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Picking Your Grandparenting Name – How to Choose?

choosing your grandparenting name

Author: Ellen Blake

Congratulations if you are expecting a grandchild! What will they call you? Choosing a grandparent name is serious as it is a name that will follow you for many years.  How to choose?

If you feel “Grandma” sounds old, you may want to go with something more hip. Feel free to be creative. Or, you might want to follow the traditions in your family. This decision is not the most important one you will make as a grandparent, but hopefully it will be fun.

Sometimes grandparent names can spark family conflict.  Do you want to use the same name as another grandparent? That can be confusing to the child. For that reason, you may want to discuss your name of choice with the parents and the other grandparent(s).

Trendy Grandmother Names

If you feel you are not the “typical” grandmother, you might want a more modern name. I’ve known some very young and/or ultra hip grandmothers who want their new name to reflect their personalities. The adoption of a cool grandmother name is something of a trend among baby boomer grandparents.

Here are a few of the atypical names grandparents use:

  • Amma
  • Bamba or Bama
  • BeBe
  • Bella or Belle
  • Birdy or Birdie
  • Bunny
  • CeeCee or Cici
  • Coco
  • Gabby or Gabbi
  • GiGi
  • GoGo or Gogi
  • G-Ma or G-Mom (also spelled Geema or Geemom)
  • Glamma or Glammy
  • Grancy or Grancie
  • LaLa
  • Mia
  • Mimi
  • Nina
  • 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
  • Gramma
  • Grammy or Grammie
  • Grandma or Grandmaw
  • Grandmama
  • Grandmom
  • Grandmother
  • Grannie or Granny
  • Gran or Gran-Gran
  • Marmee or Marmi
  • MeMa or Mima

Names That Are Particular to Certain Regional or Ethnic Groups

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.

  • Honey
  • Lovey
  • Lolly
  • Ma or Maw
  • MawMaw or Mawmaw
  • Memaw or MeeMaw
  • Mom-Mom
  • Queenie
  • Sassy
  • Sweetie

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.

If the Grandbaby has Multiple Grandparents

Some children have 2 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 or the last name to the grandparent name to give each one their own special title. For example, you might have a Grandma Bonnie and a Grandma Marianne.


Will the Name Stick?

Despite all the time and thought you might put into picking your new title, your grandchild might choose a different name for you that is easier to pronounce. Don’t get too attached to your choice and try to embrace whatever name the grandchild chooses.


What do your grandkids call you? Let us know in the comment section below.

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