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Picking Your Grandparenting Name – How to Choose?

choosing your grandparenting name

Author: Ellen Blake

Are you expecting a grandchild? Congratulations! What will they call you? Choosing a grandparent name is serious business; it is a name that will follow you for many years – Choose wisely!

You may feel “Grandma” sounds old and want to go with something more hip and creative. Or, you might want to follow the traditions in your family. You didn’t get to pick your birth name, but now you have the opportunity to choose what the grandchildren will call you. This decision may not be the most important as a grandparent, but hopefully it will be fun. Sometimes grandparent names can spark family conflict, so you may want to discuss your name of choice with the parents and the other grandparent(s).

Modern Grandmother Names

If you feel you are not the “typical” grandmother, you might want a trendy type of name. I’ve known some very young and/or very 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.

The following are just a few of the names they have adopted.

  • 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 and great memories of your relationship with your grandmother, you may want to continue with the same one. If this child is lucky enough to have both a grandmother and a great-grandmother in their life, you can 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 Mostly Peculiar to Certain Regional or Ethnic Groups

Some grandmother names are especially prevalent in a particular geographical region or ethnic group. For example, the American South is known for its unique names.

Below 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

Some grandmothers choose names favored by different nationalities or cultures, either because the names reflect their heritage or simply because they like the way they sound. 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. Step-families are common these days so some families have half a dozen grandparents. Some families choose in this case to add the given name or the last name to the grandparent name to give each 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 name that is quite different for you that is easier to pronounce. Don’t get too attached to your choice and try to embrace with joy whatever name the grandchild chooses


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

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