35 Sweet Alternatives to 'Grandma' & 'Grandpa'

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When NeNe Leakes revealed she's a grandmother to little Bri'asia, she told Ellen DeGeneres she has a "glambaby." So what does that make her? A "Glamma," of course! Think it's only NeNe? Nope. Grandma and Grandpa are soooo '90s! Today's grandkids have moved on big-time -- and there are so many sweet, alternative names they've opted to use for their grandparents. Searching for a perfect name for your kiddo to call your parents or your in-laws? Here's what other families say works for them (and why):

Grandparents with grandchild
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  • 1. and 2. Oma and Opa -- We're of German descent, so these Germanic terms for grandparents are a perfect fit.

    3. Mega -- Apparently my brother's tongue couldn't figure out how to pronounce grandma, so we stuck with "Mega."

    4. Granddaddy -- My husband is from the South, and this is a pretty common way to refer to a grandfather down there.

    5. Mawa -- When I was little I couldn't say Grandma, so it came out "Mawa"! My whole family calls her that too. I could never imagine calling her anything different!

    6. Giggy -- Giggy is what my daughter came up with when she first started talking, and it just stuck!

    7. Puppa -- I think I didn't have an easy time saying "Grandpa," so I used "Puppa." We were hopelessly devoted to each other, so I never stopped calling him that, even in public, like a sap.

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  • 8. Mom-Mom -- Mom-Mom was super young looking and very pretty. I don't think she ever wanted to admit that she was grandma age. She was 72 when she died, but she looked 50.

    9. Grandmother [First Name] -- It's a little formal, but it works for us!

    10. and 11. Ama and Akon -- My wife's parents are both Asian, one each from Korea and Japan.

    12. Nonny (Nonnie) - This is what all East Coast Italian grandmas are called.

    13. Mé-Mé -- My granddaughter couldn't say Grammy when she was young so she called me Mé-Mé -- and it stuck.

    14. Gee -- I wanted my granddaughter to call me Grammy, but when she was really little, I guess she just heard the G and the EEEE, so she called me Gee (pronounced Ghee), and she still does. It's so special to me.


  • 15. Mawmaw -- My friends call their grandma in Tennessee Mamaw -- I think it's a Southern thing.

    16. Yaya -- I have a friend who has no Greek roots at all but her mom didn’t want to be called Grandma -- so they call her Yaya (Greek for grandma).

    17. Mumzie -- We called our grandmother Mumzie!

    18. and 19. Grams and Papa -- My kids call my parents Grams and Papa -- my parents chose!

    20. Mimi -- My oldest cousin couldn't say "ma mere" when he was little and our grandmother was trying to teach him to say my mother in French. Mimi stuck.

    21. Dedushka -- It's Russian -- the male equivalent of Babushka. My father-in-law picked it, not because he is Russian in any way, though he studied the language a little, but just because he wanted to be different, had some bad associations with some of the standard choices, and/or they were already taken by other grandparents of his grandkids. My family is the only one that actually pronounces it the Russian way (roughly "dyey-doosh-ka") because my wife studied Russian, and have taught our kids to. Everyone else gave up instantly and they call him some variant of "Dooshka."


  • 22. and 23. Baba and Lala -- My daughter came up with them.

    24. GG -- I had a great-aunt Mary who was a pisser, and her grandchildren called her "GG" for short, of course, for Gorgeous Grandma.. 

    25. Ma -- My husband's family calls their grandmother Ma, and our kids call her that now. 

    26. Wang -- I have always called my grandmother Wang, or Grandma Wang, and she would always sign my cards "Love, Wangy."

    27. Hammy -- My Mom wanted to be "Grammy," but my niece couldn't say that. So she named her "Hammy." And it stuck!

    28. Nandy -- My mom is Nandy. There was a miniseries out some decades ago called A Woman of Substance and the grandma figure was Grandy. Nandy just morphed from there.

    More from CafeMom: 5 Ways to Deal With Crazy Grandparents


  • 29. and 30. Lolo and Lala -- They're traditional Filipino names.

    31. G-Top -- My dad decided when my daughter was learning to talk that if the OTHER grandpa was going to be "Pop," then HE was going to be "J-Pop" (his last name starts with a J). He told my daughter "just call me J-Pop." She nodded and said, "OK, G-Top!" Try as we might, we could NOT get her to say "J-Pop," it always came out "G-Top." It was hysterically cute. So "G-Top" he was, for years until it gradually phased into just "G."

    32. Grannie -- My kids call my mother-in-law Grannie, because she said, "I'm too young to be a grandmother." Even though my husband was the same age she was when she started having kids!

    33. Meme -- My daughter calls her grandmother Meme because we're French Canadian. 

    34. Nanu -- Nona (Italian grandma) turned to Nanu because my daughter just always would say it that way.

    35. Pop -- My dad wanted to be Pop as that is what his dad and many of the people from where he is from in Philadelphia are called.