Becoming a grandma is a big deal. It’s a rite of passage in a mother’s life. As the next generation begins the parenting journey, she gets to sit back and enjoy being a grandma. Grandmas enjoy the luxury of getting to know the newest member of the family without having to endure the sleepless nights and daily parenting tasks.
And as she is promoted from mother to grandma, she’ll have a new job title as well as a new baby to cuddle. Grandma names (just like grandfather names, or even baby names) are a big deal too. These days, there are so many to choose from.
No two grandmas are alike. Not all grannies fit into the big-bosomed stereotype of baking and slippers and gardening. Often grandma and grandpa names are passed down through the generations, so your mother might want to use the same name her mother did when she became a grandma. Some grandmas-to-be, however, will be dead set against anything that makes them sound old.
Grandparents now live longer after retirement, and many are in good health during these years, and regularly help out with childcare to allow parents to return to work.
Many modern grandparents run around after toddlers in the park, pick kids up from school, and help to ease the burden of family life for busy working parents. They definitely deserve a special name of their own.
According to the 2018 Grandparents Today National Survey in the United States, by 65 years of age, 96% of parents were also grandparents. On average, their first grandchild arrived when they were 50.
Most grandchildren still refer to their grandparents by traditional names. Around 70% choose to use a form of‘Grandma’ and 60% use a form of‘Grandpa’. One in twenty grandparents are referred to by their first name.
Other Names for Grandma
Granny, Grandma and Gran are all traditional names for grandma. And if she isn’t keen on those, she might prefer Nanny, Nanna or Nan.
These grandmother names were most likely inspired by other languages, such as Welsh and Italian, and were once considered a modern take on the traditional matriarchal names. Or there’s Yia Yia (pronounced ya-ya), which is Greek for grandmother.
A couple of generations ago, there wasn’t much choice about grandma names but, today, families have plenty of options to choose from. You don’t need to be limited by tradition.
There are plenty of unusual and exciting names out there for grandma.
Remember, there are no rules, you can choose whatever name you want.
Sassy Grandma Names
If your grandma is more likely to be found sipping cocktails than knitting granny squares, she might prefer a sassier grandma name.
Does she feel young at heart, and refuse to see herself as a typical granny? Then pick a name more suited to her personality.
If granny and nanna sound stuffy and old to her, she might be happier with a more modern and less traditional sounding name. So, what can you call grandma? Mimi, Oma (Dutch for grandmother) and Neena are all fun-sounding names that hint at a young, vibrant grandma.
You should try to find a name that really suits her. Something that pays homage to the kind of woman she is. If your Granny was formal and proper, you might find it hard to associate this name with your cuddly, fun mother. That’s fine. Shed the traditional granny names and go for something completely new.
Cute Grandma Names
Some of the cutest sounding grandmother names are initiated by the grandchildren. As they learn to speak, they might mispronounce names and these inevitably end up becoming what the grandchildren call their grandparents. Grandma and Grandpa become Gama and Grandy, for example.
Mawmaw is another cute name that has a nice ring to it, and it’s easy for young children to pronounce. If you’re looking at cutesy names, make sure they have longevity. Babies and toddlers soon turn into teenagers and young adults, so be sure you pick a name that will last through the years, without the family feeling embarrassed saying it aloud.
Cool Grandma Names
Gigi is commonly used in Ukraine, and is now gaining popularity around the world. It sounds fun and different, making it an ideal option for a cool grandma. This name is often chosen by grandmas who aren’t quite ready to accept that they are in the ‘grandma’ stage of life (and who can blame them).
Marmee is another popular name which doesn’t sound too stuffy. It’s a term of affection that sounds loving, but isn’t associated with the outdated stereotypes of what grandparenting looks like.
Different Names for Grandma
Gramms is a new take on Grandma, giving it a cool edge but without losing the traditional connotations of a loving grandma. Many people choose to take inspiration from their heritage, and opt for names inspired by their family’s mother tongue.
You can also find inspiration in grandma’s first name. For example, Barbara could become Be-be or Granny B. Fran could be Nanny Frannie. Charlotte could become Lotlot.
Irish Names for Grandma
If you or your partner have Irish blood, you might be looking for a name that gives a nod to your heritage. If you don’t live in Ireland, it might be a particularly special way to connect your children with their Irish roots. Irish grandmas are usually referred to as Maimeó (pronounced Mam-o) or Móraí (pronounced Mo-rye).
Italian Names for Grandma
If you’re looking for European inspiration to give a hint of style, look no further than Italy. If you have Italian roots, you might like to use an Italian nickname to give your child a connection with your family’s Italian past (not to be confused with pasta, which is delicious but altogether different).
One of the most popular Italian names for grandma is Nonna which is easy for little mouths to master. Another popular Italian name is Anonn, pronounced ah-nun, which sounds just as lovely.
Trendy Names for Grandma
Trends change, and grandmother names fall in and out of fashion. While Granny could be seen as a traditional (some might say old-fashioned) term at the moment, more modern names might not age well. For this reason, it’s important to choose a name you love, rather than one that seems to be popular.
If you’ve chosen a name you are happy with, it doesn’t matter if it falls out of fashion. So push all the trends out of your mind and just focus on finding a name you all love. You’ll be using it for years to come, so choose something that brings you joy.
Alternative Names for Grandma
As you can see, there are plenty of alternative grandma names. There are no rules when it comes to terms of endearment, so you can choose whatever name you want. Find out whether the grandma-to-be in your family has a list of preferred names and then see if you can agree on one. Remember, you don’t have to stick to predictable names; it’s fine to do some blue sky thinking to find the perfect name.
Choosing The Perfect Grandma Name
It might be easier to choose grandmother names together. If there is another grandparent in the picture, you might want to go for names that pair well together, like Grammie and Gramps or Mawmaw and Pawpaw. Speak to the grandparents and encourage them to come up with a shortlist of grandparent names they love.
Get even more grandparent naming inspiration in our article to help you choose grandparents’ names.
Names For Grandma | Grandma Names | BellyBelly? ›
Granny: A common but sweet way to address your grandmother. Mama [Last Name]: Simply add your family name for a cute way to call your maternal or paternal grandmother. Gam Gam: An adorable nickname which is easy for toddlers to pronounce. MaMaw: A fun way to call your grandmother as she wraps you in a hug!What are some unique grandma names? ›
Granny: A common but sweet way to address your grandmother. Mama [Last Name]: Simply add your family name for a cute way to call your maternal or paternal grandmother. Gam Gam: An adorable nickname which is easy for toddlers to pronounce. MaMaw: A fun way to call your grandmother as she wraps you in a hug!What is the most popular grandma name? ›
Gram. "Gram" and "Grams" are common nicknames for a grandmother. They're based off the traditional terms, but they're more casual and laid-back.What is a Southern name for grandma? ›
And if you live in the south, there's a good chance you call your grandmother Mamaw or Mawmaw—the most popular nickname in 7 states mostly in the south and along the Appalachians.What are cool Irish grandma names? ›
-Irish: In Gaelic, grandmother translates to “Seanmháthair,” which means old mother. Some other popular Irish grandmother names are “Mhamó,” “Mamó,” “Maimeó” and “Móraí.”What do Irish call their grandmother? ›
Grandmother: Maimeó (pronounced Mam-o) Grandfather: Daideó (pronounced Daddo) While maimeó anddaideó are the words used to address a grandmother or grandfather, there are a few different words for grandparents in Irish.
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.Who is the most fashionable grandma? ›
Like Demilked on Facebook: Meet Baddie Winkle, an 88-year-old grandma, who also happens to be an international fashion icon with more than 2.1 million Instagram followers!
What do Brits call grandma? ›
For British grandmothers the top five names in order of popularity at a national level are Nan (33%), Grandma (32%), Nana (24%), Nanny (22%) and Granny (14%). Only one-in-ten use the term Gran. The name Nan is by far the most popular for a grandmother in the English seaside cities of Liverpool (65%) and Brighton (51%).What do you call a hippie grandma? ›
You can call her by cute names such as Big mom, Peaches, Lolly, or go for hippie names Hopie or Mumssy. Fairy mother, Granny Pie, or Yo Grandma can be other fun ways to address your sweet and caring grandma. Nicknames, whether traditional or unusual, are often remembered for years.What is the old English name for grandma? ›
Origins of the Word Grandmother in English
In Old English, the word was ealdemodor, which sounds a lot like “old mother,” and likely has roots in Old Norse. It was replaced by grandame, literally meaning “old lady,” due to the French influence over English.
One of the undeniable highlights of the Disney animated classic Mulan is, of course, the title heroine's grandmother.What do hillbillies call their grandparents? ›
My most important tie to the culture and history of Appalachia was family, especially my grandparents, whom we called Mamaw and Papaw—normal hillbilly grandparent names, in case they are new to you.How do I choose a name for my grandma? ›
- Gammy or Gamma or Gams.
- Gram or Grams.
- Grammy or Grammie.
- Grandma or Grandmaw.
The most common pairings are Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, and their variations. A few alternatives for Grandma include Grammy, Gamma, G-Ma, Granny, and Nanna. Grandfather may be shortened to Grampa, Gramps, G-Pa, Poppy or Pops.What is Scottish for grandma? ›
That may be one reason why grandparents in this lovely country have such loving connections to their grandkids. In Gaelic, grandmothers are called “maimeó” (pronounced mam-o), and grandfathers, “daideó “(pronounced dah-jo).What do Germans call their grandmother? ›
Germany: Oma is one of the most popular international names for grandmothers and is often used to address grandmothers with no German heritage. Greece: Maybe because it just sounds joyful, the Greek YaYa is a popular grandmother nickname. It's sometimes hyphenated and sometimes rendered as YiaYia.What is the Hawaiian word for grandma? ›
Grandparents and ancestors are referred to with the same word in Hawaiian: kupuna. The words wahine (woman) or kāne (man) are added after it to distinguish between one's grandmother, kupuna wahine, or grandfather, kupuna kāne. The word tūtū is also used to refer to a grandparent, specifically a grandma.
Is Mimi a grandmother? ›
According to Babycenter.com, the following are the most popular grandparent names. For grandma, we have Nana, Grammy, Granny, Mimi, Gram, Nanny, Oma, Mamaw and Gran. For grandpa, there's Papa, Granddad, Gramps, Pop-Pop, Poppy, Papaw, Pop, Opa and Pappy.What language uses Gigi for Grandma? ›
I took that idea and ran with it—as you all know, I am Gigi! I love that it is a reflection of my French heritage. I find this such a fun and interesting topic and so many people have great stories about how they got their grandparent names.Who is the happiest grandma in the world? ›
Jane Seymour Is 'the Happiest' Grandma in the World While in a Big Group Hug With Her Grandkids.Who is the smallest grandma? ›
: The world's youngest grandmother is Nigerian, and she was only 17. Mum-Zi was just eight years and four months old when she gave birth to a baby girl in 1884. From Nigeria, on an island called Akwa Akpa, now known as the city of Calabar.What is the average grandma age? ›
The average age of becoming a grandparent is 50 years for women and a couple of years older for men. Today's grandparents may range in age from 30 to 110, and grandchildren range from newborns to retirees.What do celebrities call their grandparents? ›
- Aba Daba (Debbie Reynolds)
- Glam Ma (Goldie Hawn/Nene Leakes)
- Granny (Whoopi Goldberg)
- Honey (Susan Sarandon)
- Lovey (Kris Jenner)
- Martha (Martha Stewart)
- Nana (Chaka Khan)
- Shazza (Sharon Osbourne)
Badass Grandma: A Coloring Book for Grandmothers Who Rock.What is gorgeous grandma? ›
GORGEOUS GRANDMA DAY HISTORY
Alice Solomon created Gorgeous Grandma Day in 1984 to honor women of a certain age, whether they were grandmothers or not. It's a time to recognize their accomplishments and their abilities.
- maternal forebear.
The most popular southern grandmother names are Mamaw, Mawmaw, Memaw, Nana, and Mimi. Curious about our national findings? While Nana took the top spot, Grammy, Granny, Nanny, Mamaw, Mawmaw, Mimi, Grandmother, Memaw, and Abuela/Abuelita rounded out the top ten list.
What is the nickname for a Hispanic grandma? ›
Grandmothers are called Abuela or Abuelita. Shortened forms such as Lito and Lita or Tito and Tita are common.How do I find my great grandmother's name? ›
- Grandparent's obituary. ...
- Parent's marriage certificate. ...
- Parent's marriage announcement. ...
- Parent's death certificate. ...
- Social Security Application.
Mimi. According to a dialect study from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, Mimi is the preferred name for grandmothers largely along the East Coast, and in portions of the Midwest, South and Texas.What are coastal grandmother names? ›
Rising coastal granny names include Rosemary, Mae, Eloise, Mabel, Hazel, Ada, Alice and Adeline.What do other cultures call grandma? ›
As previously mentioned, in French the word is grandmère, but in Italian, it's nonna. In Spanish, the term is abuela, or if you want to be cozy and cute about it, you'd call her your abuelita, which means “little grandma.” In Portuguese, the word is avó.Does Titi mean grandma? ›
Titi; neutral, from the Spanish for Aunt (Tia) and Uncle (Tio). (however, it is often a diminutive of aunt.)What should my grandchild call me? ›
The most common pairings are Grandma and Grandpa, Nana and Papa, and their variations. A few alternatives for Grandma include Grammy, Gamma, G-Ma, Granny, and Nanna. Grandfather may be shortened to Grampa, Gramps, G-Pa, Poppy or Pops.What is a nickname for grandparents? ›
According to Name Nerd, the most popular nicknames for grandparents are Bubbe, Nana, Grandma, Granny, Gran, Gram, Grammy, Papa, Grandpa, Granda, Granddad, Gramps.Who picks grandparents names? ›
The parents, the grandparents, or your child (once they're old enough to talk) can choose the grandma names and grandpa names.