Spanish Nicknames for Grandparents

When my husband and I got married we moved to North Carolina for a couple of years so that I could finish my master’s degree. We made friends with a Southern couple that were expecting their first child and I remember having a conversation about how they were having a hard time choosing nicknames for their kid to call their parents. I was a little surprised because I had only ever called my grandparents “abuelita” and “abuelito.” Pretty generic and boring. I learned that Americans have all sorts of wacky names for grandparents – Nana, Pop Pop, Grammy, Nona, Pappy, Gramps, etc. I was fascinated. When my husband and I found ourselves pregnant my mom immediately started brainstorming nicknames for our baby to call her. Since we’re Hispanic the names we’ve come up with are a little different. 


I started asking around to some of my other Hispanic friends and compiled this list of some of the best grandparent nicknames in Spanish.

Nicknames for Grandma:

  • Bela: This is short for “abuela.” This is actually the name my son uses for my mother-in-law.
  • Ita: A shortened version of “abuelita.” I remember my childhood neighbor calling her grandmother by this name.
  • Aba: Yet another variation of the word “abuela.”
  • Mima: It seems that so many Cubans call their grandma by this name. I think it may be short for “mi mama.” (my mom)
  • Mamuma: No rhyme or reason for this one. Just a cute name.
  • Lita: One more short version for “abuelita.”
  • Abi: This is the name my mom finally settled on as her grandma nickname.
Nicknames for Grandpa:
  • Belo: This can be paired with Bela above.
  • Pipo: Again, so many Cubans seem to call their grandpa by this name. I’m not sure where it comes from but it’s kind of a cute name.
  • Lito: A short version of “abuelito.”
  • Tito: Another shortened version of “abuelito.”
  • Huelo: A variation of the word “abuelo.”
  • Abu: This is the name by dad goes by for all the grandkids. I love it.
Bonus: My own grandmother goes by the nickname “Bibi” with all her great grandkids (it’s short for bisabuela, which is great grandmother in Spanish).
What special names do your kids have for their grandparents?
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