Sarah Biren
Sarah Biren
June 17, 2024 ·  6 min read

‘Grandma’ And ‘Grandpa’ are Out: Here’s What What Kids Are Calling Their Grandparents

Becoming a grandparent is certainly an incredible milestone. After all, your family is growing as you watch your child become a parent. And after years of trying to balance discipline and affection while child-rearing, it’s time to spoil the bundle of joy with endless love and fun. But this transition offers a unique opportunity to choose a new title. You might already know what you’d like to be called but you might be unsure. Some people struggle with picking grandparent nicknames because it makes them feel old, no matter their actual age. But you don’t have to stick with the cliches since there are many names for grandparents and you’re bound to resonate with a few of them. You can also invent your own, or let the grandchildren pick for you.

Read: Grandmother Rants About Parents Who Treat Grandparents As Babysitters

Traditional Grandmother Names 

elderly grandmother
Credit: Shutterstock

Firstly, let’s begin with the traditional names because you may want to take on the name of your own grandparent or use a variation of it. But consider variations if both sets of grandparents want the same name or if a great-grandparent is in the picture. For instance, families could have a Granny and a Gran-Gran or Grandma Kelly and a Grandma T. [1]

  • Gammy or Gams
  • Gram or Grams
  • Gramma
  • Grammy 
  • Grandma
  • Grandmama
  • Grandmom
  • Grandmother
  • Granny
  • Gran or Gran-Gran
  • Marmee 
  • Mammy
  • Mema 

Read: The Love of a Grandparent is One of the Greatest Blessings a Kid can Have

Traditional Grandfather Names 

Grandfather and grandson on sofa
Credit: Shutterstock

Moreover, the same idea applies to traditional names of grandfathers. They can be tailored to specific people, especially if there are other grandfathers or great-grandfathers around.

  • Grandfather
  • Grandpa
  • Grampa
  • Grandpappy
  • Gramps
  • Granddad
  • Granddaddy
  • Grandpop
  • Papa
  • PawPaw
  • Peepaw
  • Papadaddy
  • Pop
  • Poppa
  • Pops
  • Pop-Pop
  • Poppy
  • Bompa
  • Boppa

Read: Family honors grandma’s memory by displaying all of her quilts at her funeral

Modern Grandmother Names 

Happy 60s older mature middle aged adult woman waving hand holding digital tablet computer video conference calling by social distance virtual family online chat meeting sitting on couch at home.
Credit: Shutterstock

Now remember, you don’t need to stick with the classics, especially if they not resonate with you. Instead, you can pick out something unique and less commonly used, something that feels more representative of your personality. You could also implement your real name if that feels more comfortable, such as Mama Lily or something similar. But if your name is difficult for the child to pronounce, they may reform your nickname, like turning Mama Natalie into Mama Natty or Nally. In any event, here are some other hip names to choose from:

  • Abba
  • Amma
  • Bamba or Bama
  • BeBe
  • Bella or Belle
  • Birdy 
  • Bunny
  • CeeCee
  • Coco
  • Gabby
  • Gadgy
  • GiGi
  • GoGo or Gogi
  • G-Ma or G-Mom
  • Glamma or Glammy
  • Grancy 
  • Kitty
  • LaLa
  • MayMay
  • Mia
  • Mimi
  • Nina
  • Pippy or Pippa
  • Teeny

Modern Grandfather Names

Credit: Shutterstock

Some grandfathers are less self-conscious about sounding “old” but they’d still prefer a name that reflects their personality, career, or a particular hobby. After all, you don’t often get to pick a new nickname, so you may as well choose something cool or fun. 

  • Ace
  • Boss
  • Bubba
  • Buck
  • Buddy
  • Buzzy
  • Captain
  • Champ
  • Chief
  • Coach
  • Duke
  • G or Gee
  • G-Dad or G-Daddy
  • G-Dawg or G-Dog
  • G-Pa
  • Grady
  • Granda or Grandy
  • Grand-dude
  • Granite
  • King
  • Papi
  • Papadaddy
  • Papster
  • Pepe, Pepo, or Peppy
  • Poppo or PoPo
  • PopZ
  • Rocky
  • Skipper

Read: Study: Grandparents Who Babysit May Live Longer

“Grandmother” in Other Languages 

Young Hispanic girl making cake in the kitchen with her grandma, close up
Credit: Shutterstock

On the other hand, grandparent names are often chosen based on families’ nationalities or cultures. But you don’t need to have that particular heritage to choose that name; you can appreciate it. Bear in mind some of these terms are used differently, such as formal or informal, some used in direct address, and some as a way to reference someone. So, if you like how a name sounds, do some extra research to understand its uses. 

  • Afrikaans: Ouma
  • Albanian: Gjyshja
  • Chinese: Nainai
  • Danish: Bedstemor
  • Filipino: Lola
  • Flemish: Bomma
  • French: Grandmère
  • French-Canadian: Mémé
  • German: Oma
  • Greek: Yiayia
  • Hawaiian: Tutu
  • Hebrew: Savta
  • Indonesian: Nenek
  • Italian: Nonna
  • Japanese: Oba-chan
  • Korean: Halmeoni
  • Lithuanian: Senelė
  • Maori: Kuia or Te Kuia
  • Polish: Babcia
  • Portuguese: Vovó
  • Russian: Babushka
  • Somali: Ayeeyo
  • Spanish: Abuela
  • Yiddish: Bubbe

Grandfather” in Other Languages

Elderly grandpa watching three multiethnic little grandsons playing game with toy construction blocks on warm floor, building city towers model together, enjoying family playtime, teamwork
Credit: Shutterstock

The same goes for grandfather names in other languages, but remember that some of these come from other alphabets and are written phonetically here. So look up the proper pronunciation to ensure you resonate with it. [2]

  • Chinese: YéYé or YehYeh (paternal); Gōng Gong or Wàigōng (maternal)
  • Filipino: Lolo, Ingkong, Lelong, Abwelo 
  • Flemish: Bompa, Bompi, Opa, Opi
  • French: Grand-père, Grand-papa, Pépère, Papi
  • French Canadian: Pépé, Pépère, Papi
  • German: Opa
  • Greek: Pappoús, Pappoo, Papu, Papou
  • Hawaiian: Tutu kane, Kuku kane
  • Hebrew: Saba
  • Italian: Nonno, Nonnuccio, Nonnino, Nonnetto
  • Irish: Seanathair, Daideó
  • Japanese: Ojiisan, Sofu, Jiji
  • Korean: Haraboji, Harabeoji, Halaboji, Halabeoji
  • Polish: Dziadek, Dziadziu
  • Portuguese: Avô, Avozinho, Vovô, Vo
  • Russian: Dedushka, Deda, Dedulya
  • Spanish: Abuelo, Abuelito, Lito
  • Yiddish: Zaidy, Zaida 

Common Grandparent Nicknames in the U.S.

Asian happy family play time. little girl with grandparents together playing video games use joystick control enjoy laughing fun in living room home at night. Happy child happiness lifestyle concept.
Credit: Shutterstock

Baby names go in and out of style, and so do grandparent names. For instance, a recent survey by Coventry Direct questioned 5,000 people in the United States to discover which names were most used in each state. In summary, Nana was the most popular, taking first place in 32 states. But here were the other runner-ups based on the rest of the survey. [3]

  • Grammy
  • Granny
  • Abuela
  • Mimi
  • Mama
  • Gram/Grams
  • Mawmaw
  • Mom-mom

Read: Mom Praised After Explaining Why She Never Makes Daughter Hug Her Grandparents

Likewise, for grandfathers:

My boy, from my boy. Shot of a grandfather bonding with his young grandson on a sofa at home.
Credit: Shutterstock

Papa took the top spot in 36 states. But other favorites in other parts of the country included:

  • Pawpaw
  • Pop/Pop-pop/Poppy
  • Papaw or Pawpaw
  • Grandad
  • Abuelo/Abuelito
  • Gramps or Grampy

How to Pick a Grandparent Nickname 

Senior grandparents and granddaughter gardening in the backyard garden.
Credit: Shutterstock

If you still don’t know what name to choose, your child or grandchild can pick the title. You can also see what kind of grandparent you are and let that become your nickname. But remember, you may pick the perfect nickname only for the grandkids to turn it into something else. So here are some real-life examples to give you some inspiration:

  • My daughter constantly heard my mother-in-law call my father-in-law Honey (as in, ‘Honey, please pass the butter’), so that’s what my daughter calls her grandfather!” — Kate Forsha
  • My son started calling his maternal grandmother Shark at about a year old during the height of the ‘Baby Shark’ popularity. It stuck, and so he and his brother both refer to her as Sharkie.” — April Upshaw
  • My daughter calls her maternal grandfather Papa Cupcake because he has the biggest sweet tooth and gives her treats.” — Becky Turner
  • “My daughter calls my mom Bop because, as a toddler, she couldn’t pronounce Babchi, the Polish word for Grandma. I’ve never heard of another Bop, and she’s certainly one of a kind and incredible!” — Laura Kole Simmons
  • My oldest son called my mom Grandma Boo Boo because one of his first memories of her was after she sustained an injury and had a wrap around her forehead.” — Jillian Kalbaugh
  • My mother is Granny-Mom because I kept saying, ‘Granny, I mean Mom.’ Meanwhile, my partner is a stepparent, their parents are called Farmor and FarFar, which is Swedish for ‘father’s mother’ and ‘father’s father.’” — Adrienne Anderson [4]

Keep Reading: Granddaughter Shares Poignant Moment That Ends Her Grandparents’ 60-Year Love Story


  1. “Finding the Perfect Grandma Name.Very Well Family. Susan Adcox. December 23, 2022
  2. “111 Nicknames for Grandpa.VeryWellFamily. Susan Adcox. January 1, 2023
  3. “These Are the Most Common Grandparent Nicknames in Each State.Parents. Kristi Pahr. January 15, 2020
  4. “Forget ‘Grandma’ And ‘Grandpa’ — These Are The Most Popular Names Kids Call Grandparents.” HuffPost. Marie Holmes. October 16, 2023