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June 4, 2009 4:15 PM   Subscribe

I have a young nephew and a young niece by proxy. What can they call me? Names, pronunciaton and alliteration inside!

My first name is Amanda and I really dislike the alliteration and overall sound of "Aunt Amanda". I've been trying to come up with something else for them to call me, but I'm not getting anywhere.

I'm not a Mandy and my only nickname is Amy, which doesn't help the alliteration problem. In our family, we've always just used "Aunt + first name", so I don't have any real knowledge of other options for aunts.

What do you call your Aunt Amanda? Suggestions from those without an Aunt Amanda also welcome. :)
posted by youngergirl44 to Human Relations (46 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
Auntie Manda? (I pronounce aunt "ahnt" not "ant" so maybe that makes a difference)
posted by tristeza at 4:18 PM on June 4, 2009

I had an Aunt Eileen. I always thought the alliteration was really nice.
posted by puckish at 4:19 PM on June 4, 2009

Response by poster: Oh, pronunciation, duh... My family has always said "ant" instead of "ont" or "ahnt". I think changing the pronunciaton for just me may be seen as kinda bougie by some members of the family.
posted by youngergirl44 at 4:22 PM on June 4, 2009

My dad hates being "grandad" (or any variation) so he asked us to call him after the nickname of his favorite basketball player. It's a bizarre thing to call one's father, even more bizarre to hear coming out of the mouth of a 4-year-old grandchild. But it works for everyone and it's a story! Got any sports or entertainment idols you wouldn't mind using as a nickname?
posted by socratic at 4:23 PM on June 4, 2009

As I see it, you have three choices. From what you've said, I don't think you'll find any of them really appealing.

1. Break with family tradition by dropping the "aunt" designation and asking the children to simply call you "Amanda".

2. Select a non-A nickname that only the children to use when addressing you. This sets a precedent whereby the next generation in your family will know you by a name very different than what everyone else calls you.

3. Get accustomed to the alliteration (or at least try not to let the children see you cringe).

I suppose there's always a possibility that you or some wonderful MeFi'er will generate a nickname that you totally love and will want everyone to use. I can't imagine what that nickname would be, but I truly believe a MeFi'er will do it if it can be done.
posted by DrGail at 4:28 PM on June 4, 2009

All my nieces and nephews call me by my first name. Works for me.
posted by Neiltupper at 4:29 PM on June 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Maybe another language? If-and-when my sister or I have kids, my parents are almost definitely going to be "Opa" and "Oma," from the German. Maybe you can be Tia Amanda, or Tante Amanda?
posted by Tomorrowful at 4:29 PM on June 4, 2009

Double A
posted by Confess, Fletch at 4:29 PM on June 4, 2009

How about Auntie Amanda? The "ie" helps round out the phrase a bit. Works with the "antie" pronunciation best.

Even "Auntie Amy" sounds good if you use that nickname with any frequency.
posted by barnone at 4:29 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Just tossing this out there. In my family, for some reason, wives of uncles (I've only got uncles) are just called by their first names. You refer to this "proxy" situation. Maybe you could go that route? Just be called Amanda?
posted by Richat at 4:30 PM on June 4, 2009

Would just plain old "Amanda" be terrible?
posted by If only I had a penguin... at 4:31 PM on June 4, 2009

I have a family nickname that is something like "mona" because little kids couldn't pronounce my full name. Maybe "mondo" or "manda" or even "nanda" would work for yours?
posted by barnone at 4:31 PM on June 4, 2009

I have two aunts whose names begin with the letter A. I just use their names.
posted by cmgonzalez at 4:32 PM on June 4, 2009

(As in Aunt A______.)
posted by cmgonzalez at 4:33 PM on June 4, 2009

I like the sound of both 'Anti-Amy' and 'Anti-Manda.'

Note "Auntie" and never "Aunt". This'll work fine until they're 30.
posted by rokusan at 4:34 PM on June 4, 2009

Best answer: They're gonna call you what ever they want to call you. My family always tries to pick cool names for grandmother, grandfathers, aunts and uncles and they never stick. Kids make up their own versions. I'd stick with "Aunt Amanda" with the almost certain assumption that the little brats will bastardize it anyway.

When I was a kid, I used to run family member's names together into one word or replace the names with words I liked better. Aunt Inez = Auntnez. and Granddaddy = Baddaddy. I'd have called you "Auntmanda (like the bug)" or (even better) "Aunt Panda." My newphew by proxy calls me "Auntie (like the bug)" but my real neices and nephews just use my first name. There's very little rhyme or reason.

Personal preference: I kind of like the sound of Auntie Amanda, (like the bug). It's got a nice cadence.
posted by dchrssyr at 4:40 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

posted by speedo at 4:42 PM on June 4, 2009 [4 favorites]

I like Aunt Amy and Aunt Mandy personally (:

Or just vanilla "Amy", "Amanda", "Mandy", whatever.
posted by Precision at 4:48 PM on June 4, 2009

I'd go by first name alone, or invent a new nickname. Like...Tamie! (from Aunt Amy).
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 4:50 PM on June 4, 2009

They're gonna call you what ever they want to call you.

Yeah. I'm an Amanda too and when one of my best friends had twins (and decided I would be referred to as an aunt), I decided to go by Aunt Mandy rather than Aunt Amanda because I thought it would be easier for them to say when they started talking. And even though the kids' parents have always referred to me as Aunt Mandy to them (the kids are 6 now), they almost always just call me Amanda.
posted by amro at 5:01 PM on June 4, 2009

posted by reflecked at 5:03 PM on June 4, 2009 [1 favorite]

Response by poster: @richat - I say by proxy because the niece is my from my SO's family. We're not married, but have been together long enough that his family started referring to me as "Aunt Amanda" as soon as the baby was born.

@dchrssyr - I actually hope that the kids bastardize my name. I think that's one of the more endearing qualities in children. I'd just like to start with something I'm comfortable with and let the kids take it from there.
posted by youngergirl44 at 5:03 PM on June 4, 2009

Am-Auntie, pronounced like "Ah Monty"
posted by sandra_s at 5:08 PM on June 4, 2009

Auntie Mandy or Auntie Manda. It doesn't matter if you don't like it; it'll be cute as all get out coming from little tiny scrumptious baby people. (Actually, you'll probably get called Auy Anda first, but that will be cute too.)
posted by DarlingBri at 5:10 PM on June 4, 2009

Why not Miss Amanda? We were raised never to call adults by their first name, so any close friends of the family were Miss or Mr Firstname. It was not at all formal for us, and I still refer to some of my mom's friends that way.
posted by parkerjackson at 5:16 PM on June 4, 2009

I have an Aunt-like-the-bug Amy, and it's never seemed icky-sounding to me.

I have a stuffed bear called Amanda The Panda, so I'm nthing Aunt Panda for sentimental reasons.
posted by coppermoss at 5:23 PM on June 4, 2009

Auntie Am? Almost like Dorothy's Auntie Em?

I was always called Auntie Kris by my nieces and nephews, so much that their friends who had known me all of their lives also called me that. One day I'm over visiting a nephew, now mid-20s age, one of his friends was also hanging out. I guess it had never occured to this guy that I was being called, "Auntie Kris". He had been calling me "Annie-Kris" all these years.
posted by Jazz Hands at 5:31 PM on June 4, 2009 [2 favorites]

Tia Manda

Don't drop the "Aunt"-type title, it helps kids navigate the world to have subsets of adults.
posted by kristymcj at 5:36 PM on June 4, 2009

Adam Ant
Madam Adama
Taun Damana
posted by rikschell at 5:52 PM on June 4, 2009

I referred to my aunts and uncles the same way my parents talked to them at home. And they talked about them by first names only, so that's how I talked to them. They, of course, referred to (and still do when emailing me) themselves as "Auntie So-and-So" or "Uncle Whatnot," but I think my parents' influence was what won out in the end.
posted by katillathehun at 6:17 PM on June 4, 2009

How about Miss Amanda? Where I live, kids are taught to call close adult friends of the family Miss or Mr. Firstname. Or you could just not worry about it - I have an Aunt Ann, and the alliteration thing never bothered us.
posted by Daily Alice at 6:40 PM on June 4, 2009

When my sister and both sisters-in-law were pregnant for the first time (wild coincidence) my mom and dad started to think of what they wanted to be called. My grandparents were Boppy (from the German, I think) and Dot (short for Dorothy) on one side and Bopo (I don't know from where, he died before I was born) and Mimi on the other side.

My mom decided that she wanted to be, simply, "Grandma." This was odd to me, because we'd never ourselves used that to refer to our own grandmothers. We'd always just called them our grandmothers (or else used the nicknames.) My father decided, instead of Grampa or Granddad, he had a better idea: Uncle Steve.

My mom won out, and my dad is now Grampa, but the idea is still there that this is your own thing to choose. Think of it! The one time in your life where you get to pick your own nickname and not be a tool for doing so!

So use the "Aunt" part if you want, though if alliteration (or to be pedantic, actually assonance) drives you batty, you'll want to go with Mandy or something in this case. But for more fun, just think of a fun name that only the kids will ever call you, and use that. If it doesn't start with a vowel, you can use the Aunt part anyway.

That said, if I were in your position, I'd take a cue from Avenue Q, and go by "Amy Monster," which would be kind of awesome, if you think about it.

Unless you're not really good with the kids, in which case something else might work better.
posted by Navelgazer at 7:12 PM on June 4, 2009

Maybe "Aunt Manda?" The words seem to flow together (at least as I say it aloud), and as they age they'll come to recognize that between the "Ant" and "Manda" there is, in fact, another "A."
posted by MimeticHaHa at 7:30 PM on June 4, 2009


They know who you are, you know who they are, why the title?

None of my (more than a dozen) nieces and nephews use titles for me or my brothers or sisters.
posted by Ookseer at 9:28 PM on June 4, 2009

I'm a nanny and lots of the women I hang out with are Filipina. Consequently, all the little kids call the parents and nannies in our group "Tita" (pronounced "tee-tah") which means "aunt." There is a mom named Amy who is called Tita Amy by any kids not her own, and it sounds good to my ears.
posted by Felicity Rilke at 11:47 PM on June 4, 2009

I have an "Auntie Eileen", so when my nieces were born, I went with just a straight up "Auntie" (no other name, just "Auntie"). It stuck and I love it!
posted by Nutritionista at 3:54 AM on June 5, 2009

What is your ethnic descent? As recommended, you could go with a cultural variant on "aunt." For example, I'm italian-american, and I have heard other italian-americans call their aunts "zia".
posted by LouMac at 6:59 AM on June 5, 2009

Tia Amanda, which might end up pronounced Tia Manda. Tia is Spanish for aunt, and a term of endearment for non-family women.
posted by theora55 at 7:25 AM on June 5, 2009 [1 favorite]

I was going to suggest Adamantium, but I got beat to it. You'll either get serious street cred or be considered a total dork, depending on the interests of your niece and nephew, but it'll be unique and endearing either way.
posted by Phire at 8:14 AM on June 5, 2009

Do you have a middle name? How do you feel about it? How does "Aunt MiddleName" sound to you?
posted by trip and a half at 8:27 AM on June 5, 2009

Antietam (like the Civil War Battle)?
posted by carmicha at 10:12 AM on June 5, 2009

In my family, we pronounce my Aunt Ann's name & title in two different ways: Annie-Ann and Ann-Tan. We spell it properly, obviously.

I would suggest you go with the following pronunciations, again spelled properly:
Anta-Manta / Anta-Manda (I doubt the kids will be able to make the T then the D sound properly, so it WILL end up as Anta-Manta)
posted by samthemander at 12:28 PM on June 5, 2009

I called my aunts by their first names, but would at times call them Auntie Banana and Auntie Pinapple, charming child that I was.... This had me coming in to suggest Auntie Panda, and am gobsmacked to see I have been beaten to it, twice!

I have a niece-in-law, and in Swedish the word for aunt is "mothers sister", moster. Since I am a chick, and hitched to her mothers actual sister, I usually say that I am her monster when asked. She calls us both just baby-versions of our names.
posted by Iteki at 1:56 PM on June 5, 2009

Best answer: I call my uncles "uncle" followed by their first initial: Uncle J and Uncle K. I refer to Uncle K's wife in the more traditional way: Aunt her first name.

So, perhaps Aunt A might work? It's not *quite* an alliteration to my ear.
posted by Aleen at 2:21 PM on June 5, 2009

I have an Aunt Amanda. When she and my mom were growing up, she had an older family friend who was also named Amanda.

I refer to the former by her name only, as I do with all of my aunts and uncles on both sides. So she's Amanda, or more typically just Manda. Her sisters refer to her as Winna for some reason.

She referred to the older friend as Anamanda.
posted by Madamina at 3:35 PM on June 5, 2009

What about Amandaunt/Amandant? I second Auntie, as that's what my nephew calls me.
posted by wild like kudzu at 10:33 PM on June 5, 2009

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