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Names for grandparents

Names for grandparents

If you've just welcomed a new grandchild to the family, congratulations! With coronavirus still very much a part of our lives, this is a difficult time for most and it may be that you aren't able to hold them yet until it's safe to do so. If you want to talk to others who are in the same boat, do join in the conversations about grandparenting on the forums or check out our tips on how to stay connected to your grandchildren during social distancing.  However, once things are back to normal and you are able to cuddle your new addition, you're probably also going to start thinking about what you want them to call you - once they get their mouth around words that is. Will you go for something traditional like Grandma or Granny, or are you looking for a more trendy grandparent name? We've put together a list of the most popular names for grandparents to help you choose.

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Traditional names for grandparents

If you're struggling to think of a name that suits, why not look back at those of your own grandparents, great-grandparents and great-great-grandparents to see if there are any family traditions that you'd like to keep hold of? You can also choose the best namesake to suit the kind of grandparent you want to be.

"Gran was the well-dressed, outgoing one who took us to parties, the circus and our first trip to the theatre. Granny was the old lady who stayed at home and always wore brown. I'm Gran to my grandchildren for obvious reasons!" 


Traditional name for grandmothers

  1. Grandma
  2. Granny
  3. Nana/Nanna
  4. Nanny
  5. Grammy 
  6. Gram
  7. Grandmother
  8. Mamma


Traditional names for grandfathers

  1. Grandad
  2. Grandpa
  3. Gramps (or Grumps depending on the mood!)
  4. Grampy
  5. Pops
  6. Granda
  7. Grandfather


grandfather names 

Trendy names for grandparents

Feel too young to be grand? It's okay to feel like you're not old enough for any of the titles out there. If you're finding it hard to pick, sticking with your first name may just be the perfect solution. The important thing is to celebrate the exciting change in your life. Or you could choose one of these more modern-sounding monikers:


Modern names for grandmothers

  1. Coco
  2. MiMi
  3. GaGa
  4. Nami
  5. Granna
  6. Nanoo
  7. Glamma
  8. Glanma


Modern names for grandfathers

  1. Grandy
  2. Pop-pop
  3. Pappy
  4. Grandpop
  5. Poppa
  6. Grandude
  7. Granda
  8. Poppo


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Depending on what being a grandmother means to you, it may be wise to go off-piste with something totally different. Why not pick a name from another culture or language, or a name from your favourite country or place of birth? 

As well as the unfortunate cultural references that come with names like Nana, which is the brand name for sanitary towels in France (particularly awkward if you're a long distance grandparent), it may be of sentimental value to you to embrace ancestral culture when choosing the ideal name. Whether it's the Greek Yia Yia, Italian Nonna, Cantonese Pòhpó (maternal) or Màhmàh (paternal), South African Gogo or the Yiddish Bubbe, you can never underestimate the importance of going back to your roots - and it may be educational for your grandchildren too. 


Names for grandmothers around the world

  1. Babicka (Slovakian)
  2. Nain (Welsh)
  3. Gogo (Zulu)
  4. Bubbe (Yiddish)
  5. Oma (German)
  6. Bibi (Swahili)
  7. Mamie (French)
  8. Bedstemor (Scandinavian - directly translated means 'best mother')


Names for grandfathers around the world

  1. Pappouli (Greek)
  2. Nonno (Italian)
  3. Dedi (Slovakian)
  4. Tadcu (Welsh) 
  5. Baba (Zulu)
  6. Zayde (Yiddish)
  7. Opa (German)
  8. Babu (Swahili)

"I have an American friend whose grandchildren call her Granners. I quite like it."

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Celebrity grandparent names

Celebrity grandparent names

Celebrities are notorious for their unusal baby names and famous grandmas are no different when it come to choosing a unique name for themselves. Susan Sarandon and Goldie Hawn are just 2 of the glamourous grandparents who have opted for an outside-the-box title. Even if these names don't suit, you can find out which famous grandparent you're most like instead!


Celebrity Grandmother names

  1. Lovey - Kris Jenner
  2. Lalo - Blythe Danner
  3. Honey - Susan Sarandon
  4. Glam-ma - Goldie Hawn
  5. Nonna - Priscilla Presley
  6. Mamaw - Naomi Judd 


Celebrity Grandfather names

  1. G-Pa -  Lional Richie
  2. Peach - Martin Sheen
  3. Nono - Robert Wagner
  4. Jefe - George W. Bush 
  5. Papu - Tom Hanks 
  6. Mr Trump - Donald Trump


7 things to consider when choosing the perfect grandparent name

1. The parents' preferences

Perhaps your daughter-in-law has a nostalgic attachment to a name from her childhood? Or perhaps your son is averse to his own grandfather using 'Grandaddy-o'. The last thing you need is to be labelled a 'difficult grandparent' before the baby's even arrived so it's worth seeing what name your child and their partner want before staking claim.  


2. The 'other' grandmother

Prepare for handbags at dawn...

Grandchildren often differentiate between paternal and maternal grandparents to make things easier, so try to nab the name you want first so that you don't have to settle for second best (if there is such a thing). Equally try not to mind too much if the 'other' grandma has got in there before you. 



3. Alternative traditional names for grandparents

A somewhat more creative way to embrace tradition, if that's what you're going for. It's important to remember to have fun with your new title, pick something that suits your personality and choose a name that nicely rolls off the tongue. Gammi, Ona, Meema, anyone?  


4. Names for step-grandparents

Step-families all work in different ways, but the key is to find what works best for you as a step-grandparent. Perhaps use your first name, choose a neutral one or, depending on how you view yourself as a grandparent, stick with a classic. It may also be wise (if the situation requires it) to talk it over with your grandchild's biological grandparents to get their thoughts on the situation. It may mean that you also take a grandparent name, but one that differs from theirs.


5. Names for great-grandparents

Things can get a little trickier when four generations are involved, but that doesn't mean you have to change your nickname altogether. It can, of course, evolve with you. You can be great without adding a 'great' to your name...although GG does have a nice ring to it. 


6. What does your grandchild call you? 

We're all suckers for whatever the little ones want, so, really, whatever they say goes. Our advice? Don't fight 'em. You know they'll win in the end. Grandchildren have got the logic of grandparents down to a tee. They know who you are and they know how special you are in the family.

But remember to watch what you say - your grandchildren will have a field day with any verbal tics and Ducky Gran could end up sounding a bit rude hollered in a supermarket by an overexcited toddler. What they can actually pronounce may indeed be the deciding factor. Although when they give you a cuddle and a kiss, you won't mind what they call you anyway.



7. Does it really matter?

As with all these things, it's good to keep a healthy sense of perspective...

"When this precious bundle arrives, what you are called fades into insignificance. I don't care what they call me, as long as they call me."


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