55 Grandmother Names to Choose From
August 1, 2021
Learning you’re about to become a grandmother is pretty exciting. Congratulations! There are lots of momentus milestones and sweet memories ahead—and also some big decisions. Chief among them: Choosing your grandmother name! There’s always the traditional choice of “Grandma,” but these days a lot of women are choosing more modern grandmother names to go by. Need help brainstorming some options? Keep reading for standout grandmother name ideas, whether you’re hoping for something classic or ultra-cool.
There are plenty of cute grandmother names out there, but you’re going to want to take a few things into account when choosing yours. What best suits your personality? Is there a regional favorite you’d like to stick with? Perhaps you’d prefer a grandmother name from a different language that honors your family’s cultural heritage? Has your family has been using the same traditional name passed down between generations? You might decide to keep the name or use it as inspiration for a more modern grandmother name.
Another thing to consider: Baby’s pronunciation! Odds are, whatever name you pick, baby will have their own special way of pronouncing it—at least in those first few years—and your grandmother name may transform into something different. So whether you choose to take on a traditional name or adopt a new one, don’t stress too much about your selection. Go with the one you’re most excited to hear your grandchild utter one day.
There’s something to be said for sticking with tradition. But even if you like the idea of a classic grandmother name, there are still plenty of small tweaks that can make it feel special for you and your family. Many of the options below can be spelled several different ways, and some of them are simple enough for toddlers to say.
- Granny (Grannie)
- Grammy (Grammie)
The American South has a slew of special traditions and customs, so if you grew up in the South, the vast array of southern grandmother names may not surprise you. Take a peek below at some of the most common options and their variations.
- Meemaw (Memaw)
- Big Mama
If you’re looking for a cool grandmother name that’s rarely been done before, you’re not alone. Even some celebrities have taken to the trend of adopting unique grandmother names. Kris Jenner goes by “Lovey,” Sharon Osbourne goes by “Shazza,” Martha Stewart goes by “Martha,” Goldie Hawn goes by “Glam-ma,” and Debbie Reynolds goes by “Aba Daba.” When thinking of these original names to call a grandmother, you may also want to consider how they’ll sound with your partner’s. (For example, if your partner plans to go by “Pop,” then “Lolly” might make for a very cute grandmother name.) Check out some distinctive options below.
- Birdy (Birdie)
- Didi (Deedee)
- Lovey (Lovie)
Every language has its own special word (or, in some cases, words), for grandmother. As in English, some languages boast several variations of the word, while in others the words are dependent on whether the grandmother is maternal or paternal. If you’re looking for cool grandmother names ideas in other languages, peruse the options below.
- Afrikaans: In Afrikaans, one of South Africa’s official languages, the word for grandmother is “Ouma.” In the Zulu dialect it’s “Ugogo” or “Gogo.”
- Arabic: There are many different dialects within Arabic, but a common Arabic name for grandmother is “Jadati.”
- Cantonese Chinese: In Cantonese, grandmother names are classified as paternal or maternal. The paternal grandmothers are called “Maa maa,” and maternal grandmothers are called “Po po.”
- Creole: The Haitian Creole name for grandmother used most commonly is “Grann.”
- Filipino: In Filipino, the name for grandmother is “Lola.”
- French: There are many French grandmother names, but the most common are “Grand-mère,” “Grand-maman” and “Mémé.”
- German: “Oma” is the German name for grandmother.
- Greek: The Greek name for a grandmother is “Yia-yia,” but this too has several variations, including “Yiayia,” “Yaya” and “Ya-ya.”
- Hawaiian: In Hawaii, the formal word for grandmother is “Kuku Wahine” or “Tutu Wahine,” but many shorten this to “Tutu.”
- Hebrew: The most common Jewish grandmother names in Hebrew are “Savta” and “Safta.”
- Indonesian: The Indonesian word for grandmother is “Nenek,” but another popular name is “Oma.”
- Irish: In Gaelic, grandmother translates to “Seanmháthair,” which means old mother. Some other popular Irish grandmother names are “Mhamó,” “Mamó,” “Maimeó” and “Móraí.”
- Italian: The word for grandmother is “Nonna,” but this is often turned into other Italian grandmother names, such as “Nonnina” and “Nonni” (which is also how to say grandparents in the plural).
- Japanese: In Japanese, grandmothers are called “Obaasan” or, more commonly, “Sobo.”
- Korean: The Korean word for grandmother is “Halmeoni,” but other variations include “Halmoni” and “Halmi.”
- Mandarin Chinese: In Mandarin, grandmother names are also classified as paternal or maternal. The formal name for paternal grandmothers is “Zu mu,” while “Nai nai” is also commonly used. The formal name for maternal grandmother is “Wai zu mu,” while “Lao lao” and “Wai puo” are also commonly used.
- Polish: The Polish name for grandmother is most often “Babcia,” but can also be “Babunia.”
- Russian: The Russian word for grandmother is “Babushka.”
- Scottish: In Scottish Gaelic, the word for grandma is “Seanmhair,” which means good mother. But other commonly used Scottish grandmother names include “Nana,” “Nanna,” “Mhamó” and “Mamó.”
- Spanish: In Spanish, grandmothers are known as “Abuela” or “Abuelita.”
- Swahili: In Swahili, the word for grandmother is “Bibi.”
- Yiddish: In Yiddish, the word for grandmother is “Bubbeh,” but common spelling variations include “Bubbe” and “Bubbie.”
Choosing a grandmother name as you wait for baby’s arrival can be fun and fulfilling. Just remember, your grandchild may have their own special take on whatever grandmother name you end up selecting, further solidifying your sweet bond.