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Posted on January 5, 2023 by Christine Crosby in Grand babies, grandchildren, grandparent names

GRANDparent Names – A Matched Set

GRANDparent Names – A Matched Set

When you are informed that you’re going to be a grandparent, your first thoughts are all over the place, right? Will my daughter (daughter-in-law) be healthy and have a healthy baby?  Can the parents afford to have a baby? When and where will the baby be born? What can I do to help? Yikes! Aren’t I too young to be a grandparent! Who can I tell? etc., etc. However, the BIG question is, what will be my grandparent name?

grandparentToday’s grandparents are seeking unique and fun names. So while “grandma” and “grandpa” are all well and good, they are not hesitant to break tradition and get inspiration from other customs and cultures. If you are real creative invent your own!

According to The Good Stuff, some grandparent names are the result of happenstance, while others are borrowed from other cultures and languages. Whether you’re a grandparent or parent of a grandchild, you might be inspired to adopt one of these new names for grandma and grandpa as your own.

grandparent namesFirst of all, if your heritage is a big thing in your family, you may want to consider the grandparent name of your culture. I’m part French, so I selected Grandmere. Coincidentally, my first grandchild’s name was French, so that was a no-brainer for me.

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A Quick Guide to Grandparent Names in Other Languages

Language Grandma Grandpa
French Grandmère Grandpère
Italian Nonna Nonno
German Oma Opa
Spanish Abuela Abuelo
Polish Babcia Dziadek
Greek Giagiá Pappoús
Portuguese Avó Vovô
Irish Mhamó Seanathair
Hungarian Nagymama Nagypapa
Swahili Bibi Babu
Danish Mormor Bedstefar
Japanese O baachan O jiichan
Russian Babushka Dedushka
Hawaiian Kuku wahine (or Tutu) Kuku kane (or Tutu)
Korean Halmeoni Hal-abeoji

 Baba & Gigi – The Ukrainian names for grandparents

 Yaya & Pappoús – Greek for grandparents 

Nana & Papa

Mawmaw & Pawpaw -Popular in the south and are Cajun in origin

Savta & Saba – Hebrew for grandma and grandpa

Geema & Geepa

Bomma & Bonpa – Flemish words that originate from French and Dutch, meaning “good dad” and “good mom.”

Nonna & Nonno – Italian words for grandma and grandpa  The term for both grandparents is  “nonni.”

Mormor & Morfar (or Farmor & Farfar) – Swedish for grandparents are practical, distinguishing between sides of the family. “Mormor” literally translates to “mother’s mother,” while “morfar” is “mother’s father”

Oma & Opa – German origin

Amma & Afi – What the children in Iceland call their grandparents

Lola & Lolo – In the Philippines commonly name for the grandparents

Meme & Pepaw – Very popular in the southern United States

Ouma & Oupa – An Afrikaans terms for grandparents 

Gramms & Gram

Nai Nai & Ye Ye (or Lao Ye & Lao Lao) – In the Asian culture these names are practical. They distinguishing between sides of the family. Nai nai and ye ye are used for paternal grandparents, while lao ye and lao lao are used for maternal grandparents.

Banma & Banpa – No specific origin 

Busia & Dziadzia – Polish for grandparents “dziadzia” is pronounced “jahjah

Mémé & Pépé – French – Shortened versions for Grandmere and Grandpere

Lolly & Pop

Memere & Pepere

Grammie & Grampy

Mimi & Grumpa

Ma & Gompa

Dumpy & Dodo

Lovey & Sweetie

grandparent names


 What Do Your Grandkids call you?

What Will Be Your Grandparent Name?




Christine Crosby

About the author

Christine is the co-founder and editorial director for GRAND Magazine. She is the grandmother of five and great-grandmom (aka Grandmere) to one. She makes her home in St. Petersburg, Florida.

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