to be exempted from a rule


grandfathered = von einer Neuregelung ausgenommen sein; unter Bestandsschutz



"EBA issues Opinion to address possible infection risk stemming from legacy instruments. The European Banking Authority (EBA) issued today an Opinion to clarify the prudential treatment of the so-called ‘legacy instruments” in view of the end of the GRANDFATHERING period on 31 December 2021."

Franca Rosa Congiu - The European Banking Authority (21st October 2020)

“A Deadline for Grandfathered Weapons. Most gun owners are law-abiding citizens. They should know that assault weapons that were essentially GRANDFATHERED in by the new law must be registered to make them legal."

New York Times - Editorial Board (14th April 2014)

Did you


- to exempt (one involved in an activity or business) from new regulations

The American Heritage Dictionary


The term “grandfathering” has its origins in the United States and was first used in the late 1800s. Its precise origin is uncertain, but it is believed to have emerged in the American South during the post-Civil War era.

The term likely comes from a practice that was common in Southern states in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, whereby individuals who were able to vote before the enactment of new voting laws were exempt from the new requirements. This was often because the new laws, such as literacy tests or poll taxes, were designed to prevent African Americans from voting, and the grandfather clause was a way to exempt poor and illiterate white voters from the new requirements while still disenfranchising black voters.

Over time, the term “grandfathering” came to be used more broadly to refer to any situation where existing rights or privileges are preserved when new rules or regulations are introduced.


- Building codes: New building codes may require certain safety features or construction methods, but existing buildings that do not meet the new standards may be “grandfathered” in and allowed to continue operating as they are.

- Zoning laws: Changes to zoning laws may prohibit certain types of land use, but existing properties that were used for those purposes before the changes may be “grandfathered” in and allowed to continue operating.

- Professional licensing: New professional licensing requirements may be implemented, but individuals who were practicing in the field before the new rules may be “grandfathered” in and allowed to continue working without meeting the new requirements.

- Education requirements: Changes to educational requirements for certain professions or programs may be implemented, but students who are already enrolled or have completed their studies may be “grandfathered” in and allowed to complete their education without meeting the new requirements.

- Immigration policies: Changes to immigration policies may affect the eligibility criteria for certain visas or immigration statuses, but individuals who were already in the process of applying before the changes may be “grandfathered” in and allowed to continue their applications under the previous criteria.


- to waive a rule, law or regulation, typically under certain conditions

ancestral exemption (protection), antecedent concession (safeguard, waiver), continuity clause, continuing privilege, dinosaur rights provision, enduring status, established exceptionality (immunity, privilege), GRANDFATHER STATUS, historical continuity (exception, exemption, preservation), inherited immunity (right), legacy allowance (continuation, protection), lineage immunity (loophole), long-standing benefit, precedent exception (preservation), pre-existing right (status), seniority benefit, time-honoured exception, traditional exception

SMUGGLE OWAD into an English conversation, say something like:

“Instead of ‘GRANDFATHERING’ how about ‘ Seniority Shield’ or 'Time-Travel Pass' as creative alternatives?”

THANKS to Sigrid and Walter for suggesting today’s word!

HERZLICHEN DANK to all readers helping me keep OWAD alive with single or monthly donations.

Every month, I spend evening and weekend hours with my family researching and writing your daily OWAD. It remains FREE, AD-free, and ALIVE thanks to voluntary donations from appreciative readers.

If you aren’t already, please also consider supporting us - even the equivalent of a single cup of coffee a month will help us cover mailing, site hosting, and maintenance costs. Just head over to DonorBox:

or bank transfer to Paul Smith
IBAN: DE75 7316 0000 0002 5477 40

Thank you,

More Word Quizzes: