Granny dumping


What's the meaning of the phrase 'Granny dumping'?

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The abandonment of elderly relatives by their carers.

What's the origin of the phrase 'Granny dumping'?

Coined in the US in the early 1990s when it was believed that elderly people were being deserted by their carers and left in hospitals etc. where the authorities would find them and take responsibility for them. The first record I can find of this phenomenon in print is from the Chicago Daily Herald, October 1991, in an opinion piece by Bart Lindeman:

“Granny-dumping” Hospital emergency room doctors report they’re beginning to see a pattern where old, frail and sick women and men are being left or abandoned. Sometimes there will be a note: “We can’t take care of her anymore”.

Trend of granny dumping in printed material over time

Gary Martin is a writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.

Gary Martin

Writer and researcher on the origins of phrases and the creator of the Phrase Finder website. Over the past 26 years more than 700 million of his pages have been downloaded by readers. He is one of the most popular and trusted sources of information on phrases and idioms.