)
joaska 2 | 12    
19 Mar 2008  #9

babcia and babunia are pronounced with a BA
babcia: bab-cha
babunia: bab-u-nia
Congrats on becoming a grandma!
Krzysztof 2 | 973    
19 Mar 2008  #10

Congrats on becoming a grandma!

oh, I should've have said that too, sorry for being rude, mypips33 :)
24 Oct 2008  #11

i have grandpa also named dziadzi (Jaji) and grandma Busia.
24 Oct 2008  #12

grandma Busia.

Short from babusia
z_darius 14 | 3,975    
26 Oct 2008  #13

he thinks it's dzadzie, but then again

I'd say dziadzio.
Dziadzie would be vocative of dziad, and I'm pretty sure in 20th century Polish it would be used as a derogative terms towards and old bum, unpleasant man etc

I've got a babci

Nominative would be babcia. Babci is one of the grammatical forms of the word.
Polonius3 996 | 12,070    
11 Nov 2008  #14

In Polish-American speech it has been common to use non-standard Polish insertions in English speech.
Terms such as busia, babci, baci, dziadzi, dziadzia, and cioci, ciacia are widely used as in:
Cioci is coming round today. We're going by baci's this evening. My busia used to work in a cigar factory. Hi, Dziadzia!
Many of those that use these are totally unfamilair with Polish spelling and may write jaja, chacha, busha and bopchee.
7 Oct 2014  #15

My mother had us call her parents Baci & Dziadziu (grandma & grandpa, according to her). She also said that the more formal "grandmother/grandfather" was Babcia/Dziadek. My mother was fluent because her parents were both born in Poland and didn't speak English very well. Polish was her first language. Hope this helps.
Stalewski85 - | 2    
14 Oct 2014  #16

Since this thread's been resurrected, I'd like to add to it & get the forum's opinions as well, rather than start a new thread. My daughter is 2 years old, and getting better at speaking all the time. I'm fortunate in that both of my maternal and paternal grandparents are living, as well as my wife's paternal grandparents. So the little girl has a lot of grandparents & great-grandparents. To that end, to help her and future great-grandkids differentiate between all of them, I liked the idea of using more ethnically-appropriate terms of endearment for my dad's parents, since of all my family members they are they only ones who still use Polish language and traditions, and attend Polish National Catholic Churches (as well as my father and myself).

From what I understand the proper word is Dziadek, but like a lot of other US users on polishforums, the Polonia diminutive "Dziadzia" was used to refer to my father's grandfather, and he emigrated to the midwestern US from Ceranˇw in 1906.

Side note: my paternal great-grandmother was called "Busia" by her grandchildren, but unfortunately I read a lot of disparaging comments between Poles in Poland and Poles in America/elsewhere in another related thread a few years back regarding the etymology and use of the term - My paternal grandmother is a mix of mainly German & Irish with French & English as well, so a Polish/Polonia term didn't seem appropriate and I can avoid that debate. We'll probably either start calling her Oma (German) or Maimeˇ (Irish), depending on whichever she's more comfortable with for her great-grandchildren.
Marysienka 1 | 195    
4 Nov 2014  #17

The difference between "busia" nad "dziadzia" is that former is mostly unheard in Poland and the latter is - a term really young children, who learn how to speak refer to their grandfathers and a akkusative/genitive form of "dziadzio" common diminutive for dziadek in south-east Poland
14 Dec 2014  #18

I go by Babcia and say it Bob chi. (The kids say that, Bacci, Dopsy and Dobey.)
kpc21 1 | 763    
14 Dec 2014  #19

Just put "babcia" or "dziadek" (or whatever you want, even this weird "busia") into Google Translate, turn it to translation from Polish, and click the loudspeaker button on the left-hand side. It will show the correct pronounciation for sure.
14 Dec 2015  #20

I have a Babci and a Dziadzi and that's how they spell is (pronounced bob-chee and ja-jee)
Wulkan - | 3,021    
14 Dec 2015  #21

Not "Babci", "Babcia" with "a" at the end.
kpc21 1 | 763    
14 Dec 2015  #22

And "Dziadzia" too. "Dziadzia" is not so common, though. "Babcia" is a normal word, while "dziadzia" is a diminutive used by small children only, and the proper word is "dziadek".
17 Mar 2016  #23

My fiancÚs grandparents where 100% polish and used to call her "cot" does anyone know what it stands for or its meaning? I can't find anything of the sort anywhere
mafketis 16 | 4,027    
17 Mar 2016  #24

and used to call her "cot"

Maybe kot (cat) (the o is more like Spanish than American) but that's weird for a girl (it's a masculine form) and it's more ime used of spouses than children.
29 Jul 2016  #25

Merged: What are Best names for grandma and grandpa in Polish???

What are the best names for grandma and grandpa in Polish? Not looking for formal...more sweet loving adoring type names. Thank you for any help
Polonius3 996 | 12,070    
29 Jul 2016  #26

more sweet loving adoring type names

Babunia or (when addresed directly) Babuniu (vocative).
Dziadziu or (when addressed directly) Dziadziusiu.
29 Jul 2016  #27

I am Polish American. I always called my grandpa "dziadzia", my grandma "busia", and my great-grandma "bapcia".
kpc21 1 | 763    
30 Jul 2016  #28

"busia" must be something regional because I haven't met nor heard that until I appeared on this forum, living in Poland since I was born.

Even as a child, I have always used just "babcia" and "dziadek". "DziadziuÂ", "babunia", also "dziadzia", "dziadzio" for a grandpa - I have heard that, but never "busia". I assume it can be a kind of abbreviation from "babunia", or rather "babusia", but I have never heard that in practice.
mafketis 16 | 4,027    
1 Aug 2016  #29

"busia" must be something regional

It's apparently Polish-American. I wonder if it was a regional thing in Poland that died out here and survived and spread in the US or if it arose there.
Ziemowit 8 | 2,289    
1 Aug 2016  #30

Sources say it is a Polish-American thing that arose in the US and I agree with this. Certain Polish dialects know this word, too, but those dialects are too tiny to form the origin of the word 'busia' in the US.

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