Entries linking to grandparent
a special use of grand (adj.) in genealogical compounds, originally with the sense of "a generation older than," first attested c. 1200, in Anglo-French graund dame "grandmother," also grandsire (late 13c.), from such use of Old French grand-, which perhaps is modeled on Latin avunculus magnus "great uncle." The partly-Englished grandmother, grandfather are from 15c. Other such words in European languages are formed with the adjectives for "old" or "best" (Danish bedstefar) or as diminutives or pet names (Greek pappos, Welsh taid). The French formation also is the model for such words in German and Dutch. Spanish abuelo is from Latin avus "grandfather" (from PIE *awo- "adult male relative other than the father;" see uncle), via Vulgar Latin *aviolus, a diminutive or adjective substitution for the noun.
The extension of the sense to corresponding relationships of descent, "a generation younger than" (grandson, granddaughter) is from Elizabethan times. The inherited PIE root, *nepot- "grandchild" (see nephew) has shifted to "nephew; niece" in English and other languages (Spanish nieto, nieta). Old English used suna sunu ("son's son"), dohtor sunu ("son's daughter").
early 15c. (late 12c. as a surname), "a mother or father; a forebear, ancestor," from Old French parent "father, parent, relative, kin" (11c.) and directly from Latin parentem (nominative parens) "father or mother, ancestor," noun use of present participle of parire "bring forth, give birth to, produce," from PIE root *pere- (1) "to produce, bring forth." Began to replace native elder after c. 1500.
updated on April 13, 2015