Choosing the perfect name for a beloved family member, especially the honored woman we call ‘Grandma’, is no easy task. Grandparent names, specifically grandmother names, are an essential part of our family history. They create a special bond that lasts for our entire lives. In today’s modern era, many grandparents are straying away from traditional monikers and looking for unique and cool grandma names. This guide aims to provide great ideas for those in search of the perfect nickname for the matriarch of their family.
Why Use a Nickname for Grandma?
Nicknames are informal ways to address our family members. A cute nickname is more than just an endearing term; it carries a special meaning and makes every occasion special. For young children, the sound of “grandma” might be hard to pronounce, hence the need for adorable nicknames like ‘Gam Gam’ or ‘Gram Gram’. Modern nicknames also reflect today’s grandparents’ desire to have a unique identity, different from the traditional choice.
What Do Different Cultures/Countries Call Their Grandma?
Across the globe, there are various languages and different words used to address maternal and paternal grandparents. In the United States, ‘Nana’ and ‘Maw Maw’ are popular alternatives, while in other parts of the world, names like ‘Nai Nai’ (of Chinese origin) or the French word ‘Mémé’ take precedence. Understanding these different names can give us a sampling of words that have a special bond attached to them, deeply rooted in the part of your culture.
What Are Some Famous Grandmas with Cool Nicknames?
Cool grandmas in the limelight have often been at the forefront of setting trends. Many famous grandmothers have embraced fun nicknames that resonate with their personality. Whether it’s a play on their actual first name, a traditional moniker with their own little spin, or an entirely new nickname, these grandmas prove that you can be hip at any age.
Goldie Hawn initially expressed a desire to be named Glam-Ma when her daughter Kate was anticipating her first child, a suggestion from her son Oliver, her grandchildren now affectionately refer to her as Gogo. This nickname harks back to Hawn’s younger days, a moniker bestowed upon her by an aunt.
Dame Judi Dench has appeared in a number of her grandson’s Tiktok videos to foil his jokes. He refers to her as “Ma.”
Kris Jenner insists her grandchildren refer to her as “Lovey.”
How to Find Your Perfect Grandma Nickname
Finding the perfect nickname is a blend of understanding family history, recognizing the deep love and unconditional love a grandma provides, and adding a touch of modernity. Consider:
- Traditional Names vs. Modern Grandma Names: While some families might lean towards traditional names of French origin or names that are part of their culture, others might be inclined towards modern nicknames or even hip nicknames.
- Popularity: The most popular grandma names, like ‘Big Mama’ or ‘Gie Gie’, might appeal to some, while others might look for a unique nickname.
- Personal Touch: Sometimes, the best nicknames come from young children who put their own spin on the grandmother’s actual first name or last name, leading to cute grandma names that stick for life.
- Meaning: Whether it’s a name that translates to ‘great mother’ or ‘old mother’, understanding its meaning can make it even more special.
Whether you’re a first-time grandma or looking for a new nickname for your sweet grandbaby, the journey to finding the perfect name is filled with love, memories, and a touch of creativity. While some might stick to the most popular nicknames, others might venture into the world of unique baby names or even create their own nickname. Whatever you choose, remember that it’s the deep love and special bond that matters the most. Happy naming!
Grandmother Nicknames: A List of the Best Options You’ll Love!
Here are our top names for grandmothers. See if any of them resonate with you and then scroll down to see even more options.
Grammy – This is a nickname that expresses the bond between you and grandma, because this name usually combines “Grand” with “Mommy.”
Nonna – This is the Italian version of grandmother. To make it extra cute, try Nonnina, which means “little grandmother.”
Nono – Sometimes called Noni or Nuni, Nono it is another form of Nonna.
Nanny – If your grandma loves taking care of people then she will love this affectionate nickname! Nanny also makes you feel like a little kid again when you use it.
Bubbie – Bubbie or Bubby is a nickname for grandmother that you can use to show her how much she means to you.
Grammy-Granny – This cute name is great if different grandkids use different names. They can even change it to Granny-Grammy.
Grand-mama – A cute nickname that is sweeter than most. This is one of the oldest forms of the name and it was used during the 1700s. It’s a variant of “Grandmother” but is rarely used today.
Mammy – This is one of the favorite names used for grandmothers, as its easy for even little children to say.
Momo – This nickname is short and simple. It’s also really adorable.
Mimi – If you want to call your grandma “Mama”, then why not shorten it even further and use Mimi!
Nan – Another classic name for grandma is Nan. Used in both Scotland and Ireland, it comes from the Gaelic “Nain”.
Nana – This nickname is short and sweet; especially if your grandma loves bananas!
Gammy – A variant of Grammy, this name is also short and simple. This nickname makes it feel like you’re calling her by another title, which she’ll definitely love!
If you want to create a nickname for your grandmother with less common words, there are still lots of names that you can consider:
Nanny-Magoo – This is a funny nickname for those young at heart.
Gram – This is a pretty cute nickname that you can use.
GG – A shortened version of Gram-Gram.
Ma – You can also shorten Grandma to “Ma” if you want something short and sweet! This is especially popular in the Southern States of America.
Bubba – This nickname is perfect for that unusual yet lovable kind of grandfather or grandmother who always makes you laugh.
Nana – This is one of the most popular nicknames for grandmother, especially in Mediterranean countries.
Mamaw – It has been used since the early 19th century. The word itself comes from the Greek language word “mamme” which means breast. It is not very popular today but it will definitely make your grandma feel loved!
Grandwoman – This term is used for African American women who have raised their children.
Need more ideas? Read on!
Traditional Grandmother Names
For those who like a bit of tradition, these names are always a solid choice. These names have been used throughout history to refer to grandmothers from all walks of life.
- Gammy, Gamma, or Gams
- Gram or Grams
- Grammy or Grammie
- Grandma or Grandmaw
- Grannie or Granny
- Gran or Gran-Gran
- Marmee or Marmi
- Mema, MeMa or Mima
Regional Grandmother Names
These are names that are more specific to particular geographic regions, but they are definitely not exclusive. See if any of them sound good.
- Big Mom or Big Momma
- Ma or Maw
- MawMaw or Mawmaw
- Memaw or MeeMaw or Mimaw
Contemporary Grandmother Names
These names are far more modern than the traditional names. They’re great for younger grandmas or those who are not quite ready for the “grandma” label.
- Bamba or Bama
- Bella or Belle
- Birdy or Birdie
- CeeCee or Cici
- Gabby or Gabbi
- Gadgy or Gadgi
- GoGo or Gogi
- G-Ma or G-Mom (also spelled Geema or Geemom)
- Glamma or Glammy
- Grancy or Grancie
- Pippy or Pippa
- Teenie or Teeny
Non-English Grandmother Names
Depending on your background, you may want to choose a name that comes from your ancestors. These names all mean the same thing in different languages.
- Afrikaans: Ouma
- Albanian: Gjyshe
- Armenian: Tatik
- Chinese: NaiNai
- Danish: Bedstemoder
- Filipino: Lola
- Flemish: Bomma
- French: Grandmere
- French Canadian: Mémé
- German: Oma
- Greek: Yiayia
- Hawaiian: Tutu
- Hebrew: Savta
- Hindi: Dadi
- Indonesian: Nenek
- Irish: Mhamo or Seanmhathair
- Italian: Nonna
- Japanese: Oba-chan
- Khmer: Yiey
- Korean: Halmoni
- Lithuanian: Senelė
- Maori: Kuia or Te Kuia
- Polish: Babcia
- Portuguese: VoVo
- Russian: Babushka
- Somali: Ayeeyo
- Spanish: Abuela
- Turkish: Nene
- Yiddish: Bubbe
If you can’t choose from these classic names, there are still plenty of other options that you can use. If none of these names feel right to you, then why not come up with a special nickname that will make her feel even more loved. Don’t forget to express your love for her by coming up with new nicknames every once in awhile!
Katie Reed is a passionate writer and mother of four vivacious boys from Salt Lake City, Utah. Drawing from her own journey through TTC, pregnancy, and the joys of raising children, she offers a wealth of insight into the world of motherhood. Beyond her heartfelt tales, Katie delights her readers with family-friendly recipes, engaging crafts, and a curated library of printables for both kids and adults. When she’s not penning her experiences, you’ll find her crafting memories with her husband and sons—Dexter, Daniel, Chester, and Wilder.