Gransnet forums


what do the grandchildren call you?

(88 Posts)
jackyann Thu 19-May-11 13:30:58

I shall soon be a first-time grandmother (love all the tips - thanks!)
In my area, the traditional names are: Nanna / nanny & Gramps / grampy.
In my family when we became adults it was thought that these names were childish, and we were invited to call our parents & grandparents by their given names (this goes back at least 3 generations)
However, when my children became adults they laughed at the idea of doing this - we remain "mum & dad", my parents remained "nanny & grampy", and their great-grandad had a family nickname that we all called him.
My parents recently died and I suppose we would traditionally become "nanny & grampy". I myself would be quite happy to be called by my given name (a suggestion that has caused even more hilarity!)
So: I find "grandma" formal, "nanny / nanna" fine for small children (but I hope to be around until they are adults).
My children think it's silly to use my given name (as if I don't want to be a granny - I do!!)
I don't have any cultural background to enable me to get round it by calling myself "oma / nonna" etc.

Please pitch in, you all have such good ideas about everything else!

clover Thu 19-May-11 16:58:09

I didn't want to be known as Granny but I'm quite content to be known as Grandma

lucid Thu 19-May-11 17:09:03

hi jackyann - I have 4 grandchildren and I am a Gran to all but one (who calls me Granny, gran, gran!). Have you thought about Gran followed by your given name. For more ideas go to the Chat forum 'Grandma - Granny - Nana - Nanny etc etc' where there is a discussion about what we are called by our little darlings. You'll love being a grandmother....grin

jackyann Thu 19-May-11 17:55:31

Thanks - still finding my way around - yes, very interesting.
I would love a reason to be called something "wise sounding" like Tipuna (but maybe Maori grannies like the sound of "nanna"!)
I do like the idea of taking the title of the grandmother you would most like to emulate.
And I am using my given name here - I can only imagine what a young child will say for nanny jackie!!!

Daddima Thu 19-May-11 20:13:37

My grandchildren call me by my given name, albeit sometimes prefixed by " gran". My pal is from Pakistan, and tells me that daddy's mummy there is called " Daddima", and mummy's mummy is " Nannima". I like that, hence the username.

sj Thu 19-May-11 22:42:35


I am about to be a first time granny too (imminent as we think the little one may be on the way as i type).

Im not fond of granny as Im only in my 40's, grandma is a bit formal for me, my friend suggested grammy, but i think im going to settle for mamma followed by my christian name, the same my mum and grandma before me.

hope i manage to sleep tonight,


GrannyTunnocks Thu 19-May-11 22:55:05

I am just granny and love to hear my grandchildren calling me that.

glassortwo Thu 19-May-11 23:41:22

My Grandchildren call me Grandma, apart from the 2yr old and he calls me Grandpa in my pocket wink

Joan Fri 20-May-11 08:36:22

No grandchildren yet but we've decided to be Grandma and Grandpa. The other future grandparents are Chinese, so i guess there'll be a Chinese title for them.

Joan Fri 20-May-11 08:37:47

Oh, and the other lad's inlaws-to-be are Dutch Australian so there's always Oma and Opa to use there.

Grandmacool Fri 20-May-11 08:44:47

We are Oma and Opa as we live in Germany and the grandchildren are bi-lingual.

Wheniwasyourage Sat 21-May-11 15:28:43

We're Granny and Grandpa because that's what we chose and nobody objected. Two sets of grandchildren have a Gran and Papa as well as us and the other set have another Granny and Grandpa. but they seem to cope without confusion in spite of being only 2 and 3. It never pays to underestimate the intelligence of your grandchildren!

pinkprincess Sat 21-May-11 21:11:28

We are grandma and granda.The other grandparents are Grandma and Granda and Nanna.
I called my maternal grandparents grandma and granda, my paternal grandmother was grandma followed by her surname.I never knew my dad's father as he left home when I was a baby.My greatgrandmother was nanna.

lucyjack Mon 23-May-11 22:16:51

We are Nan and Grandad. I used to call my own grandparents that so it feels right.

dorsetpennt Mon 30-May-11 09:59:08

Both Grannies are Granny - as we both hate Nana and/or Grandma - however I'm called Gaggi for some reason. Obviously that is how my 2 year old GD can sort out who is who in her life.

Nonna2 Mon 30-May-11 21:21:51

I used to call my Gran Gaggi when I was small ... and my Granddad was 'Ga Ga' smile

My claim to Nonna is very tenuous ... My Maternal Grandfather was Italian but I never knew him and I have no other Italian connections.

I originally wanted Grandy but my kids laughed at me so I reverted to my fall back position of Nonna (which has the advantage that the little ones learn to say it very quickly LOL)... a friend of mine chose YaYa which is Greek but she's no more Greek than Yorkshire pudding, she just liked it grin

apricot Wed 01-Jun-11 12:52:15

I'm proud to be Granny, as my mother was to my children. I hate Nanny, that's someone paid to look after children and now sounds very 1970s.

Woody Fri 03-Jun-11 15:00:56

I also wanted to be known as Grandma, which is what my children called my Mother and even though she is no longer around it makes me think of her.

Valkyrie Fri 03-Jun-11 15:55:18

We are Nanni and Dandan and when our grand daughter comes here she says she is going to nannidandan's.
Nanni was my daughter's choice but the little girl came up with Dandan herself.
When I was a child I used to call my Grandad 'DanDan' so we've gone full circle here.
To my other grandchildren I am White Nanni. Their other grandma is Blue Nanni. We can't work out why - nothing to do with hair colour either.

marmar Fri 03-Jun-11 16:56:46

We are Grandma [ me ] and Poppy [ him ] not sure where that came from, the eldest started with poppy from knowhere and the others have just copied I think.

Libradi Tue 07-Jun-11 21:18:57

Because my granddaughter has two sets of grandparents, two great Grans and one great Grandad we tend to call our selves 'Granny' followed by our Christian names, or two of them are 'Nannie' +Christian name apart from my mum who she calls Poppet which was originally the name my mum called her.

I'm in my early fifties and I love it when we are out and she calls me 'Granny'
It doesn't make me feel old at all, just very proud and lucky to have her.

I've noticed as she's got a bit older she's shortening it herself to 'Gran' when she speaks to me.

nanapippa Tue 07-Jun-11 21:59:02

I am nana, but my grandson used to call me nanas, because my daughter used to say "let's go round to nana's house", which I think was very sweet. My dh is grumpsy because he is a bit!! The only problem with having unconventional names is that you can't get cards with titles on. There are plenty around for granny, grandpa etc. but that doesn't really matter, they can always make them for you which is probably nicer anyway smile

dorsetpennt Wed 08-Jun-11 09:22:02

Both Grandmothers wanted to be called Granny - both hated Nan, Nana, and Grandma or Grandmother - so I was referred to as GrannyP and the other Granny as Granny. Our 2 two year old grandaughter calls me Gaggi and the other Granny, Granny. Which ia fine with us. My maternal grandparents were Poppy and Atty [don't ask why too long a story].My ex-husband who lives in Florida with wife #3 wants to be called Pappi and his wife Miss Linda!! Silly fool, I daresay our little one will find her own names for them. I know we have............

grannyactivist Wed 08-Jun-11 10:06:46

I am Granny to my own grandchildren, but I am a surrogate grandmother to several other children (long story) so am also known as Grandma, Granann and Po Po/Nai Nai (Chinese). smile

jackyann Thu 09-Jun-11 13:38:04

I know that some of these titles are family nicknames & some are from other languages, but is there a regional bias?
When I was a child, all grandmothers (East Midlands) were nanny or nana and grandfathers were gramps or grampy (unless they were from other countries, which a number were, post WW2). Only a few children, mostly those who had moved from elsewhere had grannies & grandads.

I never heard the term "nanny" as someone to care for a child until I moved away - anyone in that position was called a "children's nurse" - indeed when I was a child, the term "nurse" was always qualified eg: "hospital nurse" or "sick children's nurse".

When I read that people "hate" nanny/nana I wonder if they are from other parts of the country?
My own mil (London) certainly wanted to be "grandma" so that left my mum very happy to be "nanny" as all of her family had been.

I am also wondering (in a whisper) if there is a class bias in these names????????