Some etymologists say it actually is Irish from the original word “papar,” which means father. Other word experts say it is a variation of “pawpaw,” the squishy fruit that grows on trees in the hills or perhaps from “papa,” like in Italy and other European countries.
One of my young grandsons said recently that “papaw” means a person with silver hair and a boat.
As for me, I hope to live up to the saying that grandparents hold our tiny hands for just a little while but hold our hearts forever.
Keith Kappes is a columnist for The Morehead (Ky.) News. Contact him at kkappes@ cnhe.com.