This is a cultural question for those with Ukraine/Bessarabia roots. My
grandparents would lovingly call toddlers in the family: "mamzer" and "vantz". I
began using these terms for my grandchildren until I looked them up in a
Yiddish dictionary and saw they mean "illegitimate child" and "bedbug"
respectively. I am wondering if others grew up hearing these words and if
so, if someone can explain the cultural connotation of using these words
in an affectionate manner.
Mogilev, Kishenev, Orgeyev: TOBACK, STOLER