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I just wrapped up Fool's Fate and am having withdraws, lol. One part of the book that goes unanswered (unless I overlooked it) is where thick greets the black man as "grandfather." I would love to hear some feedback about what that might mean.
Hmmm not sure if I remember that part. But I'm guessing he's referring to how old he looks?
Oh, I honestly think he was just showing respect to the elder and probably getting a flashback of his own grandfather. Having such a simple mind that is complex in such an odd way, he probabloy connected that they were both old, and probably had some other shared characteristic, and called him Grandfater.
I think Beloved is right. Thick has a childlike mind and children tend to say whatever first comes to their mind. No filter.
In some places "Grandfather" and "Grandmother" are used as terms of address for older people. For example, in Russia it seems normal to address any elderly woman as "Babushka" (Grandmother). Perhaps it works similarly in the Six Duchies.
I agree with maulkin on this one. At another point, I can't remember where, Fitz addresses a woman he meets "Old Mother". It fits very well with the languages I'm familiar with (a lot).