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. Emily says...

    My son calls my mother Go Go–the word he arrived at when he couldn’t pronounce Grandma. It’s always stuck.

  2. Jen says...

    My aunt and uncle who are grandparents are called Noki and Poppers (respectively) by their grandkids. At 37, I even refer to them as Noki and Poppers now….

  3. Kristen says...

    My in-laws have always been Oma and Opa (my MIL is Dutch), but my parents wanted to be Grammy and Grandpa. My son had other ideas though, and my parents are now known as Ama and Apa. Since my husband I go by Papa and Mama, it makes family gatherings difficult – Mama, Papa, Ama, Apa, Oma, Opa!

  4. Emily says...

    Also! No grandkids for my parents yet, but it’s already been determined what my dad will be called despite it. My dad is Pat. He will be referred to at Patpaw. Ha!

  5. I call my grandparents on my dad’s side, Grandma and Grandpa and on my mom’s side, Granny and Papa. My nieces and nephews call my parents Gogi and Papa. My mom wanted to be called Granny, but when my oldest nephew was about two, he couldn’t say Granny and called her Gogi and it stuck.

    Kristi | Be Loverly

  6. Kristen says...

    Grandma and Grandpa for my dads parents (Irish/Scottish) and Mama and Poppy for my moms parents (Italian). My parents are called Nana and Poppa by my nieces and nephew which I think my parents chose. Love reading the comments on this post. ?

  7. Lauri says...

    A friend’s daughter calls her grandfather “Old Daddy,” which makes me laugh every time I think about it.

  8. Noelle says...

    We color coded our grandparents! We aren’t sure where it originated from, but my maternal grandmother was Pink Grandma and my paternal grandparents were Green Grandpa and Grandma. Somehow we came up with it when my sister and I were tiny, and it stuck for life. :)

  9. Emily says...

    My mom’s side of the family lives near us. So I was always closer to my mom’s parents spending lots of my childhood at their house, we call them Nanny and Papaw. My dad’s side lived in the Southwest (where my dad is from) when they were still on this Earthly plane — we called them Nonnie Rose and Grandpa Lang (Rose was my grandmother’s name and Lang is our surname). It was much more formal and it fit them.

  10. Taylor says...

    We have a Granny & Pa, Papa & Mimi, Nana and Billy, and Poppy & Diane, and an Uncle Jimmy for my Godfather. Lots of divorces and remarriages, and they’re ALL still living (I’m 25!).

    My husband and I desperately want my dad, Andy, to go by Grandy, but my mom hates it. BOO.
    My husband’s grandparents all have SUPER country names–Pa John & Madine and Daddy Bill & Granny Betts-so I’m a little nervous to see what his parents come up with. Ha!

    Whatever they’re called, the thought of my parents becoming grandparents makes me SO happy. I love all the names here…so much affection and endearment!

  11. Sabrina says...

    My paternal grandparents were called Grammy and Grandpa Robbie (shortened version of our last name, Robideau)
    My maternal grandpa was Grandpa Joe and I never did meet my grandma but her name was Betty and I’m sure she would want to be called something fun and fabulous!

  12. Justine says...

    My own grandparents were Nanny and “Nunga” which came from my oldest sisters attempt at Grandpa when just a tiny baby. The name stuck, and all generations of grandchildren and great grandchildren called him this.

    My own parents are known to all as “Bobba” (his name is Robert or Bob) and “Nanna Bobba” – again, another name created by my nephew that has stuck for everyone!

    Very cute topic – happy Thanksgiving week all.

  13. The best one I have heard is a friend of mine, whose little girl calls her grandpa “Captain.” :) Ha. Makes me giggle every time.

  14. Ana says...

    Yes, it’s true we germans use “Oma” and “Opa” and I think it originated from “Großmama” and ” Großpapa” (you say i.e. “Grosmama”).

  15. My family has been quite traditional. One side is Grandma and Papa, the other Gramma and Grandad. But my dad has always joked that he wants to be called “Pooky” when my sisters and I have children, and it’s stuck so much I am quite certain he will be called that. ;)

  16. Funny story: Being first-generation Italian, we call my grandparents Nonno and Nonna. Well, as my parents tell it, one day I came home from kindergarten upset and crying because all the other kids in the class had a grandmother and a grandfather and I didn’t! They reassured me that I did, in fact, have grandparents, and that we just called them something different. Hopefully nowadays they teach kids that a grandparent by any other name is still a grandparent! :)

  17. We call my mum Mamgu (we’re from South Wales) you pronounce it “mamghee”
    I’ve never commented before but finally I have something to say! Hoorah!
    (I enjoy reading your blog so much, thank you)!!

  18. Lauren says...

    My grandparents on my mother’s side were always Grandma and Grandpa. That side is mostly Polish, though, and my great-grandparents were Bapcia (pronounced something like Bopshee) and Dziadek (pronounced something like Ja-joo). On my dad’s side, which is French, my grandmother was Mémère (not just to my sister and my cousins and me, but to basically her whole community), and my grandfather was referred to as Pépère, even though he died before any of his grandchildren were born. Now, my sister has a 6 month old, and my parents still haven’t decided what they want to be called – for my cat they are Grammy and Grampy. ;)

    • Lauren says...

      Just reading through the other comments – I’m amazed at how many bapcias and dziadeks there are! :)

  19. Paige says...

    My parents are called Shan and Da. Shan for my mom’s name-Shannon and Da is Celtic for dad.

  20. Kristina says...

    Omi and Opi (mom’s side). My grandmother is German, but she didn’t like the traditional Oma- so she spiced up the word by changing the a to an I!

  21. Cat says...

    My paternal grandparents were Mãe (Portuguese for Mother) and Greendad, maternal grandparents Nona and Nunu. My daughter calls my in-laws collectively “The Bapas,” my Dad is “The Big Bapa” and Mom is Granny. Love hearing these! Still giggling over “Canyon Dog!” <3

  22. My sister’s kids call their grandma “Grandma Mo,” per her request. It wasn’t until later she realized it was a poor choice–her last name is Lester. (Grandma Mo-Lester!) The name stuck with all the kids, so it’s way too late to change. We adults think it’s hilarious. :-)

  23. Sarah says...

    We have a grandma, a grandpa, a ‘silly grandpa’ (for my husband’s father who has sever social anxiety) and a pop-pop. Pop-pop is the name for my deceased father and I have NO idea when or how he became the name. I think he’d like it though. Oh we also have two devoted partnered great-uncles, who we call the Guncas. My sister is an ama instead of aunt, which is actually a name for mother or second mother in Farsi, a culture we have some connections to. I love all these goofy names :)

  24. Kathleen says...

    What a fun conversation! I called my mom’s parents Nonnie and PopPop and my Dad’s parents Grandmama and Granddaddy. We don’t have children yet and my husband is a big Grandma and Grandpa fan but I can’t see my Dad being anything but Granddaddy :). My paternal grandma was Grandmama-Great and she was-a great and lovely woman. My Dutch grandparents were Oma and Opa. :) So fun!

  25. Joanna says...

    In Greek
    Grandma: Yaya (yah-yah)
    Grandpa: Pappoús (pa-poos)
    The funny thing is that we pronounce ‘yah’ also the ‘hello’.
    So, for ‘Hello, Grandma’ it is ‘Yah, yah-yah’

  26. I always wondered why I read “Opa” in your Blog. Now I know…???

  27. shauna k says...

    I always called my grandma “Nonnie” or “Nan” :)

  28. TG says...

    Dads dad and his wife: “Big Daddy & Nana”
    Dads mom: “Mimi”
    Moms mom: “Kacee” (her initials are B.K.C.)
    Moms dad: “Papa”
    Maternal Great-grandmother: “Gimmer” (my aunt came up with this, as a toddler, attempting to say “grandmother”)

  29. Bronwyn says...

    We called my father’s parents grandmommy and g-daddy and my mother’s parents mum-mum and dad-dad. Now, however, my one surviving grandparent (my maternal grandfather) has figured out email and signs off with granddad, so granddad it is.

  30. amy says...

    Bo-Bo and Ma, I made them up when I was about two and they stuck!
    My son calls my mom Mimi (he made this up), and my husbands parents Grammy and Papa (they chose these names)

  31. Sarah says...

    Growing up it was Grandma [firstname] for both of mine. My in-laws use that too. My parents wanted special names to develop organically, so they are Amma and Ampa, because my daughter couldn’t say “Grandma” and “Grandpa,” and it has stuck.

  32. Laurel K says...

    I called one set of my grandparents Grammie and Grampie since their last name started with “E” and it was a way to differentiate between the sets of grandparents. My mother liked this so much that she’s now Grammie (and we have Great Grammie) and my Dad is Papa. Then we have the more traditional Grandma and Granddad on my husband’s side.

  33. Missy says...

    My grandparents were Granny Grunt (I’m the only one that called her that) and Pappy. Don’t ask me why called her that but I loved them 2 so much.

  34. I called my german grandparents “Oma” and “Opa”, my american grandmother was called “Oma Ami”.

  35. Alexandra says...

    I call one set of my grandparents traditional Polish names – Babcia and Dziadzia. On my other side, which is very America, I call my grandparents Pop and Grandma. It’s really nice to have two very different traditions; I get the best of both worlds.

  36. Omg before I even read the caption for your Dilly’s photo I saw Toby! Strong genes in your fam. My grandparents (on my moms side, the only ones I ever knew) were Nonie & Poppy. And when my kids were born she became Nonna and my mother became Nonie. How time flies.

  37. Oh this is a fun topic! We called our grandparents Grandma and Grandpa on both sides and differentiated them at home with their surnames (“we are going to Grandma Smith’s house”). When we found out we were pregnant, my father’s parents were happy to be called Grandma and Grandpa, as was my father, but my mother certainly wanted to be creative!

    Her first pick was Princess, which I shot down (she has an odd sense of humor more than anything), so we landed on Besta, short for Bestamor in Norwegian. But that has slowly turned into Bestie, which is also cute. And Grandpa has become Paw Paw on my side! Still Grandma and Grandpa on my husband’s side for some reason…

    • *Husband’s parents not father’s parents

  38. Chelsea says...

    Nanna and Bampa are used in Wales. Maybe Bumpa is a close relative of Bampa?

  39. Emily Wachelka says...

    My parents are Grammy and Grampy, and my husband’s parents are babcia and dziadek (polish)

  40. Vero says...

    Hi! I’ Italian so for my 2 children my parents are “Nonno” and “nonna. My partner is Spanish from a city called Valencia where they called grandmother “Iaia” ( pronounced something like eaea) and grandfather in Spanish is abuelo bit the first nephew couldn’t say so he started calling him just “Abu” so all the nieces and nephews that came after still call him “abu ” and just so you know we are a same sex family and my kids call me Mamma Vero and my partner mama’ Eva ; )

  41. Lauren E. says...

    Mine are super boring grandma and grandpa on both sides (Grandma Lottie and Grandma Mel to discern :) but my fiance calls his grandmother Tutu because they’re Hawaiian. I love it!

  42. I called my grand-parents in the traditional french way Mamé and Papé (maternal side) and Papie et Mamie (paternal side). When my son was born my mom knew right away that she wanted to be called Nonna. My dad (who passed away 4 months after my son was born,) is called Papili. On my husband’s side, it is Nana and Chacha (short for Charles).

  43. Anastasia says...

    Hilariously when my son was born my parents opted for GiGi and Toady! Odd but cute.

  44. Hannah says...

    Loved reading the comments on this post!

    I’m from Malta (close to Italy) and the words for grandparents are Nanna and Nannu, similar to the Italian terms. In my case I called one set of my grandparents Nanny (what I started calling her, which 25 years later still stuck) and Nannu.

    My son calls my mother Nanna Boff, since he couldn’t pronounce her name, Daphne which morphed into Doff, then Boff. He calls my father Nonee, which is Nannu Ee (short for Ian) combined into one word. So although they started off as normal Nanna and Nannu, children always find some way to innovate :)

  45. Farah says...

    The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree in my family apparently. Both my mom and grandmother did not want to be called “grandma”. My grandmother is also Filipina and to her “Lola” sounded like “grandma” so she chose “Nana” instead! haha! My mother whose name starts with a G is called “GG”. I think I like the idea of being called “Grandma”, although I may change my mind when I get to that point in my life.

  46. Sarah says...

    We do Oma and Opa for my parents too! It took them a while to get used to it, especially because I think my dad kept picturing someone smashing plates and yelling “Opa!” Haha. He learned to love it though. ;)

  47. Bailey says...

    I call my grandparents Nana and PawPaw. My grandma chose the name Nana because her name is Nancy. My cousin started calling my grandpa, PawPaw and it stuck!

  48. Betsey says...

    My Great Grandma we called Old Grandma (and she was really anything but old), my sister was the eldest grandchild and didn’t understand the difference between Grandma and Great Grandma, so we eventually all called her Old Grandma. My kids call my husbands parents Papa and Nini (said knee-knee). Our oldest came up with the Nini and it just stuck! They are Granny and Grandpa to the other grandkids. My mom is Grandma and my dad was Double G (Grandpa Gary), he is gone now, and we still refer to him as that (my kids are young, and didn’t know him well as he lived across the country and couldn’t travel to see my oldest. I was pregnant with my 2nd when he did in 2014). My Grandma, their Great Grandma is Gigi (GG), to help them understand the various Grandmas!

  49. Sarah says...

    This is such a fun conversation. I called my grandparents “grandma and grandpa (last name)” when referring to them, and then just grandma and grandpa to their faces. Kind of boring! Though a dear friend of mine has four grandmas and four grandpas, through divorce and remarriage. Her mom’s parents, though no longer married to each other, were Oma and Opa, and their spouses were Grandma/pa first name, so Oma and Grandpa Frank. On her other side, her grandparents are Grandma Nancy (“Grams”) and Dashman, which I love. Their last name is Dash, and though I’ve known her family for 20 years and have met all the relatives, I still don’t know Dashman’s first name :)

  50. I love these kind of posts! Since I have a Punjabi background (from India) – I call my dad’s parents: dad’s mom – bibi ji and dad’s dad – bapu ji. I call my mom’s parents: mom’s mom – nanni ji and mom’s dad – nanna ji. The ji at the end is used for most relations in punjabi to denote respect!

    http://www.footnotesandfinds.com

  51. I only really grew up with one set of grandparents. My dad’s father died when he was young, and his mother wasn’t ever around. So we just called my mom’s parents, Grandma and Grandpa! I never really liked all the other names, they feel weird to me. So, when my other grandmother came back into our lives, she signed everything “Gram”, but I just call her grandma when I do speak with her! Gram/Grammy feels SO old ladyish (and she’s not that old!)

  52. I’m from Taiwan, and I have always called my maternal grandmother “Po-Po” and my paternal grandparents “Nai-Nai” (grandma) and “Ye-Ye.

    My daughter calls my parents “Po-Po” and “Ah-Gong,” and my husband’s parents “Nana” and “Grandad” (which I think is pretty common where we live – NZ)

  53. I call my grandmother Gram and my late-grandfather was Gramp. They became grandparents at a young age and for much the same reason as you mentioned, weren’t quite ready for titles that were used for people older than they were.
    We also have a Yaya in the family as well.

  54. Sheri says...

    My mom had a lot of time to think this over, since I didn’t have my daughter until I was 38 and she decided to be Grammy and that Dad should be Poppy. My daughter cooperated and that was that :)

  55. I called my mom’s mom “Grandma” and my dad’s more formal, Southern parents “Grandmommy” and “Granddaddy.” My husband called his grandmothers “Grandma [last name]” which pretty much sums up his very traditional Mid-Western family!

    My kids call my husband’s mom “Grandma” and they called his dad “PopPop,” which was funny because he wanted to be called “Grandpa” but I always said he was a PopPop and my daughter started calling him that without any coaxing! My mom always wanted to be “GiGi” because it was her childhood nickname, and it seemed chic and original, but we know so many GiGis! I hear it all the time! It was a good choice though, because it’s an easy name to say, and so her name was the first the kids’ learned. My dad wanted to be called “Granddad” but my daughter wasn’t having it! She has called him “GDad” from the beginning, and he loves it. His whole face lights up when she calls him that, and it’s even his Instagram handle!

    It’s kind of a funny power the first grandchild has. My daughter was the first on both sides, so she got naming rights!

    • Kate says...

      I never knew anyone else who used granddaddy! My mom’s parents were Gram & Granddaddy (although it always sounded like “grendaddy” when we said it). My dad’s parents were Grandpa & Buddy Grandma

  56. My husband calls his maternal grandparents Mema (pronounced mee-maw) and Granddaddy, as he’s a southern boy. We don’t have kids yet, but his parents said they want to be called Honey and J, which I thought was just hilarious.

    • My cousin’s daughter call her parents Honey (Grandma) and Sugar Bear (Grandpa)!

    • My cousin’s daughter calls her parents Honey (Grandma) and Sugar Bear (Grandpa)!

  57. My dad loves to imagine out loud what he’ll be called as a grandfather someday. It’s so sweet to hear. I think he’ll be either “Papa” or something the baby invents entirely :)

  58. Josephine says...

    I love the photo of your grandfather – the family resemblance is strong!
    My mother’s parents were English and we called them Nanny and Dandy ( Dandy came about when my eldest cousin couldn’t pronounce grandad). They were also known as Fine and Dandy which suited them very well!
    We called my father’s parents (we’re Australian) Nan and Pa.
    My parents have become Nanny and Pa to my boys, and my husband’s mum was desperate to be called Grandma!

  59. Michelle says...

    My husband’s late great-Granny, who used a cane, was “Granny-with-the-stick.” That is still how they refer to her.

    My grandma is “More Grandma” to her great-grandkids.

    My uncle Ronnie is “Paparoni,” a kid-ism of Papa Ronnie that stuck.

  60. Maire says...

    My grandparents are Nana and Papa or sometimes Nan and Pop (mom’s side from Ireland) and Zady and Bubbe (dad’s side- Jewish). If I have kids, I will probably have them call my mom Nan or Nana and my dad Zady to continue the traditions.

  61. Traci Barr Segal says...

    We called always called our grandfather papa.?

  62. Alison says...

    My parents are Nana and Papa to our son, and my grandma wanted to be called GiGi (short for Great-Grandma). My husbands grandmother goes by Mimi, which I also love!

  63. Bethany says...

    We’re country-bumpkin out here in Ohio! With the grandkids, my mom goes by Mommaw and my dad goes by Pop or Poppy. This made for a fun Monday read!

  64. Lillie says...

    Nandy and Dandy. Grandma and Pop-pop.
    Lulu and Papi. Fifi and Papa Mac.

  65. JUliette says...

    Love to see all the different unique names. My daughter calls my dad Grand-Pierre (take on Grand-Père since his name is Pierre) and my mom Marnier (it started as a stupid joke from grand-mère to Grand-Marnier and Marnier stuck with my daughter!) and her american grand-parents Grandma and Grandpa. My parents had all kind of ideas but in the end the only thing that stuck was what my daughter wanted (and she’s the first grand child so now it’s set…)

  66. lindsay says...

    My niece has Granny and GrandMan (we were an all-girls + dad family, so instead of Dad, we started calling him “The Man.”) and on the other side, she has Meemaw and Papa.
    We had Granny and Grandfather on mom’s side, and Grandma and Grandpa on dad’s.
    I think the cutest granny name I’ve ever heard is “Lala” – a woman I work with is named Londa and her grandkids call her Lala. So sweet!

  67. Alice says...

    I call my mum’s parents Grammie and Grandad and my dad’s Grandma and Grandpa. My dad’s parents are quite a bit older than my mum’s and their names sound older too so it fits well

  68. When my brother and I were born, my grandmother was recently divorced, dating, and considered herself far to young to already be a grandmother! So I grew up calling her ‘Flo’ short for Florence. It eventually morphed into Grandma Flo once she became a little more comfortable with the title, but she will always be Flo to me! My daughter calls my parents Grandma and Grandpa, but calls her other grandma Suz, short of Suzanne. I like keeping the tradition of calling different sets of grandparents their own unique names!

    xoxo http://www.touchofcurl.com

  69. Jenny says...

    My dad and his wife are brilliant. He chose the italian name “Nonno” for himself and she chose the greek name “YaYa” for her. Not only is it a cute pairing, but they are the easiest words for babies to say. My son, who is 15 months old and in love with his grandfather, chatters “nonnononononono” all day long!

  70. Katherine Adams says...

    I have some lovely pics of your Dill, whom I loved and miss. He called me Katinks or Katonks.

  71. I spent a lot of time with my mother’s parents as a child and, after hearing them call out each others names since my birth, I also started calling them by their names: Mary and Lee. It got many weird looks over the years, but once it happened, it stuck. My dad’s parents were Meemers and Gran. I have no idea how that came about! — I think Milly and Dilly are adorable grandparent names.

  72. I love reading these!

    My Chloe started calling my dad “Da” since she was about 9 months old. It’s definitely his name (though he really wanted a traditional “Grandpa”). My mom is “Mimi,” which we now realize is common in French but was created because my little one, as she spends so much time with her grandparents, kept getting confused about what to call my mother with “Grandma” coming out a little too close to “Mama.”

    For my partner’s parents, who we don’t see as often, Abuela and Abuelo seem to be sticking!

  73. Lauren says...

    My grandparents were Nana & Papa, and Grandma & Grandpa. On my mom’s side, we used Grandma & Grandpa, as they were already long-time grandparents. On my dad’s side, it became Nana & Papa, because they didn’t want us to be confused with two people sharing a name. My boyfriend’s parents are grandparents, and they go by Nana & Papa, too. Then, his grandparents are Filipino, so it’s Lolo & Lola.

    For my own parents, I think their grandparents always went by Grandpa (Name) and Grandma (Name). The only exception being Gram Margaret (always pronounced as a single word!).

  74. Lisa says...

    I am Swedish, where you would call grandparents mormor (mothers mother), morfar (mothers father), farmor (fathers mother) and farfar (fathers father). Because we couldnt say mormor clearly, we used to say “momo” and that definitely stuck. My sister is having a baby soon and we already say that our parents are now upgraded to Mormor and Morfar, its no longer mom and dad!

  75. Cara says...

    I forgot to add that we called our great grandmother “GiGi”, my great grandfather “PopPop”, my grandparents on my dad’s side “Grandma” and “Grandpa” and my grandparents on my mom’s side “Grandmother” and “Grandfather”. Funny enough, they each fit their personalities.

  76. kate says...

    Oh man, my kids have such a mixed bag!

    -Nonna & Papa (my parents – 100% Italian mom)
    -Yaya (MIL -not Greek – mispronunciation of Grandma which stuck).
    -Grandfeather and Gammie. (by request from FIL & his wife)
    -Buna & Musu (Husbands grandparents – Romanian)
    -Grandma & Grandpa (Husbands other grandparents)

    Whew! At least they don’t get any of them confused!

    • Kate says...

      GRANDFEATHER!!!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      these are so sweet! lucky kids to have so many grandparents/great-grandparents!

  77. Mandy says...

    I always called my Grandparents (Mom’s side) Grandmom, and Grandpop. 3 years ago I married my now Husband who is 21 years older than me… there were already 2 grand kids, and his daughter just had twins last year. I am now having the OMG moment of what they are going to call me???, the 32 year old ‘Grandmother’ of 4 grand kids! LOL. My husband jokingly says “Grandma-Mandy” …haha

  78. I call my grandparents ” grandma/grandpa” and often in emails to my grandma I refer to her as GMA.

    My nieces and nephews have been paving the way for what my future children will call their grandparents. It’s quite the collection – we’ve got a Meme, Paps, MeMaw, PaPaw, and… I can’t remember the rest! We have a very large family with lots of parents/stepparents. My mother’s the only one who won’t have a name until we have a child. She may choose to go with something offbeat or stick with “Grandma” since she’ll be the only one. :)

  79. Cara says...

    Oh my goodness! Looking at your grandfather is like looking into the future of what Anton will look like. Your grandfather looks like he had a kind heart and soul. Very much like Anton as well. Genetics are fascinating, aren’t they?!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      awww, thank you. what a sweet note. he was very kind-hearted. we all adored him.

  80. Annalisa says...

    I had Swedish grandparents so we called them Farfar (the Grandma) and Farmor (Grandpa). :)

  81. My mom is called “Chief” (started as a joke, but stuck & it is perfect for her type-A personality). My stepdad is “Pappi” which often turns into all kinds of different names like Pappironi, Papuli, etc… My in-laws are Pop Pop & Jo Jo (her name is Joy). I always called my grandmother “Grammy” and my grandfather was “G”-dad. Each name is different, fun, and endearing! What a great post!

    • Chief! I love it!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      omg, chief is hilarious and amazing!

  82. Emily R says...

    Traditional All the way.

    They were both grandma and grandpa. Insert a last name when you had to differentiate.

    Wasn’t an issue every with confusion as they were never in the same room together.

  83. My mom’s mom has always and will always be Dolo, short for her given name Dolores. It also happens to be her personalized license plate, because that’s how she rolls. (She is a Betty White lookalike, although she’s the first to remind you she’s nine years younger ;-)

  84. Starlene says...

    My grandparents were Nana and Papa – pretty traditional. But I have a friend who calls hers Lela and Lelo (Abuela and Abuelo was too hard to pronounce). I love it! All the friends call them that now.

    Another friend has a son that calls her dad Canyon Dog. We have no idea where it came from but it cracks me up every time I hear it!

  85. Sophie says...

    My husband’s parents are greek, so we use the traditional greek names: Yia Yia for his mother, and Papou for his father. My parents are English, and go by Granny and Grandad. I’d always assumed I’d be a granny one day, too… but Yia Yia is so much more exciting!

  86. Lily says...

    I call my grandpa Zayde. It’s Yiddish for Grandpa!

  87. I called my Grandmother “Mãe” (Mother in Portuguese) because that’s how I saw everyone calling her (my mother has 8 siblings)! My baby calls my mom “Vóvi” – a twist on the traditional Vovó (Grandma in Portuguese). The American grandparents still are trying to figure it out! Although we refer to Grandpa as Grandpere (because of Daniel Tiger)! I love those family stories!

  88. Marissa says...

    We called our grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, with the exception of my maternal grandmother who is Nana.

    My children call their grandparents on their father’s side Bubbie and (Big) Poppy, and my parents the Hebrew equivalent of grandma and grandpa Savta and Saba

  89. kp says...

    great post! my son has 5 grandparents and 2 great-grand parents so it was tricky to find a unique name for all of them! i’m japanese so my parents are “baba” and “jiji” – obaachama and ojiichama is grandmother and grandfather in japanese. my husband is hungarian so his dad is “apu” – which actually means father (not grandfather) in hungarian. but my husband called HIS grandfather “apu” growing up so we kept up the tradition for our son. his mom and stepdad are “nana” and “papa”. my husband’s grandmother is “mimi” – my husband and his sister grew up calling their grandmother “mimi” so the name just stuck and that’s what my son calls her too! :)

  90. Given that my son calls his dad (my husband) George, first name use is in order for grandparents too.
    I really like your picture with Dilly. There is so much love in it.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      how interesting that your son calls his dad George! Toby has been getting into that. the other day he said, “joanna, is alex working late tonight?” i was like hahaha who are you???

  91. Mac says...

    I called my dad Poppy growing up and tried to make PopPop a thing for my baby (in large part inspired by Arrested Development). It lasted for a year or two, then we all got lazy and now he’s Papa!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      hahaha love that you were inspired by arrested development.

    • ashley b says...

      omg me too. ha!

  92. Jane says...

    I am proud to be called Grandma, just don’t call me Granny because that was my mother-in-law! My girls call my mom Popo, which is Chinese for the maternal grandmother. My husband is happy to be called Grandpa. And my father was called Gung-gung, also Chinese. I guess we’re very traditional, no new age names for us. When we lived in Hawaii, we noticed that grandmothers were called Tutu which I thought was so cute.

  93. Stasha says...

    My friend’s 7 year old calls his grandparents “CeCe and Captain”. I love it!

  94. How sweet! On my mom’s side, we call her “Anniegram” (her unique choice), and we called my grandpa “Papa”. On my dad’s side, I never knew my grandparents, but we refer to them as “Baba” and “Grandpa Abe”.

    My cousin’s (Lena and Josh who you know!) kids call their grandparents “Baba” and “Zayda” on Josh’s side. I love family names – they’re so sweet and intimate. “Opa” is wonderful!

  95. Dawn says...

    my kids call my mom Oma (her request) and my dad is simply, Poppa. the other grandparents (biological, adopted + otherwise) are Gramma, Grandma, Gma (pronounced Gee Ma) and Papa. the kids usually tag on the first names with the titles. my mom is Filipina and from Hawaii, but we’ve never used Lola and Lolo. Lolo in Hawaiian means crazy!

  96. Hannah says...

    My paternal grandparents are Grandma and Grandpa, but my maternal grandparents were Nanny and Pok. Nanny because her name was Nancy, and Pok because that’s what came out when my oldest cousin tried to pronounce “Grandpa Ike.” It stuck!

  97. Lindsay says...

    We always referred to my grandparents by their last names. Grandma and Grandpa Burt on my dad’s side. And Grandma and Grandpa Seely on my mom’s side.

  98. I have a nephew who calls my dad Grandad, stepmom Nanna, and my mom Grandma. They seem like pretty normal names, and I’m sure my future kids will either keep those names or make up their own for my side. However my husband is Vietnamese, and I’m pretty excited for my future kids to call my mother in law “Noi” or “Ba Noi”!!

  99. Mac says...

    My mom thought the grandparent nicknames were ridiculous until my daughter started calling her Mimi. :) Now we have Mimi and Papa, because that’s how the 2 year old said it. My husband’s mom has been “Guys” for the last 13 years. Her first grandkid called her that as a toddler (I’m guessing because she says guys!guys! a lot, but the name happened before my time in the family) and Guys stuck. Funny!
    I love the sweet, different names families come up with.

  100. Emily says...

    This is such a great post! I recently went to Sicily and it was so lovely to hear little cries of ‘Nonnie!’ and ‘Nonna!’ everywhere. Being from the UK my grandparents names were all pretty traditional – Nana and Granddad. However my parents definitely don’t fall into that ‘traditional’ category and although they are yet to become grandparents it’s long been decided that my mum will be known as ‘Granna’ (which has much to her horror already become a family nickname!) and my dad who is a 6ft 2″ tall hippy with long white hair and bushy beard has also already started to be lovingly called ‘Grandalf’ (Thats right. As in Gandalf – poor man!). Although we all call him Papa so that will probably stick too!

  101. Jennifer says...

    My mom is “Granny” (at her request) and my mother in law is “Grandma”. Both grandfathers ended up being “Grandpa”, so now my 3 year old refers to them as “The Grandpa who comes with Granny” and “the grandpa who comes with Grandma”. Not exactly snappy!

  102. Hollie says...

    My mom and stepdad are Granny and Bobo to my kids, which is funny bc my mom looks really young but wanted to be called that and I had heard someone on The Bachelor YEARS ago call her grandpa Bobo and I knew I wanted my kids to call one of our parents that. They’re now 8 and 4 and insist on calling their other grandpa Grandpa, I think bc they heard so many other kids call their grandpas that and they wanted to fit in :). But they still love saying Bobo :)

  103. Gabriella says...

    We called my Argentine grandmother “Abu,” short for the Spanish word for grandmother–Abuela. Easy and fun to say!

  104. Jen says...

    We live overseas and my dad first came to visit when our kid was about six months old. On the flight over he happened to watch The Big Lebowski for the first time (?!)… so we call him “grand-dude”! We also have a grandpa, pa, and two grandmas. His great-grandfather is “big pa”.

  105. Lacey Eldersveld says...

    Growing up, we called my mom’s mom “Mor Mor”, which means grandmother in Swedish. Once I had kids I thought my mom would take on the “mor mor” name but her mother had recently passed away and I think it was just too hard for her. She’s now Grammy. :)

  106. Megan says...

    My mother in law is Oma to my kids, as was her German mother. My 1 year old daughter just started calling her Mamo, which is so adorable. My parents are usually the classic Grandma & Grandpa.

  107. Nina says...

    Growing up I called my paternal grandparents “Mi” for grandmother pronounced “my” and “Bapa” for grandfather. On my maternal side we referred to my grandmother as “Ba” and grandfather as “Bapu”. I come from an Indian family so those titles are very common and different families use them in different ways. I will be giving my parents and my husband’s parents their first grandchild so I’m not certain what baby boy will call them! We referred to them as “Baba” for the moms and “Dada” for the dads when we talk to our dog! Haha. I really want each of them to have their own title to keep it unique. I love how many of you let a name come about organically. I may just do the same!

  108. Since I live in Germany and have German and Dutch grandparents, I called my German grandparents Oma and Opa and my Dutch grandparents Opa Ton and Oma Barbera. That I only added the Names for my Dutch grandparents is probably because they lived further away and I didn’t see them as often.

  109. Katie says...

    The traditional! Grandma and Grandpa on my father’s side, Granny and Granddad on my mother’s side.

  110. BreeAnn says...

    My mom is Nana, as her mom was my Nana, and my Nana’s mom was my mom’s Nana. As far as I know, that’s most traditionally British. My dad goes by Grandpa to the older kids and Gampy to the littles. (A 14 year old just isn’t going to call him Gampy.)

    My husband’s parents have less grandkids and they all call them different things. We to refer to them as Grandma and Papa. My mother in law is trying to go by MeeMaw or Mimi but my husband HATES both of those options and refuses to refer to her as either to our daughter.

  111. Karina says...

    So sweet that Toby just made the name ‘Opa’ up. When you first mentioned it in the past I always thought you knew it was German or Dutch.
    I grew up in Germany and I called my grandmothers ‘Oma’ and ‘the other Oma’ as she lived further away and I did not see her much. I can’t imagine she liked being called that but it made sense to my 5 year old mind :)
    I love the names ‘Lolo and Lola’ for grandparents. How cute is that!

  112. Growing up we just used Grandma and Grandpa for our living grandparents (both on my dad’s side), but for my mom’s parents who had passed away, we said “Grandma Jane” and “Grandpa Cece” (their first names) so we didn’t get confused.

    Sidenote: in many other languages, there are different words for maternal and paternal relatives…such as in Turkish, where paternal grandpa is “buyuk baba” (big dad), maternal grandpa is “dede,” paternal grandma is “babaanne” (dad mom) and maternal grandma is “anneanne” (mom mom). It’s not so confusing for kids when there are special words for each type of relative!

  113. *E says...

    We have a 10-month old so I suppose nothing is set in stone, but so far we’re calling my parents “Grandma” and “Pépère” (which is what his French Canadian father was called by our own generation of grandkids) and my husband’s mother is “Grammy”. But “Grandma” isn’t feeling quite right for my mom so I get what you mean about your dad! Maybe it will evolve… We do have friends whose children call their very lumberjack-hunting-Maine character of a grandfather – whose name is Barry – “Bear Paw”. It’s so perfect!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Bear paw is perfect! I also love Pépère. Good luck coming up with one for your mom! Maybe someone in the comments will inspire you, these are all awesome :)

  114. Taylor says...

    Grandsir and Grandma! My Aunt had my cousin and was asking her Dad what he wanted the Grandkids to call him… “I’d like them to call me sir,” he replied. And with that Grandsir was born. I get stopped all the time when people hear that we call him Grandsir, which is the perfect name for him. And my Grandma is a perfect Grandma!

  115. nohatnogloves says...

    This is always a good one. I did not know my grandfathers but I had Nanny-round-the-corner (or Nanny-in-Bradford when we moved) and Nanny-in-London. They were both nanny to their faces. My mother is Nana Gwen, or Nana or even Little Nana, my father was Bampa. My mother in law is Nanny and my father in law was Grandad. I want to be Nan – short for nana and also an old English pet form of my real name. But not quite yet. BTW in England, there is a bit of class association with this title. Poshos call them Grannie and Grandpa because nanny is what you call the person who looks after them in the nursery. Nana falls somewhere in the middle.

  116. chelsea says...

    This is a great post! My mother and father are Lee Lee and Papa, which I love. Lee Lee is “short” for her first name, Lee Ann, and Papa started as G-pop (his choice) but morphed into Papa when the first grand child came. My favorite of all times is my uncle, who, when becoming a grandfather, was determined to go by “Dude.” This later turned into “Dood” when the first grandchild started spelling his name…precious.

  117. Ann says...

    So cute. My in laws are just Grandma and Grandpa, but my parents were pretty into their grandparent names. We now have Dada and Big Papa!

  118. I grew up with a Mom-mom and Pop-pop (which, said quickly, sound like Mum-mum and Pop-up), a Grandma and Grandpa (but they’re southern so it always came out “grammaw and grampaw”), and later when my mom got remarried we got to name our step-dad’s parents and settled on Nan and Pap.

  119. Laura says...

    Bubbles!! that one made me LOL!
    I grew up calling both sets of grandparents “Grandma and Grandpa.” We differentiated them by their location, ex. “Seaford Grandma” or “Florida Grandpa,” which I realize, in retrospect, is very weird. My nephews call my mom and dad “Grammy and Grandpop” and their other set is “Grandma and Pop”

    • Lisa says...

      Haha, I also had Florida Grandma and Florida Grandpa!

  120. Tessa says...

    I love this post. There’s something really lovely and intimate about the names we end up calling our grandparents. I called my grandparents on both sides Pho Pho and Phwa Phwa (Burmese for granddad and grandma, which I suppose is quite standard, but growing up in Hong Kong I never really heard other people use the same terms so it felt somewhat unique to me) and my kids call my parents the same. They call my husband’s mum Nana and his stepdad Grampy.

  121. My husband is Asian and so according to their tradition, depending on which side of the family (maternal or paternal) you are on, they have different names for each set of grandparents. Since my mother-in-law is the paternal grandparent, her name is “Nie Nie” (phonetic spelling (rhymes w/ “tie”) – have NO clue how to actually spell it). My father-in-law is deceased, but his name would be “Ye Ye” (like on the show “Ni Hao Kai Lan”). But when my kids were young, it was hard for them to say “nie nie” for my MIL and “grandma”, “mah mah”, or whatever for my mom, so they started calling my mom “Nie Nie”, too. But they call my dad, not Ye Ye, but “Paw Paw”. I have no idea, but it all works. Sometimes they’ll refer to my Father-in-law as “Paw Paw in the sky” and we don’t correct them necessarily, but we still refer to him as “Ye Ye.” But we do differentiate between the Nie-Nie’s – we’ll add their name (in my mom’s case, her last name because she would be horrified if they referred to her by her first name; in my MIL’s case, her “American” name). Confusing? Kind of. Does it work? Absolutely. And that’s all that matters. :)

  122. Kate says...

    My maternal grandmother is called “Babi.” She was a glamorous New Yorker who was barely 50 when she became a grandmother and she felt that the Ukrainian “Babchu” or “Babushka” sounded too old.

  123. laney says...

    On my mom’s side we call them Pépé & Mémé. On my dad’s side, Bumby (a name my cousin made up) & Poppy. My parents are about to become grandparents for the first time & they’re going to be called Papa & G.G. (for “Gorgeous Grandma”) :P

  124. katelyn says...

    My parents wanted to be called Lolly and Pops, little guy is only 8 months so we will see if it sticks! :)

  125. Kate says...

    My maternal grandmother is called “Babi”. She was a glamorous New Yorker who was barely 50 when she became a grandmother and she felt the Ukrainian Babchu or Babushka sounded too old.

  126. Amy says...

    My parents are Mamma and Pappa because my dad is Finnish, my mother-in-law and her husband are Ma and Pa, and my father-in-law is Opa.

  127. Tara says...

    My daughter calls my parents Mimi and Pop. Her 12 cousins also call my dad Pop, but she is the only one who uses Mimi instead of Grandma. She calls her other two grandmothers Mimi now as well, though they are Mimi Pat and Mimi Carla, respectively.

  128. Ivy says...

    My parents are “Grandma” and “Grandpa”, and my mother in law is “Nanny.” My husband’s father is deceased, so he mostly gets referred to as Daddy’s Daddy. My grandparents on my father’s side we called “Pappy” and “Rere” and I had Grandma and Grandpa on my mom’s side. Rere was so called because my cousin, her first grandchild, couldn’t say “Mary,” which she would have preferred to “Grandma.”

  129. Kate says...

    I call my mom’s parents Grandmom and Granddad, which I like so much more than Grandma and Grandpa. My uncle’s name is Andy, and his granddaughters call him Grandy, which I love so much!!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Grady! So cute!

  130. Sally says...

    My three-year-old calls my parents, “Gaga” and “Pappy.” Surprisingly, my mom has run into numerous grandmas whose grandchildren call them Gaga, too!

  131. My son is half German / half American and he’s got Oma and Opa over here and my parents go by Grandma and Granddad.

    Since both of my grandfathers died before I was born, I never met them or called them anything. For my grandmothers, I had Grandma and Gram.

  132. Danielle S says...

    my parents will definitely be Grandma and Grandpa. I can’t see them being called anything else because those are just so perfect for them (my own grandparents are Poppy and Grandma). but my mother in law will be Granny, which seems to be a very English thing to do! My stepson, niece and nephew all say Granny, while Aunts are always Auntie

  133. Kate says...

    My parents recently became grandparents, and my mom settled on Nana.
    My dad, funnily decided to be called “Sir”! (He’s not at all stern- he’s a big teddy bear.) I can just picture the little kids adoringly calling him Sir in the years to come… love it!

    • Kate says...

      That sounds like something out of a children’s book – visiting Sir’s house, etc! How magical.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      Oh my gosh, that is so, so, so cute.

  134. Jess says...

    Oh I love this post!! My grandparents were Honey & Gran and Papaw & Mamaw, and my mom is called “Gagi” because that’s how my son pronounced “Grammie” when he was tiny. My mom was just so excited that he was calling her something that she stuck with it. My grandma Honey was so glamorous, she always reminded me of an old-timey movie starlet. Three huge overflowing closets full of clothes and jewelry, fur coats and shoes… I’m pretty sure my sister and I are going to fight over who gets to be called Honey when we become grandparents.

  135. Holly says...

    We wanted to stick with Grandma/Grandpa, because that’s what we called both of our sets of grandparents (and our parents were actually excited to have earned the moniker, atypically I guess). But it isn’t working out that way! First, her grandparents are way more involved in her life than ours were, so she’s using the names constantly and it’s nice to differentiate. Also those words are super hard for a two-year-old to say. So right now we’re at Wawa and Papa Mike, and Wawa and Papa Duck (Chuck). “Wawa” is 100% her invention but it’s kinda cute, right?! Still working on the differentiating there, as their first names are too hard so she calls both grandmas AND her great-grandma “Wawa” (not to mention water!)

  136. Lindsey G says...

    I personally called my great grandmother Ma, her husband was called Pa but I never knew him. We have a slew of greats and grands: Nana, 4 papaws (one grand and 3 greats) a granny/grandad (greats) and a Nandee, and pops!

  137. Kim says...

    I love this! My mother in law knew right away that she wanted to be Nonna, which stuck, but my father in law really wanted something to come about organically. He started as Papa Tom (I loved that!), which evolved into Atu, which, ironically, are his initials. My dad decided on Amp before our first was born (his initials!). And my mom had sort of decided on Grandma, but my son, a late talker, couldn’t say it. I was starting to feel bad that my poor mom didn’t have a name that my son could call her by (he could say Nonna, Atu and Amp by this point) that one day in the car I just started trying things out: Gram, Granny, G-ma… and Gigi was the winner. It suits her well!

  138. Susannah says...

    That’s so funny! My parents are called Nana and Bumpa too because my oldest nephew couldn’t pronounce grandpa.

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      no way! that’s crazy, ha!

  139. My parents are Grandma and Grandpa. My husband’s parents are Grandpa and Baba, which is Croatian for Grandma.

    Since both my dad and my husband’s dad have the same first name and are called Grandpa, sometimes we call one Grandma’s Grandpa and the other Baba’s Grandpa.

  140. Erzsi says...

    My kids call my parents “Anyo” and “Apo,” Hungarian for mom and dad. Easy for little mouths to say!

    • kp says...

      my husband is hungarian and our son calls his grandpa “apo” as well! he calls his grandma “nana” – he couldn’t pronounce “anyo” haha :)

  141. Emalee says...

    My kids call their grandmothers very unique names… First is Voey, a twist on the Portuguese grandmother. After a very long time of trying to teach my son to say a number of “grandma-ish” names, we finally asked him what my mom’s name was. He responded (almost irritated that we didn’t know already, “Hiya!” So that’s what her name is. Not sure how he came up with it, but it suits her and I love that he made it up completely. Shows how much we knew!

  142. Katelin says...

    My mom is Linda so the grand kids call her “Lindy” and my dad is Gary so the kids call him “G.” It suits them perfectly.

  143. Laura says...

    My mom was so excited for my nephew’s birth and decided that she would be “Grammy” even before my sister was in her second trimester. My nephew arrived, and even though he spent the wazoo of time with my mom and knew everyone else’s names, he didn’t call her anything. Finally, when he was about a year old, he alternated between calling her “Debbie” (no idea why, her name is Linda) and “Pepe.” The latter stuck and now my son calls her that too. My husband is a native Spanish speaker and always gets a laugh out of the fact that “Pepe” means “Joe.”

  144. Sarah says...

    My father’s name is Larry and his nickname from his mother was Larrba. He now has 8 grand kids and he is lovingly called Larrba by all of them.

  145. Kathleen says...

    My grandparents on my dad’s side (from SC) were Grandpa Joe and Grandma Van (short for Evangeline). On my mom’s side, I have Grandpa George (who I never knew), and Oma and Opa (my stepgrandad was Austrian, so the German names stuck). It’s funny that you bring up Lolo and Lola though, because my godmother’s mother is Lola to EVERYONE younger than she is (they’re Filipino).

  146. Kersten says...

    Love this! Growing up we called our grandparents on both sides “Grandma and Grandpa” and we only saw them two times a year for a short visit. When I had my own kids I wanted something different. My mom is called Essie (came about since her initials are S.C.) and my dad is Opa. My in-laws are Mo (short for Maureen) and Grandpa Tom. I don’t even remember the name we had chosen for Grandpa Tom but it never stuck, obviously!

  147. Jess says...

    I call my grandmother “Babi” — derived from the yiddish “Bubbe”: באָבע

  148. Kirby says...

    I’ve always called my grandmothers Honey (by her request) and Buddy (which I invented when I was little) and my grandfather is Pop Pop. My daughters call my parents Cookie and Pop!

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      So sweet! My friend Clare also calls her grandma Honey. Really lovely.

  149. Kate says...

    My aunt just became a grandma and goes by “glamma,” which we all find hilarious and appropriate. Call me traditional, but I cannot imagine calling my grandparents Sonoma and Napa!

  150. lindsay says...

    my grandfather was my “pappy”. he chose it, i think, because his father used it. i loved it, as did all of my childhood friends because none of them had a pappy, so he was “pappy” to everyone.