What Do You Call the Grandparents? Here Are 32 Non-Traditional Ideas

When I found out I was pregnant with my first child, one of the greatest feelings was being able to share the news with our parents. They weren’t expecting that type of news, so when we told them they were going to be grandparents, their faces were filled with shock and joy. Our oldest is the first grandchild for both sides, so this was not only new to us, but it was new to them as well.

After we got over the excitement of the news, we quickly turned the conversation over to what they wanted to be called. My mother-in-law had already thought about it in advance — she decided to take a variation of her name, Jan, and said she’d like to be called Jannie. My mom also wanted to be called something far away from Granny or Grandma, so she picked out Mimi for her name. Our dads took the more traditional route and wanted to be called Granddaddy and Granddad.

If you’ve just given the exciting news to your parents and they are searching for names for your little one to call them, here are some alternative names to the more traditional ones. But one thing’s for sure: Even if your parents or in-laws wants to be called one thing, kids have a funny way of changing it early on… and the name just sticks.

For the grandmother:

1. Mimi: This seems to be a pretty common alternative. It’s what my mom chose to be called and it’s stuck with the kids.

2. Lola: “My girls call my mom Lola, which is Filipino for grandmother.”-Roo C.

3. Gorgeous: “My mom’s coworker is called “Gorgeous” by her grandkids. Love it.” – Micah P.

4. Nana: “My mom wanted to be called NaNa, but our oldest was like, ‘Um, you’re not a banana so…’ And now they call her [phonetically spelled] Nay-nay. We still spell it NaNa though.” – Jill K.

5. Baba: “My dad’s wife is Polish and Grandma is “Baba,” so that’s what we call her.” – Katie H.

6. MaeMae: “My MIL is Mae Mae. Similar to Mimi, my oldest would look at her picture (she lives out of state) and would call her “my my” which turned to Mae Mae.” – Katie H.

7. MiMar: “I always thought it was funny that when my younger cousins were babies, they called my Grandma “MiMar.” They would fight over her and say it and we realized when they were about two it meant My Grandma (Me Ma), as they were fighting for her attention. The name stuck!” – Kristen M.

8. MamaHabiba: “MamaHabiba for Grandma = my mama my love.” -Maria B.

9. Bickie: “My mom wanted to be called Poopsie for some odd reason… but the first grandchild somehow someway started calling her Bickie. Now all eight of the grandkids call her Bickie. We THINK it came from him hearing my dad’s name Rick or Ricky… but we have no clue.” – Ryan E.

10. BeBe: “BeBe….Middle Eastern’s term for Grandma.” – G.G. B.


11. Bunny: “My MIL is Grandma Bunny because her name is Bonnie but my daughter thought we were saying ‘bunny.’ It stuck.” – Stacie M.

12. Dadosh: “My mom is Dadosh (pronounced dah-dahsh) and we have NO IDEA. She wanted to be called Jamma and my daughter has called her this since she could talk and never wavered.” – Arden B.

13: Mommom: “My niece and nephew call my parents Mommom and Bumpa.” – Jasmine C.

14. GG: “GG great grandma.” – Alexandra Z.

15: Ohma: “German is Ohma and Opa.” – Courtney M.

16. Mana: “Mana, because the first grandchild couldn’t say Nanna, and it just stuck six grandchildren later.” – Katie D.

17. Neemaw: “My Jason calls his grandma, my mom, Neemaw. She wanted to be Gramma, and Jason always just said Neemaw since he started to speak! She didn’t like it at first, but it didn’t take long for her to love it! Jason is almost 4 and he still calls her Neemaw, so I think she’s stuck with it.” – Jordan T.

18. Maugie: “Maugie (grandma) and Cappo (grandpa). My daughter randomly said both and they stuck.” – Kasey M.

19. Lita: “We used to call my grandma “Lita” (short for Abuelita).” – Lauren H.

20. Manana: “My mother-in-law is Manana. She would bring them bananas when she came by. It started with us referring to her as Grandma Banana. Then it became more of them saying Gramanana, and now it’s Manana.” – Dena M.

For the grandfather:

1. Toddy: “My kids call my dad Toddy… I went to Ole Miss and that was our chant… Hotty Toddy!” – Jacque K.

2. Abi: “Abi – that is for Grandpa.” – Maria B.

3. Abu: “Abu (ah-boo) was my great grandfather on my mom’s side. My mom thought that was his name because they always played a game where he would sneak up saying, ‘Ahhhh” and she would go, “Boooo!” So, Abu he became!” – Mary G.

4. Happy: “I called my grandpa Happy. He wanted to be Pappy, but I called him Happy, and it just stuck.” – Leanne V.

5. Bumpa: “My niece and nephew call my parents Mommom and Bumpa.” – Jasmine C.

6. G-Daddy: “My niece calls my dad G-Daddy as it was a joke for Puff Daddy?! Ha.” – Jordan O.

7. Gaffer: “My kids called my dad The Gaffer.”- Julie C.

8. Opa: “German is Ohma and Opa.” – Courtney M.

9. Cappo: “Maugie (grandma) and Cappo (grandpa). My daughter randomly said both and they stuck.” – Kasey M.

10. Yaya: “I apparently named [my grandparents] that as I am the oldest grandchild and couldn’t say Grandmommy and Grandaddy — which is what they wanted to be called.”- Ashlynn W.

11. PapPap: “My cousin Kendall is responsible for that one.” – Ashlynn W.

12. Apa: “My son couldn’t pronounce Grandpa, so Apa stuck.” – Andrea B.

Image: Getty

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