Parenting

33 Creative Alternative Names for 'Grandma' and 'Grandpa'

Suzee Skwiot Hot List

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They're Mom and Dad to you, but as soon as you become a new parent, Grandma and Grandpa are born! But with that comes one big decision: what should your child call their grandparents?

 

The traditional route is well and good, and Grandma and Grandpa are tried and true names, but there are plenty of other options. Give a nod to family history by choosing words from your ethnic heritage, let your mom choose what she'd like to be called, or just wait and see what completely sweet and hilarious name your child comes up with on her own. There are so many ways to go!

We hunted around and also asked moms about their family's choice of names for the grandparents and came up with this great list of alternative names for "Grandma" and "Grandpa."

Variations on Grandma and Grandpa:

  • Nana and Papa: Two identical syllables that make it easy to pronounce for a growing toddler.
  • MomMom and PopPop: Same as above, but extra extra emphasis on the second syllable.
  • MawMaw and PawPaw: Similar idea, but this one is more popular in Southern states.
  • Grammy and Grampy: A casual version of "Grandma" and "Grandpa" that makes it easier for kids to say.
  • Gigi and Pops: Pronounced "gee-gee," the two are another fun and easy peasy way to address the grandparents.

From other languages:

  • Savta (grandma) and Saba (grandpa): An affectionate name for grandparents in Hebrew.
  • Mémère and Pépère: French and can also be shortened to mémé and pépé for a more informal title.
  • Abuela and Abuelo: The Spanish version, but can also be Abuelita and Abuelito (for extra special cuteness), or just Ita and Ito for short! Or go with Ela and Elo for another variation. Plenty of options with this one!
  • Vovó and Vovô: Pronounced (vo-vaw) and (vo-voh) and perfectly fitting for Portuguese grandparents. 
  • Nonna and Nonno: Italian for Grandma and Grandpa. They're both just bellissimo!
  • Oma and Opa: The Dutch versions. Simple and easy to pronounce and write!
  • Busia and Dziadzia: The endearing Polish titles are pronounced "boo-shah" and "jaw-jaw".
  • Amma and Afi: For all Icelandic grandparents (and even not), these are easy two-syllable names that are a little different but have plenty of spunk.
  • Yiayia and Pappou: The Greek titles for grandparents are perfect for whether you're a "big, fat, Greek family" or not!

From a grandchild's mispronunciation:

  • "Originally, [my mother's mother] wanted me to call her 'Nana.' When I was a toddler, I kept getting into things at her house and she’d tell me 'no' so often that I started saying 'Na ... No!' and shaking my finger to imitate her. Somehow that morphed into 'Nano' with the 'Na-naw' pronunciation." -- Cafe Steph
  • "My girls call my mom Damma. It came from when my older daughter was about 2 and was trying to say 'Grandma' but it came out as 'Damma.' My mom thought it was cute and liked it, so it stuck." -- embrigmom
  • "My mom is my daughter's 'manga' and my grandma is her 'gmanga.' When my oldest was learning to talk, she couldn't say grandma so it came out as manga. Whenever we (as a family) text and are talking about my grandma, we would use 'gma,' so she became gmanga for my daughter since it's her great grandma. She's 4 now and it's just stuck." -- jacsmama022
  • "My kids call my mom Grams, but they call my stepdad King. It started when my eldest was born (she was the first grandbaby). My stepdad would talk about how she was his princess and he was the king and they would rule the house. It evolved into being his name as far as my girls are concerned." -- FallMama

What do your children call their grandparents?

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