Grandparent names: a guide to settling on a name

Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK
Photo: SHUTTERSTOCK 

There are a whole range of emotions a grandparent-to-be experiences when they first find out a grandchild is on the way.

Joy, trepidation, and simply getting used to the fact are all part and parcel of this big event. After all, like that first baby, the first grandchild forever changes life and one's sense of self.

At some stage, attention eventually centres on what the wee one will know them as once they are able to talk. It's likely they will use this name to refer to their grandparent for the rest of their lives, so it's a big decision that shouldn't be taken lightly.

There's one nugget of advice that prospective grandies should take into account when considering their grandparent name - they should prepare for the fact that the decision may eventually be made for them by the kids themselves.

Children have a habit of making a meal of best laid plans, so being flexible about it is essential.

Here are some options to think about.

Traditional grandparent names

These are the tried and true, those everyone is familiar with. There's no shame in sticking with the traditional - they're used so much for good reason.

They're wearable, instantly identifiable, and immediately tell everyone what the relationship is.

Grandmama / Grandpapa

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Gammy

Gamma

Gram / Gramp

Grams / Gramps

Gramma / Grappa

Grammy / Grammie

Grandma / Grandpa

Grandmum / Granddad

Grandmum / Grandpop

Grandmummy / Granddaddy

Grandmother / Grandfather

Grannie / Granny

Gran or Gran-Gran

Marmee or Marmi

​Boppa

Paw Paw

Poppy / Pop/ Poppa

Made-up names

Many grandies make up their own names. Some take inspiration from their own first names, like Jojo for a grandmother called Joanne, or Dee Dee for one called Deborah. 

You can be as inventive as you want to be - the sky is the limit! Here are some suggestions that are the actual grandparent names of real people. Some have been invented by their grandchildren.

GG (Gorgeous Granny)

Lolly and Chips

Granny Grumps

Sweetheart

Gang Gang and Nooni (an example of the child 'choosing' the names with mispronunciation)

G-Ma

Noona

Dinny (her name is Jenny)

Granny on a Plane and Granny on a Train

Grumps

Geema (soft g)

Skipper

LaLa (same idea as JoJo and Dee Dee)

Nanma and Tampa

Pamma

Whiskers

Papster

Names from other cultures

Here's a far-from exhaustive list of grandparent names from other languages.

Chinese: YeYe, YehYeh, or JeJe (paternal); Gong Gong or Wai Gong (maternal)

French: Grand-mère / Grand-père

German: Oma / Opa

Greek: Yiayia / Papou

Italian: Nonna / Nonno

Japanese: Oba-chan / Ojiisan

Korean: Halmeoni / Hal-abeoji

Portuguese: Avó /  Avô and Vovô

Russian: Babushka / Dedushka

Spanish: Abuela / Abuelo