Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online

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The term grandparents (French grand-parents, Ger. Großeltern) as a compound noun is attested in German since the 16th century [1. 532]. It was probably created by analogy to the terms grandfather and grandmother, already found in 12th-century texts. Initially, though, grandparents was used as a general term for ancestors, like Old High German ano and ana (cf. Ger. AhnAhnin). Not until the 18th century was the range of meanings restricted to the parents of one’s parents. Unlike many older Germanic kinship terms (e.g. OheimOnkel, uncle), the term does not di…

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Gestrich, Andreas, “Grandparents”, in: Encyclopedia of Early Modern History Online, Editors of the English edition: Graeme Dunphy, Andrew Gow. Original German Edition: Enzyklopädie der Neuzeit. Im Auftrag des Kulturwissenschaftlichen Instituts (Essen) und in Verbindung mit den Fachherausgebern herausgegeben von Friedrich Jaeger. Copyright © J.B. Metzlersche Verlagsbuchhandlung und Carl Ernst Poeschel Verlag GmbH 2005–2012. Consulted online on 03 October 2023 <http://dx.doi.org/10.1163/2352-0272_emho_SIM_020461>
First published online: 2015
First print edition: 20180915

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