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Babcia or Busha - any social class difference?


nana - | 40    
20 Mar 2010  #91
"I know they both mean Grandmother....but does the difference have to do with social class or geography?"

Both are correct. Babcia is more...common and Busia is just diminution of babcia. Babcia's term has got neutral or positive emotions while Busia expresses only positive and strong feelings. If someone calls Busia it shows relationship between these people
vetala - | 383    
21 Mar 2010  #92
Both are correct.

No, they aren't. The proper Polish language is the one used in Poland. 'Busia' or 'Busha' are neologisms and don't figure in any Polish dictionaries. The fact that some word is widely used by Americans of Polish descent does NOT make it a proper Polish word.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,292    
21 Mar 2010  #93
Both are correct. Babcia is more...common and Busia is just diminution of babcia. Babcia's term has got neutral or positive emotions while Busia expresses only positive and strong feelings. If someone calls Busia it shows relationship between these people

Well, no it's not "correct" Nana - it exists but that doesn't make it correct.

If the person emigrated from eastern territories then it's probably not a Polish but rather a Russian word. In Russian babushka means grandmother. Possibly it got shortened to bushka, then somehow became busha, busia, etc. Lots of people spoke Russian in eastern territories, after all you're talking generations of Russian occupation.

Now "buzia" is a different thing and means kiss, mouth.

If the family has lived in the US for a while then it's a cannibalized American form of babcia, babusia, etc.

Neither explanation makes busha or busia a Polish word. Instead it makes it a Russian or a broken Polish word. Most people would be very confused if they heard it today. Others would think you're saying buzia.

busia
Definition: Americanized Polish for "grandmother," which in Polish is babka or babcia or babunia.
Pronunciation: BOO-shah
Also Known As: babka, babcia, babunia
Examples:
Busia always made paczki for me on Fat Thursday and Fat Tuesday.


easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/ah/g/busia.htm
Zlotnicki    
25 Mar 2010  #94
I always called my Polish grandparents and great-grandparents Babcia and Dziadziou. I'd never heard of Busha, though I'd heard of the term Babuska from my Hungarian grandparents. Is Busha perhaps another term from a similar language, or an Americanized version?
swtdreams    
26 Mar 2010  #95
My great grandmother came to Chicago in the early 1900's from Warsaw, Poland. We called her Busha. I don't really think anyone can say (with any authority) what is authentic. I just finished looking up authentic polish pierogi and found a million different variations.....most saying that theirs was authentic.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,292    
27 Mar 2010  #96
Is Busha perhaps another term from a similar language, or an Americanized version?

I think you're correct...

easteuropeanfood.about.com/od/ah/g/busia.htm

"...Pronunciation: BOO-shah..."

My great grandmother came to Chicago in the early 1900's from Warsaw, Poland. We called her Busha. I don't really think anyone can say (with any authority) what is authentic. I just finished looking up authentic polish pierogi and found a million different variations.....most saying that theirs was authentic.

Can you show me a Polish dictionary with that word in it? Maybe there's one but I bet you 99% of Poles have no what idea what a Busha is. Remember that Chicago had/has a large Polish but also Ukrainian and Russian population. Since mainly Americans of Polish descent seem to know that words it's possible the American Poles intermingled with the other groups and used the Russian babushka term and somehow turned it into bushka or busha..

...Alternatively babusia (common word) became busia and with the American pronounciation it quickly turned into busha.

Busha is definitely not a Warsaw word which you said your family came from...
z_darius 14 | 3,973    
27 Mar 2010  #97
Alternatively babusia (common word) became busia and with the American pronounciation it quickly turned into busha.

And that is the correct answer. The word Busia is American-Polish. The word has never been present in any Polish dictionaries, let alone Busha. In fact, I can't think of any native Polish word that would have the "sh" cluster in it.
dfgdfdg    
6 Apr 2010  #98
has anyone heard of calling their grandma Bachi (Bach-ee) please respond fast
grubas 12 | 1,392    
6 Apr 2010  #99
In fact, I can't think of any native Polish word that would have the "sh" cluster in it.

Neither can I(but "sh" is polish "sz "isn't it?).Many of the XIX and XX century immigrants came from eastern Poland which is now Ukraine or Belarus and Busha seems to be canibalized form of russian (Ba)bush(k)a.In central PL its Babcia,Babka or Babunia (but only little kids would say babunia) not busza babuszka or baci ,I spent there 25 years and NEVER heard it.Btw, did you people see "Deer hunter"? They(characters) claim to be Polish but I can understand only "na zdrowie" ,the rest sounds like ukrainian or russian.
landora - | 199    
7 Apr 2010  #100
It's common in American movies, they seem to think that any Slavic language will do and it's all the same ;)

And no, there is no such word as "busha' in Polish.
Michael1    
11 Apr 2010  #101
My father called his grandmother 'Busia', but my mom called hers 'Babcia', and we never knew which one was 'correct'. This is amusing.
paulafromlodz    
11 Apr 2010  #102
What is the name of your BABCIA? Maybe BOGUS£AWA or BOGUMI£A? In Poland we tell BOGUSIA or BUNIA or BUSIA too. Maybe that is a reason ;-)
Czarina    
12 Apr 2010  #103
i've actually done some investigation about this dispute from several Polish Americans in the Chicago area, and Busia/Busha/Boosha are American "nicknames' for Polish grandmothers. Some of the people i spoke to said it came from a version of the Polish word for "kiss" (can't remember what it was). so Busia is just an American Polish nickname :)
roseamary    
12 Apr 2010  #105
I am half Polish descent and I called my Polish grandmother Busha. She was born in Warsaw.
gzlg123    
26 Apr 2010  #106
My great-grandma was also called busha by my mom. My mom agrees with the differentiation of babcia for father's mother and busha for mother's mother.
skysoulmate 14 | 1,292    
27 Apr 2010  #107
i've actually done some investigation about this dispute from several Polish Americans in the Chicago area, and Busia/Busha/Boosha are American "nicknames' for Polish grandmothers. Some of the people i spoke to said it came from a version of the Polish word for "kiss" (can't remember what it was). so Busia is just an American Polish nickname :)

Yeah, "buzia" means kiss and you could be right... Or it came from babusia and was shortened and Americanized to busha...

However, the word busha itself does not show up in the Polish dictionary... However, I haven't looked up the Polish / Chicago-Polish dictionary yet... LOL

-----

My great-grandma was also called busha by my mom. My mom agrees with the differentiation of babcia for father's mother and busha for mother's mother.

Awesome, your mom just invented a new language then... ;) Let's call it Pobushki...

PS. So is grandfather on father's side called dziadek and on mother's side dzusha in this Pobushkim language? Just checkin' ;)
pierogi7    
7 May 2010  #108
We always call my grandmother Bapcińô (BAHP-chyeh), but I'm not sure if that's standard.
1jola 14 | 1,883    
7 May 2010  #109
Babciu. The U pronnounced like the English OO.

say.expressivo.com/ewa/Babciu
recent babcia    
12 Aug 2010  #110
- the Polish word for grandmother is "babcia", you pronounce it [BAHP-chah] - "ch" as in "China", "ah" as "a" in "father".
ProudPoleAmer    
23 Aug 2010  #111
Yes, Dziadzi (pronounced Jah-jee) is what I called my mother's father (I never knew my paternal grandparents - they died before I was born), and hence what my children called my father. I called my maternal grandmother "Busia" (pronouned Boo-shah), and my children also called my mother "Busia."

Both my maternal and paternal grandparents immigrated here from Poland and settled on the south side/south suburbs of Chicago in Polish neigborhoods. My Busia never learned much English. So the theory that the word "Busia" came from another language is highly unlikely. Also, my mother used to say that "Babcia" meant "old lady," so that's why she preferred to be called "Busia."

As far as the Busia vs. Babcia (or any other word you may use for grandmother) debate, does it really matter which is the "correct" Polish word? As long as the grandmother is happy with what she is called and it is not an offensive term, then I don't see what the big deal is. Is anybody really going to stop calling their grandmother Busia or Babci or Babka or whatever you call her and start calling her "Babcia" just because it might be the "proper" Polish word? I don't think so.

There are many different regional dialects in Poland. Can't Polish-Americans have a Polish dialect of their own??

Sorry, I forgot to mention in my post above that I was replying to NPosuniak's quote below:

Anyone ever hear dziadzi (without the last a)? I think that's what my father's grandfather was called in our family.

delphiandomine 86 | 16,553    
24 Aug 2010  #112
the "proper" Polish word? I don't think so.

Sure, you can call her what you want. But it's not the right word for "Grandmother", no matter what you call her. And certainly don't attempt to tell people that it is the right Polish word - because it's not.

Can't Polish-Americans have a Polish dialect of their own??

It's the dialect of uneducated peasants who had no ability to succeed in the 2nd Polish Republic. It's no surprise that many of the American-Polish words are from people who lived in the Russian part of occupied Poland - essentially, peasants.

So the theory that the word "Busia" came from another language is highly unlikely.

It more than likely came from some dialect in the East that was heavily influenced by Russian and somehow "stuck" among the Polish immigrant community in America.

However, if you ask me, shame on the immigrants for not even using their own language correctly. You certainly won't find "Busha" among the works of Mickiewicz!
BookOwl - | 22    
29 Aug 2010  #113
formerly ProudPoleAmer

don't attempt to tell people that it is the right Polish word - because it's not.

Oh, I wouldn't dream of it! (Not that anyone in my family would care, anyway.) You are a very strong defender of the purity of the Polish language, considering you're not even Polish, nor do you speak Polish (not very well, anyway, according to your profile). Why is that, if you don't mind my asking?

shame on the immigrants for not even using their own language correctly

You just said they were "uneducated peasants!" How could they be expected to use their language correctly? They probably didn't even know the correct word for grandmother.

It's the dialect of uneducated peasants who had no ability to succeed in the 2nd Polish Republic.

It more than likely came from some dialect in the East that was heavily influenced by Russian and somehow "stuck" among the Polish immigrant community in America.

Okay, let me see if I understand what you are saying:

- There is a Polish-American dialect.
- It likely came from a dialect in the East that was heavily influenced by Russian.
- The "uneducated peasants who had no ability to succeed in the 2nd Polish Republic" brought it to America with them.

- Let us take a look at each item and try to determine if it is true:

- There is a Polish-American dialect. - Well, a native Polish speaker would have to listen in on a conversation in a Polish-American home or place of business (where Polish is spoken) to determine the veracity of this statment. Or, we could ask a linguist, I suppose. I think given the fact that many different words are used for grandmother in Polish-American as opposed to the correct word being "Babcia" in Polish (and there are sure to be many other words like this), it is safe to assume that there is indeed a Polish-American dialect.

- It likely came from a dialect in the East that was heavily influenced by Russian. - Whoa, now horsie! How did you make the jump from the fact that there is a Polish-American dialect to the idea that it likely came from a dialect in the East that was influenced by Russian? Is it just because Busia and Babushka (the Russian word for grandmother) are similar words? You obviously can't base a theory on just one word. Hmmm, if the Polish-American dialect was influenced by this dialect in the East, one could go to the East and study the dialect of the people there. Then go to America and study the Polish-American dialect there, and see if there are any similarities. Then your theory might be proven (or not). Without any proof, however, it is just a bunch of hot air.

- The "uneducated peasants who had no ability to succeed in the 2nd Polish Republic" brought it to America with them.- Okay, there are some major problems with this statement. First, how do you know ALL the immigrants were uneducated peasants? We need proof to believe this. Second, how do you know they had no ability to succeed in the 2nd Polish Republic? Do you have a list of all the immigrants' occupations? Third, and this is a BIGGIE, not all the immigrants came to America during the 2nd Polish Republic! (I presume you mean between the years 1918 - 1939.) In fact, the majority of them did not come during this time. My grandparents came to the US in the early 1900's.

It's no surprise that many of the American-Polish words are from people who lived in the Russian part of occupied Poland - essentially, peasants.

Once again, where is your proof? Do you have census records or anything? Have you visited Polish-Americans in the USA? Have you ever even been to the USA? My grandparents were from the Austrian-occupied part of Poland (southeast/south-central).
Patrycja19 63 | 2,702    
29 Aug 2010  #114
if you ask me, shame on the immigrants for not even using their own language correctly.

are you talking about your immigrant ancestors? the british came here long before the
polish did and it was your immigrant ancestors English that they picked up on.

but your immigrant ancestors didnt like your king, or nothing about your country, maybe
thats why there is variations. cause if someone over here said hey, can I have a fag,
well, lets just say eyes would turn.
Aus reader    
30 Aug 2010  #115
I'm from Melbourne Australia.
My grandparents are from Bydgoszcz and at the end of the war found themselves in Linz (Austria)

My nan is Babcia - pronounced "Bubcha"
My late grandfather is Dzia Dzia (or Dzja Dzja?) - pronounced "Jar Jar"
My aunty is Basia pronounced - "Bahsha" and is Barbara in English.

We're then only family in Australia with my surname... £acny.
I would be interested to here from anyone with the same surname!
BookOwl - | 22    
3 Sep 2010  #116
southeast

Oops, sorry. This was supposed to say "southwest", not "southeast." My mistake. I believe the southeast part of Poland was then occupied by Ukraine. Somebody please correct me if I'm wrong.

<<sheepish grin>>

if someone over here said hey, can I have a fag,
well, lets just say eyes would turn.

He he, that's for sure! :-)
delphiandomine 86 | 16,553    
26 Oct 2010  #117
We're then only family in Australia with my surname... £acny.

And this is the one big difference between the redneck American Polonia and the Polonia throughout the world - the American Polonia can't even use their own name correctly!
polishmama 3 | 280    
17 Dec 2010  #118
polishmamaontheprairie.blogspot.com/2010/12/polish-grandmother-babcia-busia-buzia.html

It's not a social class thing, it's a generational & American vs. Polish thing...
skysoulmate 14 | 1,292    
18 Dec 2010  #119
There are many different regional dialects in Poland. Can't Polish-Americans have a Polish dialect of their own??

I'd see your point if they simply pronounced Polish words differently. However "busia" was never a Polish word, it's broken Polish at best. If you're gonna use that word then you should call the grandfather djusia or something similar.

-------

It's not a social class thing, it's a generational & American vs. Polish thing...

Polishmama - a few corrections are in order.

Polish Grandmother: Babusia, Babunia, Babcia (don't forget the "a"), Baba, Mama, etc are words I'm familiar with.

Buzia means mouth or kiss, never grandmother. Busza or Babusza might be Russian but it certainly isn't Polish.

Busia, Busza, Babusza, Bubi, Buba, Busha, Booboo must be AmeroPolEnglish influenced by Russian. LOL

I struggle with Polish as I was a kid when we moved but personally I'd rather not use the Polish language at all then use some kind of pig-Latin Polish version. Germans and Russians are very proud of their languages and I think Poles and those with Polish ancestry should be too. Endorsing "broken Polish" words is equivalent to a affirming a Polish version of Ebonics, a pretend Polish language. Just my thoughts on it. YMMV.
polishmama 3 | 280    
20 Dec 2010  #120
Polishmama - a few corrections are in order.

:) The blog post actually discusses which is the correct one 1. used by Poles 2. is in polish dictionary and also discusses the other American variations and why they are incorrect.

Yes, the correct one is Babcia.

Endorsing "broken Polish" words is equivalent to a affirming a Polish version of Ebonics, a pretend Polish language.

I completely agree. It's great to keep your heritage alive, it's wonderful. But I do suggest that whatever someone's heritage is, they read about it in it's correct and current form and appreciate that when someone who is directly from there, they might know a little more. Just like a Parisian would know more about French culture than I, who's grandmother lived there for a couple of years, and I speak a bit of French and went once for the summer and I don't get upset about it.



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