Discussion Forum

Please consider registering

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —

— Match —

— Forum Options —

Minimum search word length is 4 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
verb: to grandfather in
verb not in dictionary
Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Forum Posts: 488
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Here’s a common verb that’s not in dictionary: they say that the FAA grandfathered in Boeing 787 planes built before 2008, the year they started certification guidelines for lithium-ion batteries on new planes.  

It is also often said that employees’ benefits plans set up before certain dates are grandfathered in when the company changes policies.

It’s funny how a usage can make no logical sense and sneak into the language not needing any permission or explanation.

Or was there an established history of this usage?


ok, there is history, rooted in ‘older’ southern voters


Forum Posts: 447
Member Since:
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Aha! you changed your post while I was looking it up. Merriam-Webster shows it as a verb from at least 1953.

Fort Worth, TX
Forum Posts: 435
Member Since:
sp_UserOnlineSmall Online

This does make logical sense to me.   In a family, the grandfather may have rules that he lives by but time and different situations have made the current generation change his rules somewhat to fit their own lives. Grandfather, however, refuses to give up the rules he has used all his life. If this has not happened in your family it is very easy to imagine because that is the way grandfathers and grandmothers are. (I speak as a grandfather myself.)

It is then easy to see how this same dynamic can apply outside of the family. A group has lived by and with a rule for many years and to change it would be a hardship for that group but the larger population sees a need to change for the future so they allow the old group to continue with their rule either for a fixed period or infinitely. Everyone else must be governed by the new rule.

It compares directly with the family situation.

Forum Timezone: America/Los_Angeles

Most Users Ever Online: 1147

Currently Online: Dick
2 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Top Posters:

Heimhenge: 958

Ron Draney: 684

Bob Bridges: 680

deaconB: 625

RobertB: 489

Robert: 488

tromboniator: 447

Dick: 435

samaphore: 312

dilettante: 287

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 611

Members: 3071

Moderators: 1

Admins: 5

Forum Stats:

Groups: 1

Forums: 1

Topics: 3393

Posts: 18013

Newest Members: mr_ochie, jayelgee, MrsDrSanders, CharleneTX, KimfrmKanada, hi.dee, RickLight, Bellevance, jkrosenbaum, Toni Caputo

Administrators: Martha Barnette: 820, Grant Barrett: 1445, EmmettRedd: 777, Glenn: 1719, timfelten: 0