35 Sweet Alternatives to 'Grandma' & 'Grandpa'

Hot List 171

picture of a grandma and grandsonLeave it to NeNe Leakes to throw out the gauntlet to fabulous grandparents everywhere. The Real Housewives of Atlanta star revealed last year that she's a grandmother to little Bri'asia. But NeNe is not a Grandma. Uh uh!

The Housewife turned actress on The New Normal told Ellen DeGeneres she has a "glambaby." So what does that make her? A "Glamma," of course!

Think it's only NeNe? Oh dolls, Grandma and Grandpa are soooo '90s! Today's kids have moved on big time!

NeNe's "Glamma" is just the tip of the iceberg. 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):

More from The Stir: 5 Ways to Deal With Crazy Grandparents

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.

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 that 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" 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 mini series out some decades ago called A Woman of Substance and the Grandma figure was Grandy. Nandy just morphed from there.

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.

What do Grandma and Grandpa go in your neck of the woods?


Image via Corbis

being a mom


To add a comment, please log in with

Use Your CafeMom Profile

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Join CafeMom or Log in to your CafeMom account. CafeMom members can keep track of their comments.

Comment As a Guest

Guest comments are moderated and will not appear immediately.

ms_da... ms_danielle_j

I call my grandma "grammy" :) I love glam-ma though because my grammy so does not look like anyone's grammy!

purpl... purpleflower514

My friends call their grandma "Nainie". "Nain" is the welsh word for grandmother and when the older sister was a toddler she called her Nainie and it just stuck. So cute.

tbruc... tbrucemom

My son called my mother "Gamma" because he couldn't say grandma.

nekoy... nekoyukidoll

I use to call my mom's parents Mimi and Papa as well and now my nephew calls my dad Papa now.  A family friend's grandson calls her g-mama,  Plus, I always thought it was cute what Sheldon in the BBT calls his grandma, Meemaw

nonmember avatar CrystalMP

My mom and dad are meemaw and Papa and thats what I called my moms parents. My dads mom was called nannie sue because she thought she was too young to be called grandma which is what my husbands mom thinks too so she tried to get my kids to call her gigi that didnt stick tho they still call her grandma

Think... ThinkSnow

Nene's son isn't even married to the baby mama.   I'm not old but when I have a grandchild I will be proud to be called grammy.

nonmember avatar AJMMK

My mom is "Nia" (Nee-ya). She was going to be "Nana" but my oldest son called her Nia because he couldn't say Nana. He is the oldest grandchild and the other grandkids followed suit. My kids are now 12 and 11 and still call her Nia and I'm sure they always will. :) My dad is Papaw ... and that's what I called my grandfather, too.

CPN322 CPN322

Grammy & Popsy and Bammie & Pappy.

Jenna Beltran

we had Pappap on my mothers side and Nanny on my fathers side. Pappap was a traditional thing for my mothers family and Nanny well she came up with that because it didnt sound as old as "Grandma"


 We use GG for Great Grandma ... otherwise its Grammy Sue and Grandpa Si

1-10 of 171 comments 12345 Last