In English, it’s names like Mavis, Gertrude, Esther, Mildred, Phyllis, Agnes or Winnifred that we associate with the older fuddy duddy generations of bifocal spectacles and zimmer frames. Arabic is no exception in naming fashion and lends its own idiosyncratic counterparts to this trend. There are a distinct set of names, once popular, that evoke a whince, a grimace or even a sigh of relief from the teenagers of today that they dodged the naming bullet. These classic Granny names are being consigned to the ‘old school’ and the preserve of the senior citizens. 
Arabic has its share of clunky or harsh-sounding heavy-handed names for the ladies. These are the Teta names -- great aunt or grandmothers’ names that have elicited a chuckle or gasp of horror and left us thanking our lucky stars or parents that these mortifying monikers are a dying breed. Sometimes their meanings are even more laugh-out-loud than how they sound -- which can be quite an earful.
Even though your own grandma’s name undoubtedly brings back warm gooey associations brimming with tireless tenderness, home-cooked food, and fierce smacker kisses and some cheek pinching, her name may not be as adorable as she is. As much as we all love our grandmas and their outpouring of affection, taking their name for posterity might not be our preferred way to immortalize their legacy.
It’s harder to dodge that name bullet as an Arab saddled with the sacred duty to keep the elders of the family alive in the names of their grandchildren. For the men of the family, there is a strict naming tradition -- the elder son must name his firstborn son after his father. For the women who inherit their Teta’s title, it’s less law more habit born out of fondness, and quite commonplace.
Although the retro Western name is making a comeback , (welcome Audrey and Dorris) we doubt the same will be said of some of these Arabic classics. While our great grandparents’ monikers are still being resurrected beyond the granite head tombstone, the editors at Al Bawaba would prefer to avoid these staid names and never promote their comeback.
So let the name nightmare begin-- we love you teta, just not your name! Here are 14 Grandma names that you're mortified you've been given or glad you've dodged. Delve into our cross section of Teta tags, some more obscure than others, others so overbearing they should be obsolete and certainly stay off the birth certificate! Remember parents, if tempted by any of these classics, beware of the playground bullies or of sentencing your little lady to singledom, or worse still surrendering her to those boys who want to marry their mammas.
However appalling the appellations, the overwhelming association with our own Granny names is one of endearment and highest esteem, so keeping the name-bashing in good spirit, take your chortle with a pinch of reverence!
Got any others we've missed out? Your own great grandmas' loveable gems perhaps? Do tell in the comment space below!