While the act of grandparenting has a lot to do with tradition, that doesn’t mean the terminology has to, as well. In honor of Grandparents Day on September 11, check out these fun, adorable, and interesting alternatives to “grandma” and “grandpa.”
Kids can show their grandma and grandpa just how much they love them with one of these kid-friendly DIY gifts. From handprints to hugs, each one is made with love.
Some 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.
We received so many of your comments with the most adorable names for grandma and grandpa that we decided to add them all to the list! Thank you to everyone who commented — please keep sharing fun nicknames for your children’s grandparents with us in the comments below!
Sometimes it’s hard to get the family together for the holidays, and sometimes there’s not enough space for everyone to stay over. That’s why Expedia is offering a chance to save up to $570 when you book your flight and hotel together! Now grandma and grandpa have a place to stay when they come see the grandkids. (Exp. 11/30)
1. Baba & Gigi
The Ukrainian names for grandparents come naturally to most babbling babies.
2. Yaya & Pappoús
Not only does Greece have beautiful beaches, they have lovely words for grandparents (pronounced “yah-yah” and “pa-poosch”).
3. Nana & Papa
There’s some debate about the origin of these classic terms, but they’re likely the result of childhood babbling; the repetition of a single syllable is easiest for little ones to pronounce.
4. Mawmaw & Pawpaw
These endearing terms are popular in the south and are Cajun in origin. In southern Louisiana, they’re almost exclusively used.
5. Savta & Saba
For names that are more cool than cutesy, try these Hebrew terms of grandma and grandpa.
6. Geema & Geepa
These terms, fairly popular in the U.S., probably stemmed from common mispronunciation of grandma and grandpa.
7. Bomma & Bonpa
These Flemish words are used in Belgium. They stem from French and Dutch, meaning “good dad” and “good mom.”
8. Nonna & Nonno
The Italian words for grandma and grandpa are just as fun and lively as their country of origin. The term for both grandparents is — you guessed it! — “nonni.”
9. Mormor & Morfar (or Farmor & Farfar)
The Swedish terms for grandparents are both adorable and practical, distinguishing between sides of the family. “Mormor” literally translates to “mother’s mother,” while “morfar” is “mother’s father” — you get the idea!
10. Oma & Opa
These words are derived from either German (Großpapa and Großmama) or Dutch (Grootpapa and Grootmama). Either way, they’re a sweet alternative in any language.
11. Amma & Afi
In Iceland grandchildren use these endearing terms, which sound a bit like “mama” and “poppy.”
12. Lola & Lolo
The FIlipino terms for grandma and grandpa are easy to say and perfect for playful grandparents.
13. Meme & Pepaw
This is another combination that that’s similar to “mama” and “papa,” but with a twist. These names are popular in the southern U.S.
14. Ouma & Oupa
The Afrikaans terms for grandparents are a both affectionate and regal sounding.
15. Gramms & Gramps
Don’t forget tradition! These names are still quite popular in the United States, likely due to their endearing nature and ease of pronunciation.
16. Nai Nai & Ye Ye (or Lao Ye & Lao Lao)
Grandparents play an important role in Asian culture, and the Mandarin terms are unique and practical, 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.
17. Banma & Banpa
Likely another case of mispronunciation gone right, these English variations are unique but within the realm of tradition.
18. Busia & Dziadzia
Pierogis aren’t the only brilliant Polish invention; their words for grandparents are one-of-a-kind (and though it may look intimidating, “dziadzia” is simply pronounced “jah-jah”).
19. Mémé & Pépé
The formal names for grandparents in French are “grandmére” and “grandpére,” but these shortened versions are easy enough to pronounce in any language.
20. Lolly & Pop
For grandparents with a sense of humor, pairing the commonly used term “pop” with “lolly” is a clever combination.
Your children’s grandparents deserve names that are as unique and fun as they are. So while “grandma” and “grandpa” are all well and good, don’t be afraid to break tradition and draw inspiration from other customs and cultures. Or better yet, invent your own!
21. Memere & Pepere
Allison pointed out that these popular French Cajun nicknames for grandma and grandpa weren’t on the list yet!
Jae Bee’s grandkids call their other grandpa by this affectionate and unique nickname.
23. Grammie & Grampy
Jae Bee also shared with us the nicknames their grandchildren call them. How sweet!
24. Grumpa, Tutu & Mimi
Wyncotejoan’s story just goes to show nicknames for grandparents can be as unique as the grandkids who use them!
She wrote that the nickname “Grumpa” was invented by some of her grandbabies as a nickname for their grandpa. As for her nicknames, a few of her grandchildren call her Mimi and her daughter-in-law’s children call her Tutu! She also shared with us that Tutu is Hawaiian for “grandmother.”
25. Gpa & Gma
Lin Sue told us their grandkids call them Gpa and Gma. Talk about short and sweet!
26. Goma & Gompa
Marco Torres’ cousin uses the affectionate Goma and Gompa as nicknames for their grandparents!
Your turn! What do your children call their grandparents — or what do your grandparents call you? Tell us in the comments below!