Motherhood

What Do You Call the Grandparents?

What Do You Call the Grandparents?

Thanksgiving is this week, and Christmas is 31 days away (but who’s counting?), so as people gear up to see family, I’m curious: What do you call the grandparents? Our names are weird…

For my own grandparents, we called them Milly and Dilly (my dad’s side) and Nana and Bumpa (my mom’s side). No idea why!

In 2009, the Boston Globe reported that the older generation is moving away from the classic “Grandpa” and “Grandma” titles, in an effort to feel younger. “Sure, they want to be grandparents,” they wrote, “Just don’t call them that.” The New Grandparents Name Book suggests alternate names, like “Bubbles,” “Pebbles,” “Rocky” or — for wine enthusiasts — “Sonoma” and “Napa.”

When Toby was born, we weren’t sure what to call our parents. Alex’s mom wanted to be called “Grandma,” so after brainstorming alternatives, my mom settled on “Nana.” For my dad, “Grandpa” felt absurd. He is debonaire and all my friends secretly think he’s a spy; Grandpa just felt too pipe-and-cardigan-y. When Toby arrived, we started off calling him a rotating list of names (Jeremy, Grampy, Gramps…) until finally Toby, who couldn’t pronounce Grandpa, called him “Opa” when he was about a year old. And it stuck! We didn’t realize at the time that Opa and Oma are the names for grandparents in Germany and the Netherlands. Maybe it originated because it’s easy for kids to say?

My sister’s daughter calls her Indian grandparents Thatha and Nanamma, and our wonderful Italian neighbor is known around town as “Nonna.” My friend’s child calls her grandparents “Lolo” and “Lola,” names that are used in the Philippines.

What Do You Call the Grandparents?

So, I’m curious: What about you? What do you call your own grandparents? What do your kids call your parents?

P.S. FaceTime with grandparents and what are your favorite baby names?

(My grandfather Dilly, at top, who has the same upper lip as Anton! And Dilly and me, below, at my grandparents’ house in Cornwall.)

  1. We called them Momma and Pappa

  2. the grandchildren call us “Nonnie” and “Pappy”

  3. I call mine “Mamaw and Papaw” (where I lived everyone did it, I guess it was a southern thing)

  4. Lilla says...

    My parents who live nearby and see our daughter every few days are grandma and grandpa. My israeli husband grew up calling his parents abba and ima, and since we’re mom and dad, they’re still abba and Ima. My grandparents were bubbe and Zayde, and his grandma was Savvy (like savta)

  5. Gwen says...

    Geepa & Mima (maternal); Nana & Papa (paternal)

  6. Caroline says...

    My paternal grandparents already had names by the time I was born—second-youngest cousin on that side. They were Memaw and Pawpaw. My maternal grandparents were Hoke (Driving Miss Daisy came out around the time, and Hoke was the driver—just like my Hoke toted me around) and Gigi.

  7. My husband’s family calls them “thatha” and “pati” :)
    I call them grandma and grandpa. Although sometimes I call my dad “grampy”

  8. Bailey says...

    I’ve thought about this often, what will my future kids call my parents? On my mom’s side, we called my grandmother just by her first name. We actually used the first names for the others too, but following a title: Nana __, Grandpa __, Grandpop __.

  9. We’re Arab! I called both grandfathers Jido, as does my daughter, and one grandma was Nana (not sure why!) while the other was Tete, or sometimes Teta – a very Palestinian/Jordanian way of doing it. My half Lebanese husband, however, calls his grandparents Sitto for the grandma and Seedo for the grandpa. My Iraqi friend calls her grandma Bibi! And my daughter calls her other grandma Tata as a variation on Teta. All works!

  10. Andrea says...

    My mom’s parents were Mimi and Papa, and my Dad’s Grannie and Big Daddy. No idea where that last one came from…

    We don’t have kids yet, but my husband’s siblings have kids, and his parents are called Nana and Papa.

  11. jamie says...

    I called the Irish grandparents “grandma” and “grandpa”, the Italian grandparents “Nani” and “Grandpa”, and the Italian great-grandparents “Nana” and “Nanu.” My son calls my in-laws the standard grandma and grandpa, my mom “nana” , and my dad and stepmom “grandma and grandpa mustache” because, well, my dad has a mustache. My step-mom gladly goes along with it.

  12. Lauren says...

    My family has lots of weird names! Growing up we called my grandparents, Susu and Papa for my dad’s parents. We called my mom’s parents, Baba and Zaide. We also call my uncle Joey, Gogo! All due to the fact that the oldest grandchild couldn’t pronounce the usual names. Now my nephews call my parents, Roro and Papa! It’s a fun family tradition now :)

  13. Meagan says...

    My paternal grandparents were always Grandma and Grandpa, but my maternal grandparents were Beema & Poppey. The story is that my oldest cousin named them that because Beema was the grandma with BEES! These names were perfect for them and everyone including our friends and other people in the community called them by those names.

  14. Molly says...

    My maternal grandparents – Meme (she isn’t french) and Dave (my grandfather asked to be called by his name when my mom asked him what he wanted me to call him) People are always really shocked when I refer to him as “Dave” and were even more confused when I was a toddler calling him by his first name.

    My Paternal grandparents – Grannie and Papa (again, my parents asked what they wanted to be called and they chose those names)

  15. amyr says...

    My kids call my parents “mimi” and “papa” and my in-laws are “noni” and “obi” (like Obi Wan Kenobi)

  16. My husband and I grew up in the Philippines, and always called our grandparents Lolo and Lola. My nephews and nieces are much older than our little one, so we had no choice but to call my in-laws “Papa” and “Grandma”. My parents are Grandpa Gus and Grandma Doods—they live in the Philippines and it took a while for our daughter to wrap her head around the idea of grandparents she only saw mostly via Skype.

  17. Rebekah Tatlow says...

    Our mum’s parents are Grandma and Grandad, but for some reason I always called Grandad, DanDan! This continued until I was about 11. Our Dad’s mum is Nan, but when we where little and still sometimes now she is Nanny T. We always thought it was Tea because she always drank tea, but realised later that it was because our older cousins had another Nan, Nanny Plum (Name Lumb). Both Grandma and Nan thought the other sounded old! So that was good for us

  18. We go the German way with Oma and Opa. And when my great-grandmother was still living – and I was confused by all of them around age 3, so I dubbed her “Klein Oma” – small grandmother… because of her tiny stature. It stuck through the rest of her life.

  19. Bonnie says...

    oh my goodness I can’t believe this, but I called my grandpa Bompa and my grandma is Nana. Can’t believe how similar they are to yours! Mine are also British, so maybe that’s a factor?!

  20. i couldn’t say Grammy when i was younger.. so my grandparents are “Amie” & Papa

  21. Danielle says...

    I’m French-Canadian from Southern Ontario, so we called our grandparents Mémé and Pépé (or Mim and Pip). In other French speaking parts of Canada, like Northern Ontario and Québec, it’s often Grand-maman or Grand-papa or Mémère or Pépère. I know there are other variations, but those are the ones I know of from family history books and photos.

  22. Julie says...

    Gee Gee & Pa Pa

  23. Amber says...

    My maternal grandparents were Nana and Papa, but as I got older and would tease my nana for being uppity, I changed it to Na-Na with a fancy accent and she LOVED IT.

    My paternal grandma is called Mama only by me, and I can only assume it’s because that’s what my dad called her. Her mother was called Granny Pickle (her married last name).

    The best I’ve ever heard was a coworker whose grandmother was called Granky, or “Grank” for short. So perfect. I’m hoping to someday be called Gramber.

  24. Michael is only 7 months old so hes only just starting to say mama + dada, so grandmother and grandfather’s nicknames feel pretty far away right now. We call both Tyler’s mum and my mum grandma though. My grandma is called mam-maw or g-ma and my grandpa is called papa. My father is just grandpa.

  25. Ainsley says...

    My grandparents were Nanny and Grampy (maternal) and Gunkie (my creation!) and Poppa.

    My parents are Nanny and Poppy, and the inlaws are Grandma and Grandpa (not super involved people).

  26. I’m Chinese American and I call my Dad’s parents, Mama (grandma) and Yeye (grandpa). I call my Mom’s parents, Popo (grandma) and Goong Goong (grandpa).

  27. Oh, I love this! My mother’s side of the family is very formal and Montreal-Anglo, so my maternal grandparents chose Grandmother and Grandfather. My dad’s mom was Grandma to my brother and me, but my dad’s dad didn’t feel like “Grandpa” was right for him, so he decided on Grandpère, even though he didn’t speak French!

  28. Tonia says...

    We called my mom’s parents Momo (pronounced Moe Moe) and Boompa, which is from a Jimmy Stewart movie Mr. Hobbs takes a Vacation. http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=Boompa

    My dad’s parents were Nanny and Paw Paw (southern U.S.)

  29. Joanie says...

    French on both sides of the family. Mothers side: Memere and Pepere. Fathers side: BonneMaman.

  30. Whit says...

    My maternal grandmother named herself ‘Mamoo’ and my grandfather ‘Papoo’, and they stuck! So, I have a Mamaw and Papaw and a Mamoo and Papoo:)

  31. Amy says...

    We called my grandmother Sweetie Pie. That’s what my grandfather called her and somehow it stuck with all of us.

    • Yes! I love that. My neighbors called their grandmother “Judydear” because that’s what they heard their grandfather calling her. So sweet.

  32. What a fun topic! I’ve loved reading through many of the comments. Our daughter is the youngest of five grand kids on my husbands side so she calls her grandparents what the rest of the kids call them, Grammy & Poppy-names they chose for themselves. My mom wanted to be called Nanny but I warned her that people might assume that she’s the nanny so she settled on Nani (pronounced naw-nee). At first, I thought it sounded silly but almost two years later, Nani is the perfect name for her. In fact, it was one of my daughters earlier words.

  33. Claire says...

    I love this post! My daughter couldn’t say “Grandma” when she was learning to talk so called my mom “Nama”. The name stuck and not only do all of her grandchildren call her “Nama” now, but all the neighbourhood children know her as Nama too!

  34. Tara says...

    I’m Serbian and although first language is English, I call my grandma’s ‘baka’ and grandpa ‘deda’ :) You can also use it as a title when you’re talking to them, so for example “Deda Dragoslav, where did you grow up?”. There is also ‘baba’ and ‘deka’ which my cousins use, but they never stuck with me.

    • Dragana says...

      I’m a Serb too but by way of Hercegovina so my kids use Baba and Djed. What’s cute is they call my uncle Djed Striko (Grandpa Uncle)!

  35. Nina says...

    oh I love this topic! I called my grandparents (maternal, mother grew up in Germany) Oma and Opa. Paternal – Grandmom (her husband died young and she never remarried). But she always told us how her mother was only called “Mother” and “Grandmother” nothing else! My mother has been known as Mommom by all children since her oldest grandson (who is now 28) could talk, until we went home last month and my son who is now 8 and hadn’t seen her since he was 2 asked “can I call you Grandma…because you call me Grandson?” so he calls her Grandma…so weird to refer to her that way since I’m not used to it…referred to her as Mommom for years! He calls my dad Grandpop and his wife Grandmom Carole. I have no idea what I’d like…I love Momma so Grandmama wouldn’t be bad!

    • Nina says...

      oh and My dad’s first wife’s parents I called Mammaw and Pappaw…they were in Mississippi ;)

  36. Jourdan says...

    Joanna – Love your blog and this topic! Growing up, we always referred to my maternal grandmother as “Mamo” (rhymes with “camo”), because my older sister couldn’t pronounce “grandmother.” Since the birth of my nephews and nieces, my mom has also adopted “Mamo.” And if I ever find myself with grandchildren in the future, I also intend to be “Mamo” – such a great way to remember the original :)

    Also, my dad, who fervently did NOT want to be called any form of “grandpa” for fear of sounding elderly, decided that my nephews and nieces should call him “Popeye.” And it has stuck!

  37. Mabel calls my dad “dubby”. My mom thought it up because my maiden name starts with a W… Double-u = dubby. Get it? ;) I love it but my husband pointed out that it always sounds like we’re calling my dad “dummy”

  38. Lara says...

    When my niece was born my mother decided that she wanted to be called Meemaw which, to me, is terrible. You can’t say it without sounding like you are mumbling and not in a cute way. And it would be fine if my niece had made it up on her own but to prescribe that is so strange to me. So now that I have a baby it’s a big thing to figure out what he’s going to call the grandparents. The thing is, I’m not picky. He could call them almost anything he wants. He could make up names. He could call them Toots and Willie. That would be fine. But Meemaw is a line I will not cross.

  39. Abalone says...

    My mother called her Texan grandparents “Joe Mama” and “Joe Daddy” even though no one was named Joe.
    My toddler son call my mom “MoMo” and my dad “Pa.”
    My brother’s kids call her “GJ” for Grandma Jane and call my dad “Papa Lare” – his name is Larry.
    I like all of those better than the “Grandma” and “Grammy” names I called my two grandmother’s growing up.
    I knew my mom must have thought I was truly grown up when she started referring to her own mother as “Mom” to me instead of Grammy. She’d tell me about her call with “mom” and it made me fell so mature!

  40. Giselle says...

    What a sweet post. I called my Mom’s parents Mama and Papi and my Dad’s parents were Grandma and Grandpa. However, my parents and in-laws have all put in there requests since my daughter (the first grandchild) will be born in January. My Mom and Step-Dad would like to be called the standard Grandma and Grandpa. My Dad and Step-Mom want to be called Abuelo and Ammachi. And my In-Laws will be Nonna and Papa. So many names for this little kid to remember when she gets older!

  41. Andrea says...

    In Peru, we usually call grandma, mamama, and grandpa, papapa. No accents like mamá and papá.

  42. My daughter calls my husband’s parent Pop Pop and Nonna. Pop Pop is just how she pronounced grandpa when she was tiny and my mother in-law didn’t think she was old enough to be grandma. :)

  43. I call my maternal grandmother – ‘ammamma’ , kind of means mom’s mother.

    Shruthi
    http://nyambura.co

  44. Liz says...

    We always referred to our grandparents as Grandma and Grandpa Shannon and Grandma and Grandpa Joey ‘n’ Jenny, because those were their dogs’ names — not sure how that got started! Must have been the easiest delineation to understand for us as kids :)
    My nephew now refers to my mom as Yaya, dad as Papa and his other grandma as Gigi. I think I’ll push for the ol’ Gramma/Grampa for my little guy once he starts talking.

  45. Laura says...

    I didn’t read through all the comments, but I skimmed through many and was surprised to not see any Memere and Peperes! That is what my parents are called, and growing up in New England in a town with a ton of French Canadian families, that is what everyone around here had. I called both my grandparents Memere and Pepere, and I will absolutely be a Memere when I have grandchildren!

    • That’s awesome! I also called my dad’s parents Mémére and Pépére because I grew up francophone in New-Brunswick, Canada. As a teen, I abbreviated and called my grandparents Mim and Pip. I still do! Not sure i’d want those names, but I quite like calling them that.

  46. Eleonore says...

    I used to call my grandparents Moe and Va, short for ‘moeder’ (mother) and ‘vader’ (father). When speaking about them, we’d say ‘the Moe’ and ‘the Va’. Don’t know why, but it felt natural. Thanks for this post, Joanna, it brought back so many memories for me. :)

  47. Claire says...

    My son calls my mother ‘Darling’ (after the mother from Peter Pan) and my father ‘Bunky’ (we don’t know why he chose this one, but it stuck!).

  48. Claire says...

    My son calls my mother “Darling” (like the mother in Peter Pan) and my father “Bunky” (we’re not sure why).

  49. Claire says...

    My son calls my mother “Darling” (like the mother in Peter Pan) and “Bunky” (we’re not sure why).

  50. lauren says...

    Me & my brothers call my grandparents Abuelo & Abuela, though I’ve somehow adopted calling my grandmother Grammy. Grandpa sometimes just gets called “Viejo” which means old man in Spanish :)

  51. Sarah says...

    My niece and nephew call my mom Fluff, which originated when my brother, sister and I would tease her about how her bangs get fluffy and stick up when she’s had a glass of wine too many. Luckily the kids haven’t asked why they call her Fluff. Yet.

  52. Sylvia says...

    My niece, the first grandchild for my parents, the sweetest most angelic creature to walk the earth, calls my parents BUNI and BUNU. We are Romanian.
    Side note: She is eight years old now, but when she was little it was hard for her to pronounce my name (Sylvia), so she just started calling me IA (pronounced ee-ah), and it stuck. To this day, she calls me IA. I love being her aunt. There’s such a special bond between us.

    • Nina says...

      aww that is sweet! my oldest nephew -the first of many – called us all (Diana Jenny Nina) DiDi and then my youngest sister, Erin – URN. It would be like “hi di di, di di, di di, urn!” so cute and funny to remember

  53. I called my maternal grandparents Opa and Oma, as my mom and several of her siblings were adopted from Germany. I call my French grandparents Mamily and Papily. The norm in France is mami/papi, but my parents thought ”Mami” sounded too close to Mommy in English, so they added the ”ly” to differentiate!

  54. KKRvF says...

    My kids call their German grandparents Omini and Oppity which delights them as they didn’t quite like the traditional Oma and Opa. My daughter is the eldest grandchild and just came out with it. They call my father GrandDad and his wife Grandmother (very formal but sweet as she never had her own children but always called her own mother, Mother). They call my mother Seanie which is short for the Gaelic, Seanmhair. We come a from a Gaelic speaking island in Eastern Canada and her mother spoke Gaelic so it is special to her. So our kids cover three languages :)

  55. molly says...

    I always love hearing the names chosen by / given to grandparents! My grandparents were just Grandma and Grandpa. For my children, my mom is Tutu and her husband is Pappy, and my in-laws are Nana and Papa. I’ve already decided that when I’m a grandmother, I’d love to be Gran or Gram :) I love how old and cozy and sweet it sounds! xo

  56. Katie H. says...

    My grandma (on my mother’s side) and one of my favorite people of all time was called Mimi, pronounced mim E. When I was young, I would get so upset when people called her Meme. It’s something my mother made up when she was young. My dad’s parents are called Mawmaw and Pawpaw. I often wonder what my parents will choose!

  57. Naomi says...

    I call my grandparents Poppa and Grandma and on my dads side they are Gram and Gramps. Then with my kids my husbands parents are Grandpa and Grandma but because grandma passed away when i was pregnant with my first i wanted to call the other grandmas something different to help distinguish her and keep it a special name for her. So then my mom picked Nana and my dads second wife is Granny Mandy with my dad being grandpa Jim. Then since my grandparents are still alive they are called what i call them. Although sometimes Poppa is great grandpa.

  58. Kelly says...

    I called my Dad’s Mom “Gammi”, but out of her 9 grandkids I think I was the only one.

  59. Juliette says...

    We call my grand ma “Mamiko” which is “Mamie” (a way of saying grand mother in French) + Beggining of Colette (my grand ma’s name). It’s in one word so we say it faster than if it was two words so you can t hear a distinguished “Mamie” as my grand ma doesnt like the “old” thing attached to a “Mamie” !

  60. Adrienne says...

    It’s interesting all the different names for grandma and grandpa. We call both sides grandma and grandpa and use last names when we need to differentiate (grandma stallard, grandpa menniti). That’s what my brothers and I called our grandparents too so I never considered there was any other way. My husband and I never discussed either come to think of it……I think I’d better ask him if he has an unvoiced opinion :-)

  61. Anna says...

    For my daughter, my mother is Nagymama (we are Hungarian) and my dad is Abu (a name that my daughter made up when she was about one). My in-laws are Grandma and Papa. I called my dear grandmother Grandma Small (because she was tiny!).

  62. Anne says...

    Our grandsons call my husband and I Annie and Itchy at our request. We love it!

  63. Anne says...

    I’m about your moms age and have two grandsons, who call my husband and I Annie and Itchy. We didn’t wa t to be called grandma and grandpa and we came up with these names ourselves. My husband has a goatee, hence the name Itchy!

  64. Milla says...

    My mother’s side of the family speaks swedish, so it’s Mormor and Morfar (Mommo and Moffar) and on my dad’s side it’s Finnish: Mummi and Vaari.

  65. Beth says...

    My Parents are: Mem Mem and Pop Pop or Mem and Pop for Short
    My Husband’s Parents are: Nana and Grampy

    When I was little, we called my Great Grandmother Honey.

  66. I call my Grandad, Grandad. All of my other grandparents have passed :(

    My nephew is fortunate enough to have a super tight relationship with both of his grandparents and my grandad. So he’s got:
    Grandad (my dad)
    GiGi (my mom)
    Nana (paternal grandma)
    Papau (paternal grandpa)
    and
    Grandad Gus (my grandad)

  67. Tina says...

    Our family is from Israel, so in Hebrew it is saba (grandpa) and savta (grandma).

  68. I grew up knowing only my maternal grandparents. We called my grandma Mamacita and my grandpa Atito!

  69. Zaree says...

    We also use Bumpa!! I named my grandfather Bumpa because I couldn’t say Grandpa, and it stuck! So funny.

  70. Heather says...

    My boys call my dad – who’s idea of casual Friday is wearing a suit without a vest – is “Pop-Pop.” I love it because it’s so much more silly than he appears.
    They call my mom “Gammy” which is a direct quote from SEINFELD when Elaine keeps getting phone calls from a kid who thinks she’s his Gammy.

  71. Liz says...

    I AM A MEXICAN GRANDMOTHER, HERE IN MEXICO IS USED TO CALL
    ABUELA- GRANDMOTHER
    ABUELO- GRANDFATHER
    BUT MY 7 GRANDCHILDREN CALL ME “ABI” AND I LOVE IT. AND MY HUSBAND IS CALLED “LALO” BECAUSE IS THE SHORT FOR EDUARDO

  72. I called my dad’s parents Memaw and Papa, they were from Mississippi. I’m not sure who started that or why, but I would assume, my oldest cousin on my dad’s side. We called my mother’s parents, much more proper names. Grandmother Hall and Grandaddy. They were born in ENC (Eastern N.C.) and were Southern Baptist. My Grandmother Hall had what we would now call ODC! She didn’t like anything to be dirty. The couches had plastic, she would throw hot slushy bleach water on the steps twice a day. She was ahead of her time, I’m pretty sure she created the Clorox Wipe. She used to soak paper towels in bleach and then put them in zip lock bags! Her house smelled of bleach and my Grandaddy’s Musacadine grapes. My grandmother died never having pumped her own cash and I bet I could count on both hands how many times she handled money with bare hands. It’s funny the things you remember… Gradaddy would take us “grandthangs” to McDonalds down the street before my Grandmother would get up, when we stayed there, for our “special breakfast”… he would make us promise we still had to eat whatever Grandmother Hall cooked for breakfast once she got up. She would only eat at specific places, bc other places were “not fit for a dog to eat” and McDonald’s was on of those places!

    My mom is called Grandmother from my niece, and PapaSarah from my step sisters children. They called my step dad Papa, so one day, the older one started calling my mom, PapaSarah (her name is Sarah)

  73. Linsey says...

    Maternal: Granddaddy and Gam
    Paternal: Grandma and Pap-Pap
    Step: Grandma and Grandpa

    …when Gam passed, we mostly referred to our step-grandmother as Jan (her first name), even though she signed cards “Grandma.”

    Pap-Pap became “Pap” when all of the grandchildren became teenagers.

  74. I love this post! My mom recently became a grandmother and settled on Grammie. We called ours Mimi & Grandpa and Nonna (Italian Grandmother) & Pop-Pop. I definitely want to be a Mimi and I’ve always liked the idea of Mumsi

    • Abby W. says...

      We call my mom and dad Nonna and Pop-pop too!! So far their only grandchildren are furry ones, but I definitely think they’re going to stick!

  75. thebedstuyowl says...

    My husband’s mother has asked to be called “Grandmother,” which I think is so stiff and ridiculous. You might as well hug a porcupine! So we’ve been having the kids call her “G-Mom.”

  76. Deidre says...

    I love this! My parents are Omi (a younger feeling version of Oma? My Austrian mom didn’t want to be Oma – that was her mom!) and my dad is Grampa Mac. My husbands’ parents are Pa, which is what my nephew had called him and it stuck, and to this day it cracks me up as he sounds like a cute little hillbilly, and Neema, since my oldest couldn’t pronounce Grandma, and it stuck!

  77. Katie says...

    I didn’t call any of my grandparents ‘conventional’ names; my Mum is half-welsh, so we called her parents ‘Mam’ and Dat’ and my Dad’s mum felt she was far too young (aged 52) when I was born to be known as ‘grandma’ so we call her ‘Fifi’ (short for Fiona.) My grandad was known as ‘Dad-Dad’; literally, Dad’s Dad!

  78. elm says...

    Feeling like the super minority here but i called my grandparents by their first names and my kids do the same. They also call my husband and I by our first names from time to time. I have such a deep aversion to calling my husband “dad” that i always refer to him by his name and the same for my parents and my husbands parents too, which is a bit odd as they are traditional Irish folks.

  79. jules says...

    Mine were Granny and Grandpa and then on the other side of the family Granny and Grandsir (!).

  80. Elizabeth says...

    My son (20 months) calls his my mother ‘Ama’. He still hasn’t come up with anything for grandpa because he has a hard time saying ‘g’ and ‘p’! He calls my husband’s parents aji (grandmother) and Abba-grandfather (my husband is from India and these are the classic names used in their part of India-however, anyone in the grandparent age range is called aji/Abba!)

  81. I called mine Grandpa and Grandma and Nana and Papa.

    My son has a Grandma and a Grandpa/papa (depending on the day) – my parents and a halmuni – Korean for Grandma

  82. We’re pretty simple my grandparents were nana and poppa and granny and grandpa.
    My kids have a grandma, nana and two grandpas.

  83. Sonja says...

    That’s hilarious! We called my Mom’s parents Nana and Bumpa as well. I didn’t think anyone else called their grandparents that.

  84. My maternal grandparents are/were Mor-Mor (mother’s mother in Danish) and Nono (Italian grandfather). For my dad’s side, my brother (the first born grandkid) couldn’t say Nana and Papa, their chosen grandparent names, and came up with Nonnie and Boppie instead! Couldn’t think of any better names for these amazing people.

  85. Stefanie says...

    My daughter has a Doctor Grampa, Oscar the Grouch (Grandpa), Motorcycle Papa, and Papa. Then a Grandma, and a Bamma (my mom)

  86. Meredith says...

    We must have heard the story of the Country Mouse and the City Mouse growing up, because that’s how my sister and I differentiated between our Grandmas! Our Country Grandma lived next door and Town Grandma lived in town a few miles away :)

  87. Dylan says...

    The only unusual name besides Grandma/Grandpa is Puckie- Puckie is my grandpa on my father’s side, and when I was a baby I just started calling him Puckie and it stuck. When my Grandma remarried a man named August, or Augie for short, I named him Puckie Augie :)

  88. Susie says...

    Husband’s side (because my Russian sister-in-law had children first and the names had already stuck): Dee (grandpa) and Baba (grandma)

    My parents: Padre (because that was my nickname for my dad when I was a teenager) and Granmary (because my mom’s name is Mary and it was a fun combo)

  89. Brady says...

    I always called both sets of grandparents grandma and grandpa, but I had friends who had interesting names for their grandparents. Gramsy and zandad, Gigi, granny and papaw. They all happened organically. It’s cute when the kids come up with the names bc they can’t pronounce something and then it sticks!

  90. Emily Raffield says...

    Mom’s side \ Maw Maw & Paw Paw
    Dad’s side \ Nanny & Papa

    My dad is now called “Grandaddy” which is close to “Daddy,” which as a Southerner I’ve called him my whole life. So that’s happy.

    Mom is called “Grandma” as a tribute to her own “Grandma Mannel” she loved as a child.

  91. Nickie says...

    I called my grandparents Grandmama and Granddaddy. My child calls my parents MeMa and Pepa….per my mother’s request. :)

  92. Voula Kanavas Pope says...

    as Greeks we keep it old school! Yiayia & Pappou!

  93. Kristine says...

    Mimi and Poppy on my husbands side. Tota (Mohawk for grandma) and Grandpa on my side, but my 21 month old calls them Titi and Papa. It is SO CUTE!

  94. I’m from Valencia in Spain and we call grandparents iaia and iaio, and my husband is from Beirut, Lebanon so his mom is teta and his dad would be jeddo if he was still with us :)

  95. Shannon says...

    My first niece – who is now almost a whopping 21 years old – called my mom “Gee” because she couldn’t pronounce grandma. Now 7 grandkids later it has stuck. My dad became Grampy – not sure who started that one but I’m sure it was the first niece and nephew. My step mom is Grammy Wanda. My son’s dad is Filipino and we call his parents Lola and Lolo. My son chants Lolo’s name over and over. It’s very easy to pronounce and I love hearing the songs he comes up with when singing Lolo’s name.

  96. Ellen says...

    My son calls my parents Opa and Oma (which is not strange, we’re Dutch!). He calls his other Opa: Nico Opa. That’s his name + Opa. I like it, it sounds a bit more original than Opa Nico (what would make more sense).

  97. Emily says...

    My nieces referred to their distant grandma as “Freeway Grandma,” and then shortened it to just “Freeway.” I always thought that was excellent.

    • Jane says...

      That is brilliant!

    • Terry says...

      Love Freeway.
      I called my maternal Grandparents Nona and Nono – Italian. My Paternal grandparents were Grandma and Grandpa.
      My Kids called my parents Mum and Dadin. My husbands parents were called Baba and Dzedo – Slovac.
      Our Grands call us Grammy and Grampy. Occasionally it is shortened to Grams and Gramps.
      Once in awhile the youngest will call me Terry Love….LOL

  98. Taeryn says...

    I’m South African and because Afrikaans is based on Dutch many South African kids also call their grandparents Ouma and Oupa. Both words actually have the prefix ‘ou’ which means old added to ma or pa – hence they actually mean Old Mom and Old Dad! My little ones call my mom Gogo as that is be Zulu word for granny and is a much-loved germ of respect and endearment!

  99. How funny that Toby picked Opa! My mom’s side of the family is German (she was born there) and so I called my grandparents Oma and Opa and it always felt so natural and fitting for the two of them. My Oma would refer to my Opa as Herr Kucher (Mr. Kucher). I loved that my family used these German words so naturally (I grew up not knowing the english word for “Parrot” because I only ever heard the word “Papagei”!). I definitely want to keep the tradition going when I have kids.

  100. Erin says...

    My parents are Nana and Bapa, which is what we called my mom’s parents growing up. My husband’s parents are LB (his mom’s initials – her choice) and Pops.

    We did have cute names for them when we were little, but after we hit about 10 we called both sets Grandma and Grandpa. Wonder if that will change for our little ones…

  101. Lori says...

    my grandparents were grandma & grandpa (dad’s side) and mimi & papa (mom’s side). my great-grand parents on my mom’s side were also alive for most of my childhood and their names were big mama and poppie. big mama wasn’t a big lady…the name came from her grand children. she wasn’t their mama, she was one level higher…their big mama.

  102. In our family, the grandpa’s could care less but the grandmother’s both chose their own names. My mother’s name is Susan so she’s SuSu and my mother-in-law chose Gigi which is what my husband and his brothers called their grandmother. The original Gigi was named Gertrude so everyone called her that but it’s a great “grandmother name” for anyone I think.

  103. Eva Mendoza says...

    I called my only grandparents, mama Rosa and papa Jose. My husband calls his paternal grandparents simply grandma and granpa… but his maternal grandparents are “otra mami” and “otro papi” which literally translates to other mom and other dad. Which I first heard it, I found it so endearing… and strange but now I refer to them as that too!

    • Rachel says...

      Are the otri Latvian?

  104. Awh what a lovely article, Jo! Funnily enough, my grandad on my mum’s side is ‘Bumpa’ too! Grandpa was too hard for my elder brother to pronounce, apparently…so as a toddler, he shortened it to ‘Bump-ah’ and Bumpa has stuck ever since. In fact, ALL of my grandfathers & great grandfathers have gone by the title of ‘bumpa’ as a result!

    My grandmothers have always been called Nanny – I’m not sure why…and I do wonder what titles my parents will hanker after when there are grandchildren on the scene. I’m reluctant to ask or choose for them: I think our kids will decide on that, just as we did! ;)

    Flora
    http://www.hardyandhay.com

  105. I call my dad’s parents Meamaw and Pappap. I have no idea where that came from ha! My mom’s mom was Meamaw too, but when talking in conversation we’d call her Meamaw Pat to differentiate.
    My parents doesn’t have grandkids yet, much to their (and my, patiently waiting to get married and enjoy it…) dismay. But they are stand-in grandparents for all my friends children. They are called Nanny Liz & Pappy Al by about 5 of my little ‘nieces and nephews’. haha. One even calls my Dad Pappy Albert (cause her mom, my bff, jokingly calls him Albert instead of Alvin).

  106. Ida says...

    Since I’m a Finn-Swede I call my mother’s parents mommo and moffa and my father’s parents fammo and faffa. This is of course a short form of mormor/morfar (mother’s mother/father) and farmor/farfar (father’s mother/father). I always found it strange that there would be no distinction between the two grandparents in other languages.
    It does of course create some friction between cousins when my aunt’s kids call our grandparents mommo and moffa and me and my brother call them fammo and faffa, as they are our father’s parents.

  107. Nora says...

    My children (both adults now) use Mamie and Papy for my parents (French) and Opa and Nagymama for my in-laws (Hungarian/German). Growing up, I used Nagymama and Nagyapa for my paternal grandparents (literally, “grandmother” and “grandfather” in Hungarian) and Mamie and Papy for my maternal grandparents. My 90 year old French mother has always felt strongly about being called Mamie by her grandkids, but none of the other grandparents in our lives seem to mind what we call them, as long as we call them often!

  108. I don’t have kids but when they were alive, my dad’s parents were Grandma and Grandad (who, incidentally, lived in Napa so calling either of them that would be mightily confusing :) and my mom’s parents were Papa John (ugh, the pizza man stole it!) and Grandma Ginny. We were boring :)

  109. Linda Bugni says...

    Meme and Papa! ❤️❤️

  110. Rachel says...

    We called my grandparents growing up Grandma and Pappap…on both sides so one was Grandma Garnic and Pappap Garnic–I have no idea where Pappap came from but even all of my cousins called my grandpa Pappap. We dont have kids of our own yet but we adopted a puppy last year. We refer to my mom as GG and i’m pretty sure that will stick even when we have kids. My fiance’s family just calls themselves Grandma and Grandpa or Pappy.

  111. Melkorka says...

    For my daughter we have started calling my Icelandic parents Amma & Avi and my husband’s American parents grandma & grandpa. Of course she is still only 8 months old – so it is more how we introduce or talk about them to her. It will be interesting to see how she pronounces them herself!

  112. Sarah says...

    I called my grandpa “Bumpa” as well! That is so funny, I have never met anyone else who used that name. My paternal grandparents were called Bela and Bumpa. Bela came about because my cousin could not properly pronounce “abuela” (they were living in Venezuela at the time), and it always came out as “bela” instead…and it stuck! We used very classic grandparent names for my mom’s parents, Nana and Papa.

  113. Vickie says...

    Cutest names I’ve ever heard are Lolli and Pop.

  114. Lo says...

    Growing up we call my paternal grandparents Abuelito for my grandfather and ChichÍ (mayan for Grandmother), my maternal grandparents where Mamama and Abuelo Luis, and Abuelo Abel. I also had greatgrandparents, Abue (my mom’s grandma) and Abuelo Marcelo (mom’s grandpa). The relationship with my maternal grandfatherS was more formal, hence they were called Grandfather followed by their name.
    Now that I have kids, my little boys call my mom Chichi and my dad Abo, as my grandmothers are still alive they are called Mamama and Chichi Grande (Older Grandma), my in laws are called Abuelo and Tita, though my nephew calls her Abuela, they are little now so we’ll see which sticks for the best.

  115. Gigi says...

    We have a Middle Eastern background, my daughter calls my parents “Tayta” (grandma) and “Jido” (grandpa) and her other grandparents “Sitto” (grandma) and also Jido.

  116. Fernanda says...

    I called my grandfather Tata because I had trouble saying Papa (poor Dad) & my paternal grandmother Abuelita but called my maternal grandmother Bueli. My girls call my mother in law Grammy and my parents inherited Bueli & Tata <3

  117. Lauren says...

    I called my maternal grandparents nana and grumps (a mispronounciation of gramps by my older brother and it fit his character.) my paternal grandparent were Bubie and Zadie, yiddish for grandma and grandpa. My parents are GG and Sharkey. My partners parents are still trying to figure out what they want to be called and my daughter is too young to call them anything yet.

  118. Kelly says...

    My girls (6 & 2) call their only set of grandparents Nanna and Grandnan …..Grandnan is how my oldest girl pronounced ‘Grandad’ when she was learning to talk…it has stuck and everyone (including and especially Grandnan) loves it! X

  119. Jennifer says...

    My grandparents were called Mimi and Poppie. My kids call my parents Nana and PopPop; my husband’s father and stepmom are called Papaw and Grandma; and his mother and her partner are called Grammy and Myra.

    Love hearing all the different names. Very sweet!

  120. jess says...

    my mum is called Grandma Chickens (because she has chickens) the other Grandma is Grandma Ralph, as her partners name is Ralph! My father in law is called Pops, he chose that . His wife gets called Paps as it seemed to go with Pops. My own grandparents were Grandma and Grandad Bow, as my Uncle lived with them and he would shout ‘Boo’ to us for fun, so he was Uncle Bow. I also have a Auntie Benny (jenny) and Uncle Carpark (mark) which seems so normal to me!
    Anton really looks like your Dilly!

  121. I called both sets of grandparents Grandma and Grandpa. We just differentiated between the two by adding their last name when we first mentioned them in conversation. My maternal grandfather died a few years ago, and which has somewhat done away with the need to say last names, since Grandma and Grandpa obviously is the paternal side and just Grandma is the maternal one. However, the shorthand we used for emailing (since both last names are long) has stuck around: G + G L (paternal) and GM (maternal).

  122. cindy says...

    I’m a grandma. My grandma name is “Birdie”. :-)

    • Jane says...

      That’s so sweet x

  123. Our family used Grandpa + their first name, like Grandpa David or Grandpa Tom. Then the ladies were much more creative, I’m realizing! Grammie, Ami, Mimi, etc. Hmm…wonder why!

  124. nicole says...

    I call(ed) my mom’s parents Baba and Deda which is Serbian for grandma and grandpa, respectively. My parents are known to my nephew as Nana and Coach. My dad always coached my brother’s sports teams, which lead to many kids affectionately calling him ‘Coach Bob,’ most ‘kids’ well into their 30’s still do!

  125. A says...

    In Norwegian there are own names for maternal and paternal grandparents. Mor= mother. Far= father.
    Mormor= maternal grandmother, litterary meaning mothers mother. Morfar= maternal grandfather. Farmor= paternal grandmother. Farfar=paternal grandfather. This way we always no which grandparents we are talking about!

    And we can also use the name for grandmother (bestemor) and grandfather (bestefar), which can be used for both paternal and maternal grandparents.

    And of course, these names are hard for kids to pronounciate, so many kids call their grandparents names like Mommo (hard to say R), Faffa, Moffa.

    Or like my two year old who can say “mormor” , but insists on calling her “Mollo”, from when she tried to say “mormor” when she was a year old:-)

  126. Alyssa Leister says...

    My dad’s parents were Mom-Mom and Pop-Pop and my mom’s parents were Nana and Pop-Pop. If I was referring to them when I was younger, I’d refer to my Dad’s as “Pop-Pop Clair” which was his name. Interestingly though, as I grew up, my mom’s Pop-Pop I shortened just to Pop. And it’s stuck. That’s what my Dad now calls him and what I call him. And it fits his twinkly-eyed, Pennsylvania Dutch personality. :)

  127. Ana says...

    I am portuguese. In my family, everyone calls their grandparents by avó or avô (portuguese words for grandma or grandpa) followed by their names. As simple as that ;) On the other hand, the names usually stick the way the children used to pronouce when they were little. E.g..: avó Jojo instead of avó Joana.