Author: Ellen Blake
Congratulations if you are expecting a grandchild! What will they call you? Choosing a cute grandparent name is serious as it is a name that will follow you for many years. How to choose?
Do you feel “Grandma” sounds old? If so, you may want to go with something hipper. You can be creative – or you might prefer to follow the traditions in your family. This decision is not the most important one you will make as a grandparent, but it is a fun one.
Sometimes grandparent names can spark family conflict. Do you want to use the same name as another grandparent? Two adults with the same name might confuse your little one. It may be a good idea to discuss your thoughts about your new name with the parents and the other grandparent(s).
Note: I focus more on names for grandmothers in this article, only because grandfathers usually tell me they don’t have strong feelings about it – though I know this is not the case for all!
Trendy Grandmother Names
If you don’t feel like the “typical” type of grandmother, you might want a more modern name that reflects your personality. Baby boomer grandparents created a trend in that they often decide to adopt cool and unusual grandparent names.
Here are a few of the atypical names grandparents use:
- Bamba or Bama
- Bella or Belle
- Birdy or Birdie
- CeeCee or Cici
- Gabby or Gabbi
- Gogo or Gogi
- G-Ma or G-Mom (also spelled Geema or Geemom)
- Glamma or Glammy
- Grancy or Grancie
- Pippy or Pippa
Traditional Grandmother Names
If you had a wonderful relationship with your grandmother, you may want to continue with the same one. If this child is fortunate to have both a grandmother and a great-grandmother in their life, introduce a small variation to differentiate between generations. In my family, we called our grandmother “Grandma” and our Great Grandmother “Gi-Gi” (short for Great Grandmother!).
- Gammy or Gamma or Gams
- Gram or Grams
- Grammy or Grammie
- Grandma or Grandmaw
- Grannie or Granny
- Gran or Gran-Gran
- Marmee or Marmi
- MeMa or Mima
Some grandmother names are especially prevalent in a specific geographical region or ethnic group. For example, the American South is known for its unique names.
These are some grandparent names common in certain groups or parts of the country.
- Ma or Maw
- MawMaw or Mawmaw
- Memaw or MeeMaw
Grandmother in Other Languages
Do you want to choose a name that reflects your heritage? We called one of my grandmothers who was from Germany “Omi”, our take on the German name for grandmother, which is “Oma”.
Several different terms for grandmother exist in many countries. Below are some friends shared with me.
Some children have 2 sets of grandparents, one from each side of the family. But many children have even more as step families are common in today’s world. In this case, some families choose to add the given name to the grandparent title to give each one their own special title. For example, you might have a Grandma Bonnie and a Grandma Marianne.
Will the Name Stick?
What do your grandkids call you? Let us know in the comment section below!
FAQs About Choosing a Grandparent Name
Choosing a grandparent name is a personal and meaningful decision. Many factors can influence your choice, including family traditions, cultural background, and personal preferences. Here are some of the commonly asked questions we hear from people struggling to find the “right” name when they become grandparents.
Should I choose a traditional or unique grandparent name?
It depends on your preference. Traditional names like Grandma or Grandpa are classic and widely recognized. Unique names can be meaningful if they reflect your personality or interests.
What if I want a gender-neutral name as a grandmother or grandfather?
Gender-neutral grandparent names like “Grandie” or “Pops” are becoming more popular. These names can be a great choice if you want an inclusive option.
Should I discuss my choice with my child (the parent) or other family members?
It’s a good idea to discuss your choice with your child, especially if they are becoming a parent for the first time. Coordination with other grandparents can also help avoid confusion.
What if I want a grandparent name that’s easy for a young child to pronounce?
Simple names like Grandma or Grandpa are often easier for young children to say. However, you can adapt any name if needed as the child grows.
Can I change my grandparent name later?
Yes, you can change your grandparent name if it doesn’t feel right or if you and your grandchild come up with a different nickname over time.
Should I consider my cultural background when choosing a name?
Your cultural background can influence your choice. It’s worth exploring traditional grandparent names from your cultural heritage.
What if I have multiple grandchildren? Can I have different names for each?
Yes, many grandparents have different names for each grandchild. Some families even let the grandchild choose their grandparent name.
Do I need to choose a name before the grandchild is born?
There’s no strict timeline for choosing a grandparent name. Some people decide before the birth, while others wait until they meet the grandchild.
Can I use a name that another family member already has?
It’s possible, but it’s usually a good idea to coordinate with other family members to avoid confusion. You might consider using variations of the same name.
Can I choose a name based on my hobbies or interests?
Yes, you can definitely choose a name related to your hobbies or interests. For example, if you love gardening, you could be “Gardening Grandma,” or if you’re a music enthusiast, you could be “Music Nana.”
Remember that the most important thing is to choose a grandparent name that reflects your personality, creates a special bond with your grandchild, and brings joy to your family.