Mama Lisa's World
International Music & Culture
A place for poems, songs, rhymes and traditions from around the world for both kids and grown-ups to enjoy!

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Kathy wrote me…

Dear Mamalisa,

I was delighted to find your website and will be using it in the future. I am researching translations for the word “grandma” in various languages. I am most interested in the familiar, sweet terms children might call this individual. I am aware that in some cultures this would be a different word for the mother or the father’s side of the family. I have spent hours on Internet, through many websites as well as your website and links. I have thus found: Cajun, Hawaiian, Ukrainian, Italian, Scottish, Irish, Portuguese, Danish, Dutch, French, Spanish, and Farsi. I am not clear about Russian or Greek since I am not completely sure of their letters. Now I am certainly not expecting you to do hours of research for my project. But I thought you might be familiar with an easier way for me to accomplish my task.

For example, I happened on a page called “I Love You” in Various Languages and found 18 pages for “I love you”. Wow! Anyway, whatever help you can give me would be much appreciated.

Thank you in advance for your assistance.

Kathy

If anyone knows any endearing terms for “grandma” and “grandpa”, including any in those languages listed, please comment below.

Thanks!

Lisa

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This artilce was posted on Wednesday, March 15th, 2006 at 10:25 am and is filed under Cantonese, China, Countries & Cultures, France, French, German, Germany, Grandma, Grandpa, Greece, Greek, Hawaii, Hawaiian, Hong Kong, Hungarian, Hungary, Ireland, Japan, Japanese, Languages, N. Ireland, Occitan, Occitan, Poland, Polish, Portugal, Portuguese, Questions, Scotland, Scottish, Spanish, Sweden, Swedish, Words & Phrases, Yiddish. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

209 Responses to “Please Send An Endearing Term for Grandma and Grandpa in Your Language”

  1. DevonT Says:

    In Japanese, grandmother is “o-baa-san”.
    Children usually say “o-baa-chan”, “baa-chan”, or “baa-baa”.

  2. Monique Says:

    In French, grandmothers can be called: Mamie, Mémée, Mémère, but also Mamée, Manou or Mamou according to the areas in France and the families.

    In Occitan, we call them: Mameta, Menina

  3. Monique Says:

    Sorry, forgot grandfathers. They can be called: Papy, Pépé, Pépère and also Papé in French.

    In Occitan, we call them: Papet, Papeta, Pepin.

    I’d like to add that Papé and Mamée are Occitan words pronounced the French way. That’s how I used to call my own grandparents.

  4. Lisa Says:

    Today I went to a party in New York, where you come across people from all over the world. I was able to find out the words for Grandma and Grandpa in Greek and Yiddish, and also what they say in Ireland.

    In Ireland they say “Nana” and “Granddad” for Grandma and Grandpa.

    In Yiddish, they say…

    Grandpa = zeyde
    Pronounced zey’∙deh
    I heard it pronounced as zaydie
    Spelling in Hebrew is זיידע

    Grandma = bobe
    Pronounced boh’∙beh / boo’∙beh
    I’ve always heard it as bubbie or bubby (which is the Romanized Jewish American spelling)
    American Jewish spelling in Hebrew is בובע

    Granny = bobeshi
    Pronounced bo∙besh’∙ee

    Many thanks to Yiddish Dictionary Online for the Hebrew spelling. It’s also where I found “granny” in Yiddish. My thanks also go out to Edna and Susan Pomerantz for help with the Yiddish. Susan also said Grandma in Yiddish could be “Nana”.

    The Greek words of endearment for Grandma and Grandpa are…

    γιαγιά or ΓΙΑΓΙΑ for granny and
    παππούς or ΠΑΠΠΟΥΣ for grandpa – pronounced as pappu by kids (grandpa) or pappous (grandfather).

    Many thanks to Julia, Peggy and Penelope for help with the Greek words.

  5. Márta Says:

    Grandma is “nagyi”, “nagymami” in Hungarian. Grandpa is “nagypapi”, sometimes “papi”. The accent is always on the first syllable in Hungarian. “gy” is a soft sound pronounced like “di” in the Russian name “Nadia”. I hope I could provide you some new and interesting information. Yours, Márta Solt, from Hungary

  6. Lisa Says:

    I remember as a child, all the kids in the neighborhood called a friend’s grandmother, from Poland, Babka. I looked it up in a Polish dictionary and Babka is interestingly a Polish word for grandmother.

    Here’s what it had for Grandma…

    babcia, babunia, babula

    Here’s what it had for Grandmother…

    babka, babcia, babunia, baba

    Out of curiosity, I looked up Grandfather and Grandpa in Polish and here’s what I found…

    Grandpa = dziadunio, dziadzio

    Grandfather = dziadek

    PS There’s also a delicious bread/cake from Eastern Europe called Babka. It’s sometimes filled inside with fruit or chocolate and sometimes has a glaze on top. I believe there’s a connection with the “babka” for grandma. Perhaps it was someone’s “grandma’s cake”, and thus named after grandma: babka.

    It’s served for Easter in Poland and Ukraine. I’ve also found out that “Baba” means “grandmother” in Ukrainian, and more informally, it’s “babka”.

  7. Ray Says:

    In Cantonese, we call our grandmother “ma ma” (pronounced in a lower pitch than you normally say “mama” to refer to your mother).

    Grandfather is “yeah yeah”.

  8. Christopher Says:

    My fosterbrother has a daughter who spent the first 5 years of her life in Java (Indonesia). She calls my mother “Nanek”, something my mother is so taken with my kids are being brought up to use it too.

  9. Lisa Says:

    Patrick sent me the Scottish words for Grandma and Grandpa…

    Lisa,

    children are called bairns or weans (pronounced wains) in my dialect of Scots. They call their grandma either granny or nanna. Grandpa is granda (pronounced gran-da). I have never heard anyone say grandma or grandpa in Scotland.

    I would not claim that this is definitive, as I grew up in Glasgow. There the dialect is more diluted and has more standard English words than other parts of the country. I have also lived out of Scotland for more than 12 years now, so in a sense you have my dialect frozen in time on 4th January 1994.

    Patrick

  10. Lisa Says:

    I came across a Swedish nanny that I see from time to time at my daughter’s preschool. I asked her what would be endearing words in Swedish for grandma and grandma. She told me that the words differ depending upon whether your referring to the child’s mother’s mother or father’s mother.

    Here are the Swedish words for grandma and grandpa…

    Mormor = grandma in Swedish referring to the child’s mother’s mom
    Morfar = grandma in Swedish referring to the child’s mother’s dad

    Farmor = grandpa in Swedish referring to the child’s father’s mom
    Farfar = grandpa in Swedish referring to the child’s father’s dad

    If you’re interested in where these terms come from, it’s interesting to note that…

    Mor = mother (the formal term)
    Far = father (the formal term)

    She said that children wouldn’t nowadays call their mother “mor” or their father “far”. It would sound old fashioned and formal.

  11. Monique Says:

    Makes me think of the way Lakhotas call their grandparents:

    paternal and maternal gf: tunkashila (kaka=informal term of address),
    maternal gm = unci (oon-chi), paternal gm= kunsi (koon-shi).

    I’d like to add that I do wish any Lakhota visitor to contribute a Lakhota kidsong or a lullaby so Lisa could post it/them on both Mama Lisa’s World sites so that their culture would show there. Lila pilamayaye.

  12. Janet Fisher Says:

    I was excited to read Kathy’s question, because I am searching for something similar. I am trying to find out if someone speaking the Occitan language in medieval times might possibly call a grandmother something like “grandmamma.” In my French dictionary I find “grandmaman” as a translation for the English “grandmamma.” In a French-Occitan dictionary I found the Occitan “grand-mair” for the French “grand-mere.” So it seems they share similarities.

    I am writing a story and it would help advance part of the story if this were possible. Can anyone help? Thanks so much.

  13. Monique Says:

    What I can say is that in medieval texts, they never spoke informally, then it’s hard to know. But, if we consider that Occitan hasn’t changed tooooooooo much since the Middle Ages and that people who had Occitan as their mother tongue addressed their father and mother “Pair(e)” and “Mair(e)” not long ago, I don’t think that they addressed their grandparents other than “grand-pair” and “grand-mair” in the Middle Ages. More information to come after advice from a teacher of medieval Occitan!

  14. Janet Fisher Says:

    Thanks very much for your help, Monique.

  15. Jeff Says:

    My Grandparents who lived in Hawaii always referred to themselves as…

    Tutu (Grandma) and Tutu-man (Grandpa).

  16. Monique Says:

    Here’s what Gérard, my former teacher, said

    Bonjorn,
    ai pas la mendre idea dau biais que lei pichon s’adreiçavan a sa grand! L’a ges de grand dins la literatura occitana medievala, que sapchi ieu! Devia estre un luxe grand de n’aguer una! E en cò dei trobadors, podetz imaginar ! Mi demandi quora lei mametas an fach son entrada en literatura…

    = I haven’t the faintest idea of how kids would address their grandmothers! There’re no grandmothers in the medieval Occitan literature, as far as I know! It must have been a great luxury to have one!
    And concerning the trobadours, you can imagine! I wonder when grandmothers first appeared in literature…

    So thanks Gérard!

    Btw, I asked one of the Spanish twins we have at school and she said they addressed their grandparents as “abuelo” and “abuela” (that’s the way my own parents addressed their own grandparents but I wanted to be sure that other more modern words weren’t in use.)

  17. Lisa Says:

    Monique wrote me…

    “Ulrike’s sons told me they called their German grandparents ‘Oma’ and ‘Opa’.

    I also asked a boy of Portuguese origin: he said Grandma is Vovó and Grandpa is Vovô.

    (The difference in the pronunciation is ‘ó’= open ‘o’ (like in French ‘robe, pomme’) and ‘ô’= closed ‘o’ (like in French ‘mot bateau’).”

    I believe in English that would make it “ó” like “rob” and “ô” like “go”.

  18. Alyxandria Says:

    I am only in a small German class, but formally, grandmother = Grossmutter, or Oma, and grandfather = Grossvater, or Opa. Also, from my Australian friends, they call they’re grandfathers grandad. Maybe it’s just them. Shrug.

  19. Monique Says:

    Karim told me they call their grandfathers and grandmothers “jeddi” (jed-dee) and “jedda” (jed- dah) in Arabic (he’s of Moroccan origin), and that they also use “muilalla” (mweelal-lah) and “ba sidi” (bah-seedee), which would be kind of like “granny” and “grandaddy”, as Hassan, one of my student’s fathers had told me. Besides “jeddi” and “jedda” they’re called “azizi” (ahzeezee) and “aziza” (ahzeezah) in Tunisia. Tifinaghe (Berber) words coming soon!

  20. Monique Says:

    Arabic (next): the father of another student of mine said that in Algeria, they call their grandfathers and grandmothers “jeddi” and “jedda” (which mean literally “grandfather” and “grandmother”) but also “jeddati” and “jeddata” which mean kind of “grandpa” and “grandma”. He confirmed that they also address their grandparents as “azizi” “aziza” like in Tunisia. Both words literally mean “darling”, masculine and feminine form.

  21. linda Says:

    I live in Spain. My grandchildren call me Yaya and Granddad is Yayo, although the formal term is abuela and abuelo

  22. Monique Says:

    Here’s another one (it’s great to be a teacher!)
    A girl at school told me that in Laotian, grandpa was ph? tū (ph being p+h and not a different spelling for “f” like in words of Greek origin like “photograph”) and grandma is mē tū (”e” like in “bed”), both words with long vowels.

  23. Nadia Says:

    In Quebec French, we say “grand-maman” and “grand-papa” – literally grand-mommy and grand-daddy.

  24. Monique Says:

    In Vietnam, they say ông for grandfather and bà for grandmother, but any old person can be called ông or bà. Paternal grandfather is ông ngoại and maternal grandfather is ông nội, while paternal grandmother is bà ngoại and maternal grandmother is bà nội. Thanks Mr Nguyen!

  25. Alison Says:

    I am searching for names for my daughter to call her step-grandparents – she already has grandma, nana, nanny, papa, grandpa and grandpaw. I love this list that you are putting together. I found this link to the NY public library, it is also helpful. Hope this is helpful to others as well!

    http://www.nypl.org/branch/central/dlc/df/expressions/grandmother.html

  26. Lisa Says:

    My daughter’s best friend calls her grandmother me-me. I think that could be a nice one for women looking for short names for their grandchildren to call them. It’s easy for kids to say and it doesn’t sound old.

  27. aideen Says:

    Hi In Ireland, people who speak english, call their grandmothers, nanny, gran, granny, nan, nana and their grand fathers granddad or granda mostly. In irish we call granmothers, mamo (mom-oh) ahd grandad (dado) (dad-o) while the official terms are seanmháthair (old mother) and seanathair (old father) in some irish speaking regions ‘old parents’ find this insulting and are instead reffered to as máthair críona, and athair críona meaning wise mother, wise father. In some regions however ’sean’ is not a problem and children whould learn ’seanmháthar’ in school and non native speakers would use thiese terms.

  28. Troy Says:

    Where I come from in Eastern Canada, I can’t recall anyone ever referring to grandparents by traditional names such as grandma, or grandpa. Kids have a tendency to pick their own names for for familiar faces from a young age and when I was growing my parents never really corrected us and our relatives took on those names even as we became adults. My grandmother’s name was Margaret and she became “grandmarg” for me. My other grandmother, whom I was much closer to, became simply, “other ma” in my childhood mind.
    There were even stranger names for uncles and aunts, some of which I can’t recall. I do remember an uncle who was called goong gong or something like that. That one never stuck though…

  29. Giselle Says:

    Hi,
    I agree with Troy that kids attach names that they find appropriate and easy to remember.
    For example, my cousins call their grandparents on their father’s side: Sydney grandma and Sydney thatha (they are of indian decent) because they live in Sydney.
    When they were younger, our shared grandmother was attatched with different names according to where she lived (and seeing that she moved a lot that meant that the name changed too) but now she is simply ‘grandma’. I myself call my grandparents on the other side of the family Ma and Papa.
    I noticed that italy isn’t mentioned yet- my boyfriend refers to his grandparents as nonna and nonno. Good Luck with the rest of the list

  30. stephanie Says:

    Tadig= Grandfather in French

  31. Lisa Says:

    I’ve never heard Tadig used in France for grandfather. I was curious about it, so I asked Monique from France about it. Here’s what she said…

    This is Breton, not French, and means little dad = daddy (”ig” is the diminutive suffix). Granddad should be Tadig kozh (lit. daddy old). I suppose he or she heard some Breton children call their granddad this way.

    Breton is spoken in Brittany, a region in north western France.

    We have some Breton children’s songs on Mama Lisa’s World.

  32. Sophie Says:

    In Romanian, grandmother is Bunica and grandfather is Bunicul or Bunelo.

    I’m actually searching for the origin of “Kiki”. I know when I was pregnant I found that somewhere it means grandma. Now when I google it, I find nothing of the sort. It actually means some very strange things. Anyway, my son calls my mother “Kiki”…Please tell me this means grandma somewhere!??

  33. Vera Says:

    In Ukrainian, the term for grandmother is BABA. The only variation that I am aware of is Babunia (baboo-nya)

    The term for grandfather is DIDO (dee-do). Again, to my knowledge, there is only one variation and that is Didush (dee-dush).

    The most common terms by far are Baba and Dido.

  34. MDT Says:

    In the Philippines
    Grandmother is “Lola” (short ‘o’ sound’ like lohlla)
    Grandfather is “Lolo” (sounds like low low)

  35. Maria Says:

    How do you say grandma in Russian?

  36. Monique Says:

    Grandma in Russian: Baba > Babooshka or babushka, however you spell it. It’s spelled бабушка in Russian.

  37. Marcia Says:

    I am English and my husband Italian, Granny and Papi is what my grandson named us.

  38. Lisa Says:

    Zsofia Valentin wrote…

    I’ve read the blog and I saw somebody was looking for the word ‘grandmother’ in different languages. If she’s still missing the Hungarian translation, than there are some:

    nagymama (the most common)
    nagymami, nagyi, nagyika, mama, mami (like ‘granny’ in English)
    nagyanya (more formal)

    I noticed that Kathy was looking for the word ‘grandfather’ as well. So:

    nagyapa, nagypapa (the most common)
    nagypapi, papa, papi, nagytata, tata (like ‘grandpa’
    in English)

  39. Mili Says:

    In swiss (language used in the german part of Switzerland) a grandmother is:

    Grossmueti
    Grosi
    Nonna (in the italian part)

    And a grandfather:

    Grossätti
    Grossvati
    Öhi
    Ätti

  40. Linda Says:

    Hi I was wondering if you know the different names for grandma and grandpa in Danish?
    Thanks

  41. Kristina Says:

    Well, I’m swedish but as far as I know grandpa is bedstefar and grandma is bedstemor. No difference is made between paternal an maternal grandparents. Far and mor means the same as in swedish, father and mother, but is less formal. Bedste actually means the best. Very sweet I think. :)

  42. monica Says:

    how do you pronounce the swedish words for grandma and grandpa?

  43. Kristina Says:

    On this site you can hear it being pronunced: http://lexin2.nada.kth.se/sve-sve.html

    The site’s in swedish, but easy to use anyway. Just write the word in the box in the upper left corner. The word with explaination in swedish appears to the right. Click the loudspeaker in the text to hear it.

    I think that’s the best way to explain. Pronuncing the word ‘far’ is not hard (just like the english word far), but the o-sound in ‘mor’ is harder to explain as it is different from anything used in english. Think of it as pronouncing the word ‘more’. Then you just combine the two: “more-far”, “more-more” etc.

  44. Laura Says:

    My great grandparents were from Poland. I went on line to look up the correct spelling for what we always called them and was surprised to see nothing similar. Please help! (great) grandma we called bobchi and (great) grandpa we called gagi. Do you know the correct spelling on either of these names? Thanks!

  45. Sonya Says:

    Grandma in Russian is Sasha; in Greek it is Yaya. Those are the only two I have researched for myself.

  46. Bryce Says:

    In Italian we call our grandparents

    grandmother’s:

    Nonna
    Nonni

    grandfather’s:

    Nonno

  47. Tara Says:

    Hi ummm do you know if Yaya has any accent marks in it?

  48. Monique Says:

    Yes, it’s spelled like that γιαγιά

  49. Jodi Says:

    My daughters call their maternal grandmother “Amma” and their maternal grandfather “Papa”. Their paternal Grandmother is “Nanna T*****” and their paternal grandfather is called “Grandpa Gordie”. These are just what we call them. Grandpa Gordie’s name, of course, is Gordon. The names are not deeply rooted in any family tradition, it’s just what the kids pronounced when it mattered, and they stuck.
    My kids called my grandma “Oma” (Dutch for grandmother) and my Grandpa “Opa” (Dutch for Grandfather.) I just called them “Grandma and Grandpa O”.

  50. Kymm Says:

    I lived in Texas for a time and these terms were given: Meema, & Pepah, Mamaw & Papaw

  51. Gabi Says:

    Hi
    I am Hungarian but living in New Jersey. You can call your grandma: Mamo, Mamoka,
    Nagyi, Mama, Nagyika, Mamcsi.
    You can call your grandpa: Papa, Papi, Papcsi, Papika, Papo, Papoka.

  52. Carolina Says:

    Hola,

    I´m from Madrid (Spain). Here we call our grandparents
    grandmother yaya
    grandfather yayo
    but we spelled like that γιáγιa
    We used too tata and tato when babys are learning to talk to teach them. I ear a lot ¿Dónde está la tata? Where is grandma?

  53. Bev Says:

    What is the name for Grandma and Grandpa in Scottish?

  54. Sallyanne Says:

    Hi, i just wanted to thank y’all for these great names for Grandpa and Grandma! I’m a brand new foster parent to a 10 month old who is not allowed to call our parents grandpa and grandma. Since we wanted special names for our parents to have a sort of familial, closer feel, than if we used their first names, we are hoping to use some of these names. Thanks again!

  55. Alexis Says:

    Growing up one of my Grandmother’s was Mutti. I have no idea where it came from, but someone said it was a diminutive of mother in German (Mutter).
    Part of my family is Fryslân, a northern province of the Netherlands. There they speak both Dutch and Frisian (also spelt Friesian). Grandma in Frisian is beppe (bep-pe) and Grandpa is pake (pa-ke).
    This is not a foreign name, but a common endearing name in the south is called wee-mama. I have also heard me-ma and me-mama.

  56. Alexis Says:

    I asked one of my Dutch friends if there are more ways to say grandma besides Oma.
    here is what he told told me

    grootmoeder => bookish/distantiated/formal
    oma (OH-mah)=> neutral
    opoe (OH-poo) => derogatory
    omie (OH-mee) => jokingly/childish

  57. Marsha Says:

    Shalom,

    I know the formal words in Hebrew are Savta/Saba= Grandmother/Grandfather. Does anyone know the endearing terms? (In Hebrew, not Yiddish.)

  58. Claire Says:

    In Welsh, in the Southern Region of Wales, Grandma is “Mam-gu” and Grandpa is “Tad-cu” in the Northern Region of Wales Grandma is “Nain” and Grandpa is “Taid.” In Wales we also speak English and children often call their Grandma “Nan” “Nanny” and “Gran” and their Grandpa “Grampy” and “Bampy.” Other names, too, I am sure, but those are the main ones.

  59. Ed Kelly Says:

    I would like assistance pronuncing the title of Anouilh’s play “Leocadia.”

  60. Darcy Says:

    I’m trying to track down a word that I THINK pertained to a grandfather, but the person who used the term couldn’t spell it for me at the time…it’s been driving me nuts for YEARS now :) it was pronounced something like zhee-doo…and I’m really curious as to what language it might be AND how it’s spelled :) Thanks! :)

  61. Ed Gawlinski Says:

    Darcy,
    On February 19th, 2006 at 11:01 pm, Lisa wrote that

    In Yiddish, they say…

    Grandpa = zeyde
    Pronounced zey’∙deh
    I heard it pronounced as zaydie

    Could that be the Zhee-doo that you are looking for?
    In Yiddish, nouns are not normally inflected for case.
    I don’t know the rules, but Zheedoo could be an inflected form of zeyde.

  62. Darcy Says:

    Hey, Ed :) Thanks for your reply! :) I wonder :) I was FAIRLY certain that the speakers in question were either Greek or Armenian, but that probably doesn’t mean anything :) As my friend who is about to become a grandmother has said, the baby will call her whatever he feels like calling her, no doubt :) and the same could apply in this case, no? :) I love a good mystery, though…:) Cheers and hope you’re headed into a wonderful week! :)

  63. Cynthia Says:

    Thanks for the great ideas. I am a new Grandma and excited about her but not the prospect of being called Grandma so have been looking for ideas. Also because she has multiple sets of Grandparents and Great Grandparents due to divorces in my generation, it would be nice to have something original. Since we are in Texas, I guess it could be GranTex!

  64. Terri Says:

    What a neat website this is! I am a very young grandmother and my grandsons call me Grammy and my husband Pappy. I liked Meme but it was already taken by another grandmother. They also have a Nanny,Nanna, Grandmother, Noni. If I could pick again I think might pick Yaya or Sasha.

  65. Margie Says:

    I often dream what my grandbaby or grandbabies will call me…I think I’ll let the first make that call…:) It’s funny.. MY mother wanted to be called “Granny” to her grandchildren, and my nephew decided it would be “Nanny” – and so it was Nanny to all successive grandchildren.

  66. Lois Says:

    Does anyone know the words for Grandma & Grandpa in Norwegian?

  67. Monique Says:

    Grand-mother is “bestemor” and grand-father is “bestefar”. Endearing terms “Mormor” and “Morfar”

  68. maria Says:

    Hi,I am Dutch originally and they say Oma-grandmother and
    Opa -grandfather.
    But Opoe is used for the mother of the grandmother;
    like great-grandmother usually the oldest still alive.
    Opaatje for endearing but otherwise Opa for the male version stays the same
    Omaatje for endearing(means little Oma)etc.

  69. Jackie Says:

    On Aug 31, 2006 Sophie posted this, Did anyone find out if Kiki meant Grandma anywhere?

  70. Tiffani Says:

    I was the first grandchild so the naming of the grandparents was left up to me and my childish form of english. ‘Mama’ is my moms mom who I am closest to and ‘mama kinkin’ is my dads mom because she was the ‘mama’ with chickens unfortunately both grandfathers became ‘papa’.

    Now my children are the first great grand kids so ‘mama’ has turned into ‘g-mama’

    my childrens’ grand parents are pretty simple

    Nana & Papa, Grama & Grumpa, Baba & Deda, and Grandma T.

    I have a girlfriend whose daughter calls her grandmother ‘Glamma’ one can only guess on the reason for that :)

  71. Lisa Says:

    That makes me think – I should mention that my kids call their great grandmother “G.G.” – which stands for “Great Grandmother”!

  72. Joyce Says:

    Interesting site. I am about to become a grandmother for the first time and don’t feel old enough to be callled granny so I might pick something else more exotic!
    As a child in Scotland I called my mothers parents Maw and Di (don’t know if that’s spelt correctly – i sounds as in bike). I’ve never heard that anywhere else.

  73. Christine Says:

    I have always thought that Grannies need to choose a name for themselves that better reflects their own image.
    I am into yoga so thought of Oumy representing the mantra Oum and I also ride a Yamaha motor bike so thought of Yamy.

    I just have to convince my kids to have babies!

  74. Patricia Anna Says:

    Hi,

    Our 2 year old granddaughter Lily calls her grandpa – pampa and
    maama for grandma. Leaving out the g’s made it easier for her.
    Wonderful to hear what these sweet little one call someone they
    love so much….

  75. Anni Says:

    In Danish we distinguish between:

    Fathers father: farfar
    Father mother: farmor

    Mothers father: morfar
    Mothers mother: mormor

    Less formal names would be: momse (mormor), moffe (morfar).

    The terms bedstemor/bedstefar (grandmother/grandfather, literally best mother/best father) are hardly used in spoken language.

  76. Shermeen Says:

    Here’s what I hear grandparents being called in my part of the world:)

    In Mandarin
    Grandfather (paternal): Zhu-Fu
    Grandmother (paternal): Zhu-Mu

    Grandfather (maternal): Wai-Kong
    Grandmother (maternal): Wai-Po

    In Hokkien (a dialect)
    Grandpa: Ah-gong
    Grandma: Ah-ma

    In Cantonese (a dialect)
    Grandpa: Yeye
    Grandma: Popo

    Some people use “GongGong”(grandpa) and “Popo” (grandma) but I’m not sure which dialect this would be. It’s a little mixed up here in Singapore where our use of Chinese is more relaxed in its accuracy (at least in my opinion). In fact, most of us speak in dialect only if our grandparents do!

  77. Shermeen Says:

    sorry, i made a mistake about grandma in cantonese! It shoudl be “mama”

  78. Nicole Says:

    I am confused about Baba- what specific language it does really come from? Urkaian or Russian- I have a mother in law whom’s hungrian- slokvec part. And she explained to me about baba as grandma and papu as grandpa..

    So can you also help me with papu?.

  79. Joan Says:

    I am from Nova Scotia, My maternal grandparents were Nanny and Grandpa, my parents are Nanny and Grampa to my children.

    My paternal grandparents were from Minnesota but grew up in Saskatchewan and they were known to us as Gramma and Grampa.

    My kids have a variety. My husband has two families. The first is from Estonia and they were known as Vanaisa (pronounced Vah na eesah) and Vanaema (pronounced vah na emma) but she was known as Memme (pronounced meh meh) His other parents (from New Brunswick are called Papa and Nana)

    I came across your site because I am about to become a grandmother and am having a hard time finding a name. I would like to know more ethnic nicknames. For exampl I like Vanaema but memme was always hard fro my kids to pronounce. I like Ema but that means mother in Estonian. I would like something to represent my Nova Scotia heritage but the only names I’ve been able to research are nanny or Nana. Any more suggestions? I would really like to hear more options from Estonia.

  80. Sandi Says:

    I am about to become a grandmother for the first time, and like many of you I have been thinking about what I’d like to be called. I’ve wanted “Nana” for a long time, but my daughter’s mother-in-law is saying the same thing. I had a Nana, and that’s why. I have Scottish and Irish in me, and after reading this realize that Nana fits with both. I also have German (don’t think they’ll call me Oma), and Cherokee. What are the names for Grandma and Grandpa in Cherokee, anyone know?

  81. Sherry Says:

    My husbands family is Hawaiian and we call grandma “amma” (but i think it means care giver in Chineese) lol – Grandpa – we are still working on trying to figure that one out. :)

  82. Diane Lopez Says:

    how do you say Grandma and Grandpa in Albanian?

  83. Gosia Says:

    I was born in Poland and my children call their grandmother “babcia” and their grandpa “dziadzio”(polish), and my husbands family is from Syria and my children call their grandmother “Tayta” and their grandpa “jedu” (arabic).

  84. Sue Says:

    Does anyone know Finnish translations for Grandma and Grandpa?

  85. Jan Says:

    I did not see India represented! Grandmother is “Agi” and grandfather is “Agi-ba.”

    Namaste’

  86. Siobhan Says:

    My dad and grandparents grew up in Ireland and we called our grandparents gram and grandpa or gramp. I was always led to understand these came from words for Grandmother in Irish, including Seanmháthair (shan a WAW her), máthair mhór (maw her aWOR), and máthair Chríona (MAW her KHREE un na), all of which mean “old mother”, “great mother” and “mother of the heart.” They are not used as forms of address though.

    My dad who grew u in Dublin with a mother or ma from Galway called his grandmother Móraí (pronounced MO ree). He referred to his grandfather as Daideó (Daddo)

    My mother is Jewish so that is another story again. Grandmother in Yiddish is Bubbeh” or “Bubbee”. Mine was my Bubbee. Grandfather is “Zaydeh” or “Zaydee and we called our wonderful granfather Zaydee and given that we livedin an area with less than 1% Jewish population,sometimes grandpa. Grandma was always Bubbee though.

    Irish women are almost always a matriarch and you know the legends of Jewish grandmothers so I feel I really lucked out in having two cultural groups of strong women. Sadly, both my Bubbee and gram have passed on but I miss them every day! The same is true for my grandfathers!!

    We did not call dad “da” which is the usual Irish name for father but he

  87. Terry Says:

    Our kids call one set of their grand parents, Nana for the woman and Fundaddy for the man.

  88. Vanessa Says:

    My Greek mother and grandmother both go by *MomMom* My Cherokee father goes by *PopPop.* My Polish husband’s father goes by *Grandpop* while he himself chose *Granddad* though our eldest granddaughter has taken to calling him *PaPa.* I chose *Nana.* My granddaughters’ paternal grandparents go by *Noni* and *PopPop.* Our eldest granddaughter also has a *Grandma* and a *PaPaw.* How my little granddaughters manage to keep all of our names straight boggles my mind!! LOL

    My question: I have a friend whose daughter calls her grandmother *CoCo.* Is anyone aware of the origin? He believes it may be French?

  89. Jan Berry Says:

    It has been fun reading all these sweet endearing names for grandparents. Funny, though, how kids so often come up with their own names for loved 0nes. Here are some my favorites from my (very American) family.

    I’m Jamma to all my Grandkids (maybe combo of Jan and Grandma)
    My kids named my Parents Luku and Going (Lucia and Gordon)
    My Grandkids other grandparents are GiGi and Boompa (no idea where these came from).
    We also have Nana, KK, Jampa and KEEEE

    Can’t you just hear those cute little voices saying these wonderful names????

    Thanks for asking…

    Jamma

  90. Rachel Says:

    My children call my mom “Tawna”, since she felt she was too young to be called grandma when my oldest was born. I was told it was a term for someone you respect/care about. Does anyone know what language it could come from? I don’t even know if that is how it would be spelled, but thats how we pronounce it.

    Thanks!

  91. Monique Says:

    In French “coco” was baby talk for egg (I don’t think it’s still used now) or is petname/sort for someone called Claude or Colette.

  92. guhan Says:

    In Tamil we call our grannies as ‘paatti’ or ‘aatha’ or ‘ammayee’

  93. Laura Says:

    Can anyone give me the spelling of Grandad, Grandpa in arabic, thank you

  94. Jerry Says:

    is Guedo a ukrainian term for Grampa?
    Great site

  95. Tina Says:

    Does anyone know the Cherokee words for grandma and grandpa?

  96. Ida Viola Says:

    Hi! For those of you who are interested: In russian, they say either baba or babushka. However, you might use babushka mostly, as baba could mean something like “Old hag”. I know that because this is the case in croatian, a southslavic language that has quite a lot in common with russian. Having said this, im not completly sure, because im norwegian.
    Also, I have to words for the grandparents in romanian, if this is of any interest: For grandma, you could say bunica or bunicuta. The last t-sound has to be pronounced like that in “pizza”. Bunicuta is however more tender and you might use this when talking to small kids. Thus, when speaking abut your grandmother, you should say “bunica”, as the first form is primary for use in the family or close friends. For grandpa, you say “bunicul”. Like bunica, bunicul has its formal and informal forms. One might say “bunicule”. This means like “dear grandpa” or “tiny,beloved grandpa”. Again, this is very informal, used among family and people you know well. Romanians also tend to cut the “l” in the end of words. “catelus”, wich means “puppy” or “little dog” would be pronounced “catzelu`”. However, not all romanians do this. I know this because I have a great interest in romanian language and culture, and I also have friends in the neighbourig country of Romania, Moldova.

    Hope that my coments can be to some help, I love this page.

    Ida

  97. Jennifer Says:

    I call my frisian grandparents Oatie and Opa (it was easier than Oaheit) and my other pair was Beppe and Pake. I havent been able to find any literature over the first pair, Oatie/Oaheit except that maybe its literaly old-mom and old-dad. Seeing as when my Beppe became a great grandma she didnt want to be called Oabeppe? anyone? anyone? beuller?

  98. Cendy Says:

    I’m Filipino and in Tagalog we refer to Grandma as “Lola” and Grandpa as “Lolo”….in my family we refer to our grandparents are “Nanay” (Grandma) and “Tatay” (Grandpa)…but Nanay and Tatay is actually translated to “mother’ and “father”.

  99. Susan Says:

    This is very helpful! Danka/Thank-you, Gratias/Grazie. I’m Scotch, Irish, Dutch, English and very Ukrainian, but all American! (My boyfriend is Spainard and Italian.) My first darling grandson shares all this wonderful lineage and a great clan on his mother’s side. I’ve found some good ideas, as this is my first time being a grandmother. Again, thanks! Slavic Susan

  100. Rosalind Love Says:

    When my grandson was born 19 years ago this April, I did not want to be called grandma; mostly because that was the name I used for my grandmother; beside, that was what my daughter’s-in-law mother was called. I decided to be called Gannie. MY son insists on spelling it Grammy.

    Very recently, I text my grandson a Happy Birthday message and he noticed that I spelling it Gannie. When I first decided on this name for my grandchildren to use for me, I was told that it was a Germany spelling for grandmother. Does anyone know this spelling, Gannie, and from which culture is it used? I did not want Nana since that was the name my stepmother wanted.

  101. Linda Says:

    We called my moms parents, Nanita (her) , pronounced Na nee’ ta and called him Tatita, pronounced Ta Tee’ Ta. dont know where that comes from.

    Called dads parents, buela Fina, from term abuela , spanish, and her name was Delphina. He was buelo Fino. Dont know why or how that happened since his name was Enrique’.

  102. Monique Says:

    I read somewhere that in Chile, grandfather is “tata”, “lelo”; and grandmother is “nana”, “lela”.
    It can be “abu” or “abue” in some other Spanish speaking countries.

  103. Sandie Says:

    My grandma name is Grandie which is a combination of Grandma and Sandie.

  104. Teena Says:

    I am soon to be a Grandma.But I would like a name that suits who I am.. I love the Grandma but it does not suit .Either does Nana..I am soon to be 40 most people around me seem to think something funky,upbeat or Fresh would be appropriate..Any ideas??

  105. Lauren Says:

    Does anyone know the morrocan names fo grandma and grandpa?

  106. Vicky Says:

    well… i am cantonese… and not too long ago i FINALLY figured out what is up with the family stuff and how to what to call them!!! in cantonese when you talk to an aunt, uncle, grandma, or grandpa you usually go by which side they are on like if they are on your mother’s side or your fathers side… also most of these are probably not spelt right cause i am going by how I think they sound… but some of them i go by how i usually spell it… hahaha!!!

    mother’s side:
    aunts: yi-yi
    uncles: ko-fu
    grandma: po-po
    this is pronounced like the word “paw” in English… so it is like paw paw… if that helps…
    grandpa: gong-gong
    this one is definetly NOT pronounced like how it spells… but i have like no freaking idea how mix it in with a English word…

    father’s side:
    aunts: goo-goo
    this one is pronounced like the word “goo” in English… so it is goo goo
    uncles: souk-souk?
    i dont have any uncles but i figured this one out pretty easily since i had a “uncle” which is not exactly my real uncle but was told to just called him this… so i figure that this is how you say uncle on your fathers side… i have no idea how to mix this one too…
    grandma: ma-ma
    grandpa: ye-ye

  107. Danielle Says:

    Since childhood I have called my grandparents

    Emma & Abba

    a lose translation of Hewbrew mother and father

    mother = אמא – eema
    father= אבא – Abu

  108. Arnie Says:

    I’m looking for the language and meaning of the word “baboo” or “babboo”. Sally Brown of Peanuts fame would call Linus van Pelt “sweet babboo”, but no one has ever explained where the term came from. Can anyone help? Thanks, Arnie

  109. Jason Pomerantz Says:

    Arnie, speaking as a lifelong Peanuts fan, I’m glad to pass along the following tidbit, which I found here: http://www.mentalfloss.com/blogs/archives/8443

    “[Schulz's] wife Jeannie was certainly a fire-cracker (at 50, she started taking trapeze lessons!), and her comments often made the strip (like calling Schulz her “Sweet Baboo”)…”

    As to where Jeannie got it… You’d have to ask her!

    Jason

  110. Nanci Says:

    My little grandson Alex calls me “Meema” and my husband ‘Pop Pop” for our names. His other grandmother had the name of Nana. He suddenly came up with this for me. We were wondering what the origins of ‘Meema’ are, what country, etc. I love it as I’d never heard that expression before. We have been living in the South for the past 6 years and we wondered if it was a Southern expression. Any help would be soooo appreciated!!
    Thanks so much,
    Nanci:-)

  111. La Nora Says:

    I have lived in Indiana all my life and the majority of most Hoosiers call their grandparents Mamaw and Papaw. My children called my Mamaw and Papaw ~ Big Mamaw and Big Papaw; They called my parents Lil’ Mamaw and Lil’ Papaw.

  112. michele Says:

    I have been a grandma for six months now to two grand babies who are not talking yet. I am happy with what ever they want to call me, it is just so great to have them. Being called grandma is not a label of being old, it is a respectful name. I am 40 and would proudly go by that name. I raised my three children an have earned a name of respect, not some name that has no real meaning in my american life. If your culture has a name for grandma, then that is what you should go by. Just don’t try to pick one because of vanity. They may not say your name right anyways in the begining, so you can stick with the baby name or pick the name they will feel cofortable calling you as an older child. I think if you have fond memories of your grandparents you should go by thoes.

  113. Linda Says:

    I have just looked on your website to try and find a name suitable for my brand new granddaughter to call me. I am 44 and everyone else tells me that I am too young to be a Grannie. My mum is scottish and my dad english. Babies dads mum is Nana, my mum is Gran, my mother in law is Grandma. I think I’ll leave it to my granddaughter, whatever she wants to call me will be fine by me.

  114. Krys Says:

    My mom’s parents were Babci and Dziadzi (Mom’s Polish) and my dad’s parents, well, Granddaddy was Granddaddy and my Grandmother on dad’s side died before my parents got married. My dad always referred to her as his mother, not my grandmother, but when I think of her or refer to her, I call her Grandma or Grandma Cook.
    I’m Cioci (aunt) to my niece and nephew and just found out my niece on my husband’s side is newly pregnant! Already asked her if I could be Cioci to her baby, instead of Great Aunt… She said of course (thanks, Carrie!) – I have such warm memories of my Cioci Eliza… it just seemed natural that I’d be called by that name.
    When I’m a grandparent I’d like to be a Babci, too. No idea what my husband wants to be called – our daughter just got engaged. He can’t handle the idea of being a grandfather yet!!!

  115. Del Says:

    Was interested to see Tadig is Breton for grandfather. Welsh and Breton are both celtic languages, and the Welsh for grandfather is ‘tadcu’ and for grandmother ‘mamgu’

  116. Charrie Says:

    These are all wonderful ideas…anyone have any ideas about Thailand? What doe Thai kids call their grand-parents?

  117. Joyce Says:

    In Cree (a Canadian Indian tribe) grandma is kookum and grandpa is moosum.

  118. Lin Fadelan Says:

    In Indonesia:
    Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian Official language):
    Nenek is Grandma
    Kakek is Grandpa.

    Javanese:
    Eyang Uti/ Eyang Putri/ Mbah Uti/ Mbah Putri is Grandma.
    Putri means Woman or Princess.
    Eyang / Mbah for Grandpa or Grandma.

  119. Patty Says:

    In certain areas of Colombia the endearing term for Grandma is Mamita, pronounced mah mee tah

  120. Tina Says:

    My inlaws call the Aunts and Grandma’s “Memai” (pronounced MEM-ay) and Ive seen it spelled “meme” and “memai”. I am wondering if this is a literal translation of “aunt” or “grandmother” or a just a family term of endearment. My inlaws are of french and slavic descent.

  121. Monique Says:

    I recognize “mémée” to be French – see also “mémère”, both based on
    “mère”= mother” and meaning “grandma” (Cf. my Feb. 18th 2006 comment). Aunts are called “Tata”, “Tatie” or “Tantine” in French.

  122. Cheriemarie Says:

    Since i didn’t see any replies about grandma and grandpa in finnish, i thought i’d share my knowledge. In finland as two languages are spoken there, alot of terms and names excist, but the most common ones in finnish are; isoäiti for grandma and isoisä for grandad. To pronounce is kinda difficult but i found that ‘iso’ which means both great and big would be -esoh- and ‘äiti’ which means mother would be the same -a sound as in cat so -aajtee- and isoisä would then be -esoh-esa-ä again sounding like in cat.

  123. Rebecca Says:

    In Cherokee, there are a few different words for grandmother/grandfather. Please note that while I am descended from the Eastern Band of Cherokee, I do not fluently speak the language and have relied on a Cherokee-English dictionary to help me. This means that there may be differences between pronunciations.

    Grandmother- elisi (eh-lee-se -sounds like the American name “Elise”)
    Grandfather- edudi (eh-doo-deh)

    There is also other forms of the word, such as:
    my grandmother- vgilisi (uh-gee-lee-see)
    my grandfather … vgidudi (uh-gee-dew-dee)

    And even different words depending on what side of the family:
    paternal grandmother … enisi (eh knee see)
    maternal grandmother – alisi (ay lee see)

    Hope this helped!

  124. Patricio Says:

    As Monique has correctly stated, the terms for grandfather and grandmother in SPANISH are “abuelo” and “abuela”. But we sometimes shorten that to “abeu” for both sexes. The terms “tito” and “tita” are also used frequently.

  125. Bridgett Says:

    I don’t think anyone said anything about Portuguese? My husband is Portuguese. Grandfather is Avô (pronounced Avu) and Grandmother is Avó (pronounced Avo). However, we say Vavô and Vavó. I asked my husband why we say it like that, and he said the first way is the proper way, but with the v at the beginning, it is a more endearing term. We also have always spelled it Vavu and Vavo. Maybe because I’ve never known how to spell it until I looked it up… :) I remember when my niece was little she always said “Fofo” instead of Vovo.

  126. Marie Jo Says:

    In the Philippines, we commonly call grandmother: LOLA and grandfather: LOLO. Names were derived from Spanish abuelo and abuela.

    ;)

  127. Rhonda Says:

    My husband is Cuban and we use another variation for Abuelo and Abuela, my kids call his parents Bita and Bito. It was easy to learn and it has stuck, now all the siblings kids call them the same thing.

    I also have a question, can someone tell me the origin of “Gammie” or “Gammy”. I am currently a Grammy, but since the little dude cannot talk yet, think I have time to change it.

  128. Lela Says:

    I called my Grandma “Gammy” or “Gammie” when I was little because it was how I pronounced “Grandma,” or “Grammy.” My family are All-American, but we have “mutt-blood” big-time, so it’s interesting to see the various forms of Grandmother in languages that I have roots in. I am part Norwegian and love learning about all the scandinavian traditions not just from Norway.

  129. Emma Says:

    In Thailand there is a different term for maternal and paternal sets of grandparents.

    -Ya= Paternal grandmother
    -Yay= Maternal grandmother
    -Da =Paternal grandfather
    -Bu =Maternal grandfather

    For me as a foreigner learning Thai this was of course harder having to learn 4 words instead of 2, but I love the system now I know the words, because I feel seperate terms for each grandparent save confusion in conversation and it also seems to make your relationship with each grandparent more unique having their own name.

  130. MamaKim Says:

    Growing up we called my grandmother GaGa. SHe was to be Grandma, but the FIRST grandchild pronounced it GaGa. So, she is 92 years old now, and EVERYONE calls her GaGa. SHe has 5 grandchildren and 11 great-grandchildren.

  131. AlliCat Says:

    Interesting info! Grew up in Indiana – always called one living grandfather just plain ol’ Grampa (our Mom called him “Pop”.) Very English roots but WVA background / influence I think. On the other side, great-grandmother was “Baba”…. we really don’t know why because her maiden name was very Irish, but she didn’t really look so. Very blond, blue-eyed, short little lady. Don’t know her heritage, so could be anything, any reason. We liked it – no one in the family ever referred to her by any other name that I recall.

  132. Reta Caputo Says:

    My granddaughter started calling me MeMa and I had never heard the term before. Now when we are out together and she calls me MeMa it is amazing how many other women comment to me that their grandchildren call them MeMa too. I spell it MeMa but have seen it Meema. I live in PA but have also heard the term in NC.

  133. Charlie Says:

    koro …….pronounced kaw/raw (the r is rolled like a scottish person pronouncing it)…. is the maori name used for granparents…both male and female.

  134. Bonita Says:

    I have 3 daughters. They call me “mom”. My grandchildren call me “mom mom” because I am their mom’s mom. The name “mom mom” does not make me feel old. It makes me feel loved.

  135. Rhona Says:

    My daughter started referring to me as MeeMa as a joke, and then, when I became a grandmother, it just stuck. It feels much more sprightly than Grannie or Grandma which was what I called my grandmother and my children call my mother.

  136. Amanda Says:

    I have Italian in my family and Noona is nana and Noonoo is poppy

  137. Elle Müller Says:

    Nobody mentioned any Low German dialects?
    Here’s one I believe is Plautdeitsch – possibly Mennonite Low German.

    droßmudi = granny/grandmommy
    droßmuda = grandmother
    droßvadi = granddad(dy)
    droßvada = grandfather
    Obi = Grandma
    Omi = Grandpa

    I had afriend who used these.

  138. Karen LeFevre Says:

    I have noticed several comments about Kiki as a grandmother’s name. I think that is what I want to be called but couldn’t find much that specifically refers to it in that context.

    I did find a fashionable grandmother character named Kiki in the book “Dream Girl” by Lauren Mechling.

    Kiki is a nickname for people whose names begin with K (so that fits me), and also for Enriqueta and Enrique.

    The old Twin Stars dolls of the 1970s were: Kiki the boy and Lala the girl.

    That is all I have found. Does anyone else have anything more specific about it as a grandmother’s name?

    Karen

  139. Angela Says:

    As a girl, my nick name was Angie…imagine that. :)
    When my first niece was born, we found it wasn’t that easy to say Aunt Angie…so, I started going by Aunt Gigi.
    I have decided that it is my desire to continue along these lines and have my grandchildren hopefully call me Gigi. But, as many before have stated, sometimes it is just decided by the oldest grandchild.
    I have a while to worry about it, but is fun to dream and am glad I am not the only gal who spends time pondering these things. :oP

  140. Myram Says:

    We are of Ukrainian origin, but my grandparents were in the eastern part, which speaks mostly Russian. They were called (phonetic spelling) Bahboosh(Grandma) and Didoosh(Grandpa).

  141. Valerie Says:

    I called my paternal grandparents Nanner (grandma) and Gaffer (grandpa) – everyone knew them by those names and there were many grandchildren. They were probably chosen by them as Gaffer was a real jokester – both were very well traveled but the family has mostly English roots. We called my father, Pop – so now everyone knows him as Pop even now as a great grandfather.

  142. Yvette Says:

    In Mexico we call our grand parents “abuelos” also “abuelitos” in the diminutive way.
    we use abuelita, nana, abuela for grandma and
    abuelito, abuelo or tata for grandpa.

  143. Yvette Says:

    In Mexico we call our grandparents abuelos or abuelitos in the diminutive form.
    we use abuela, abuelita or nana for grandma and
    abuelo, abuelito or tata for grandpa.

  144. Em Says:

    We always called my Swedish grandfather Grandca (with a c that sounds like a k). I had assumed it was some Swedish nickname for grandfather, but from what people have said on this site…it doesn’t seem to be so. Does anyone know if this word has Swedish origins? Maybe we grandchildren just made it up?!

  145. lily Says:

    In FINNISH…

    isoisä & isoäiti are very formal.

    Informal names for grandpa are ukki, vaari, pappa…

    and for Grandma: mummo, mummi, mamma…

  146. Jan Says:

    Just found out this evening that I am going to be a grandmother!! Yikes! After reading the posts, I am leaning toward “Jamma”…what do you think? I was born in Scotland and had hoped to be able to use something from my heritage….
    Jan

  147. Karen Says:

    My husband has been calling me his “trophy wife” (at 51 it feels really great) Now that we are about to be grandparents he is calling me “trophy grandmother” He picked the name Bella for my grandmother name. It means beautiful in Italian…now how do you turn that down? He will be either Doc (he’s a doctor) or Fundaddy…which would be an appropriate name for him!

  148. Angelika Says:

    My mother is from Mexico City, and I call my grandmother on her side Mama Coco (mama being mother- informal, and Coco being short for her name, Socoro) I don’t have a grandfather on that side. On my daddy’s side I call my grandmother, gamma when i want something from her, and any other time I call her grandmama. I call my paternal grandfather Grampa Jean. My step grandfather is granpa Al and my step grandmother is grandma Carol.

  149. Replica Watch Shop Says:

    am leaning toward “Jamma”…what do you think? I was born in Scotland and had hoped to be able to use something from my heritage….

  150. Replica Watch Shop Says:

    I also have a question, can someone tell me the origin of “Gammie” or “Gammy”. I am currently a Grammy, but since the little dude cannot talk yet, think I have time to change it.

  151. Tarra Nova Says:

    In Newfoundland and Labrador (Canada) we use “Nanny” for grandmother – it seems pretty standard here. For grandfather, we mostly use “Poppy” or “Pop”. Then there is also “Grenda” (much like the Irish “Granda”) or even simpler – “Da”.

    Most people here are from English or Irish backgrounds (late 1700s), but did not usually maintain contact with ‘the old country’.

    It’s nice to have a unique moniker, as when I think of the above names, they relate to one special person/memory.

  152. Vicki from NZ Says:

    Thanks michele (October 25th, 2009 at 11:52 pm) you reminded me that it’s actually the baby and the fact that the cycle of life is continuing that is important, not my vanity – I also am glad that you reminded me that these names are a term of respect and that I have earned the right to be called Granny or Grandma or whatever. Also, it’s ok that I”m getting older, it happens to everyone.
    Thanks again, vicki

  153. erik Says:

    In Russian:

    Grandma: baba
    Grandpa: deda

  154. Marte Sofie Says:

    In Norwegian
    mormor = your mother’s mother.
    morfar = your mother’s father.
    farmor = your father’s mother.
    farfar = your father’s father.
    bestemor = grandma / grandmother
    bestefar = grandpa / grandfather

    It’s also possible to just say “mor” or “far” like I do with my maternal grandparents even though it means “mother” and “father” and some may use those words for their parents even though that would be a little old fashion and formal (but only a little). Usually we use mamma and pappa for mother and father.

    Hope this helps. :)
    (Also, a friend of mine calls her grandpa “moffa” and grandma “mommo” but I have never heard that used elsewhere. Where I live up here in the North of Norway people are kind of (in)famous for just making up words that sounds pretty/cool/like other similar words, but have no actual meaning “dictionary-wise” in informal conversation.)

  155. Linda Eggers Says:

    Both of my children (9 years apart) called their grandmothers “Mung-Ga” until they were about 3 years old. Neither had heard the name from any one else, so I’m inclined to think “Mung-Ga” was somehow hard-wired into their brains before birth.

  156. Lue Says:

    I am Greek- American, lived most of my life in the States, but spent 7 years in Greece and spent time there every summer since I was born.

    Grandmother in Greek is Γιαγια (pronounced yiayia, with the accent on the last syllable)
    Grandfather is Παπου (pronounced papou (again, with the accent on the last syllable)

    These are the terms used by everyone in Greek, young or old – there is no distinction in how adults or children refer to their grandparents. The omission or inclusion of an ’s’ is grammatical, referring to which case the word is in. Lisa, in your replies above said that adults say papous, but this is inaccurate. When referring to someone in Greek in the 3rd person (using the nominative case) there is an ’s’ on the end of the word. When speaking to someone directly there is no ’s’ on the end (the vocative case).

  157. Tracey Says:

    Hey there well…. I am Irish, Portuguese & French

    Portuguese:
    grandma: pronounced VaVa.(Vo’Vo’) Grandpa: pronounced Voo Voo (voa voa)
    Aunt: Tia. Uncle: Ti. (pronounced like T for both, so ex. Aunt Mary (T Mary)
    Great grandparents add Value To the VaVa (VaVa value, however my family always said VaVa Moniz never value, just her last name) value means old grandmother, lol I hated that.

    Irish:
    Nana, grandmother. Great Gma: morai’ (mo ree)
    Papa, grandfather. Great Gpa: Morae’ (mo ree) pronounced same
    The meaning for the great grandparents, father and mother of the heart.
    Ti ti aunt or uncle (me: ti ti trace) is what I am called

    French: Canadian
    Momma and daddy
    Meme:Gma
    Pepe: Gpa
    Nana or NeNe: aunt Neena: uncle

    Cajun french, my husband’s family:
    Momma and daddy
    MaMa and PaPa (grand parents) Sounds like maw maw and paw paw sort of

  158. Sana Says:

    My parents are from Pakistan and I call my maternal grandmother Nanni and my maternal grandfather Nana. Paternal grandmother is Daadi (da-dee) and paternal grandfather is Daada. Most Urdu speakers use these terms. Sometimes people say Nanni-jaan or Daada-jaan. Jaan means soul, life, mind, and the usage of the word in this context closely means dear.

  159. Geetha Says:

    In Sri Lankan Tamil we have different words for grandparents from mothers side and fathers side.

    Mothers side:
    Grandma – aamaama ( aa-maa-ma)
    Grandpa – aapaapa ( aa-paa-pa)

    Fathers side:
    Grandma – aapaama (aa-paa-ma)
    Grandpa – thatha ( tha-tha)

  160. kara Says:

    Armenian

    We always called my Armenian grandfather DeDe and grandmother NeNe
    some Armenians call grandfather PaPe and grandmother TaTe.

  161. Ivy Nguyen Sumabat Says:

    Your post is incorrect:

    In Vietnam, they say ông for grandfather and bà for grandmother, but any old person can be called ông or bà. Paternal grandfather is ông ngoại and maternal grandfather is ông nội, while paternal grandmother is bà ngoại and maternal grandmother is bà nội. Thanks Mr Nguyen!

    CORRECTION: Paternal is noi. Maternal is ngoai.
    So…
    Grandfather: Ong Noi, Ong Ngoai
    Grandmother: Ba Noi, Ba Ngoai

  162. Deb Says:

    In Malta they call grand mothers nanna & grand dads nannu.
    My kids call my parents nanna & nannu & my husbands parents Nannie & poppy!
    Coming from a Maltese/Scottish background, living in Australia!

  163. Lisa Says:

    Our family is Russian,

    Grandmother: Babushka or Baba
    Grandfather: Dedushka or Deda
    Great Grandmother: Stannika Babushka
    Great Grandfather: Stannika Dedushka
    Aunt: Tchouta or Tuta

    Those are the only ones that we use in our family on a regular basis.

  164. Lisa Says:

    Penelope wrote:

    I also want to comment regarding the terms for “grandma” and “grandpa”.

    The ones in your site were in capital letters with accents.BUT we don’t use accents with capital letters.Only with small ones.So the correct terms are :

    γιαγιά or ΓΙΑΓΙΑ for granny and παππούς or ΠΑΠΠΟΥΣ for grandpa

    Penelope

  165. julie Says:

    can some plse tell me the name for nana, or grandma in welsh. thanks

  166. Robyn Says:

    In Hausa (a Nigerian language), grandmother is Kaka

  167. Mischelle O'Donnell Says:

    Hi Im a European New Zealander. Sometimes in NZ the native tonque, Maori, Koro means Grandad and Kuia is Grandma but Im sure there will be slightly different variants for different iwi[tribe].

  168. Kathi Farrell Says:

    I couldn’t read through four years of replies, but if someone hasn’t reported in Slovak the word for grandmother in stary matka, (old mother) or more person Babka. Grandfather is stary otec or Dedko.

  169. Kathi Farrell Says:

    Grandma in Welsh is:

    there’s lots of ways…
    nain
    mam-gu
    nanan
    gu

    I just used ask.com

  170. Kathi Farrell Says:

    I have a Dutch friend and it is Oma for grandma and Opa for grandpa. I always liked those terms.

  171. Nancy Says:

    Norwegian is the same as Swedish, quoted above. I am Farmor to my son’s child. Also, Bestemor and Bestefar can be a “generic” reference or perhaps used for great grandparents. (refresher: Farmor is father’s mother; Mormor – Mother’s mother; Morfar – Mother’s father; and Farfar – father’s father;

    My daughter in law’s mother, who lives near Portland also refers to herself as Nearmor. . .this “Farmor”. who lives in Alaska, is delighted with “Nearmor’s pun. . .

    I like how Farmor designates the lineage. And while visiting in Portland Oregon recently we went to a restaurant. While the server was seating us I said to my grand that a table would be easier for Farmor, and she recognized the reference. May seem small but I was delighted! One word to designate heritage, how the family dynamic fit together and public recognition all at once.

  172. Alliwoo Says:

    My children call my mom Wooma, because my dad often calls my mom Woo (which had quite a trickle down from the original affectionate name he called her), and my dad Pampa (until they got older and changed on their own to Grampa Dave.)

    As it happens, years ago, a dear friend nicknamed me Alliwoo (from Allison) which was such a coincidence since she had never met or heard my mother’s nickname of Woo or Wooma.

    I am a new grandma, of 3 months now, and at the moment, I am gramma. The other grandma is Granny Smith, like the apple, and she’s a teacher. My hubby goes from granpa to grandad…and his mom is G.G.

    With Finnish on my husband’s side, and French, Scandinavian, Irish and Cherokee on my side, I was totally entertained by this blog’s posts! Thanks!

    I’d love it if my “alliwoo” is incorporated somehow, but, for now, even at a young 50, gramma is fine…time will tell!

    Love the site – Gramma Alliwoo

  173. Gypsam Says:

    There was a question about Coco being a grandmother’s title. In zulu there is a word kind of like Gogo but the g is harder, akin to a c/k sound, it means grandma. I thought they were saying coco, so maybe that might lend some insight. Seems to be a term of respect as well, for an older woman, but don’t take my word for it.
    In reference to the Peanuts “sweet babu” question, Babyshka the russian is widely known and sometimes shortened to babu. I have never heard “sasha” as a grandmother, but is a common name and may contribute to that confusion. Dyedyshka is for grandpa in russian.
    In espanol, Tia y tio is for Aunt and Uncle.
    I can personally coroborate the portuguese “vou” and “vo” as that is what we called our azorean great grandparents. However, that’s just how you say, not how you spell, look above for spelling.
    In other African news, I have heard Bibi and Nyanya for grandma, in what I believe was swahilli.
    In Romani–Gypsy language– Puro dad (grandad) and Puri daj/daya (grandmom) also heard Baba for her or Mami. It depends on where the group travels primarily, as much of the language is mixed with the regional predominate language. Baba would be found in slavic areas, Mami in spanish/french/english areas.

  174. Alice Says:

    I am interested in learning the spelling and procunciation for grandmother in Slovak. My maternal grandmother was Slovak, born in what was then a part of Austria.

  175. iain Says:

    i called my grandmother Nonna,
    i’m scottish.

  176. Soo Min Says:

    grandmother in korean it’s Halmoni, and grandfather is haraboji but it’s pronounced ha-dah-boh-jee :)

  177. Tammy Says:

    Hi,
    We had a grandma and a grandpa on my mom’s side but on my dad’s side we had a baba and a geegee…we always thought they were ukrainian but I’ve since heard that geegee is not the ukrainian term for grandpa. My brother claims one or the other of them was more polish than ukrainian but I didn’t find geegee listed as polish either. Can anyone tell me the origins of geegee (maybe spelled gigi) please?
    I have a few years before worrying about what my grandkids will call me but quite frankly, it’s more about how we act than what we’re called.
    Thanks for any help :)

  178. Jean Says:

    My children always called my Mum “Nanny Curlers” as whenever we’d visit her I’d ’set’ her hair for her, so from the kids being babies they always saw their Nan wearing plastic rollers in her hair…hence Nanny Curlers.

  179. Hana Says:

    Hi there,

    I’m from Kosovo, and in Albanian we call grandmother Nona or Gjyshja and Gjyshi for grandfather.

  180. Anonymous Says:

    I agree with Lily, isoäiti is much too formal in Finnish.
    We call my grandmother “Mummi” which kind of translates to “granny” in English.

  181. Granpa german | Simonito Says:

    [...] please-send-an-endearing-term-for-grandma-in-your-language [...]

  182. Somebody else named Lisa Says:

    Danish terms

    Mormor: Mother’s mother
    Farmor: Father’s mother
    Bedstemor: Any female grandparent
    Bedste: A unisex term for a grandparent

  183. Kimberley Says:

    I live in Geelong, Victoria, Australia and my mother’s side is from Estonia. Her parents (my grandparents) are Estonian (though my grandfather died 20 years ago now). Grandmother is ‘Vanaema’ (vahnna-emma) and Grandfather is ‘Vanaisa’ (Vahnna-eesa). The Estonian term ‘Vana’ means ‘old’. My grandmother did not want to be called ‘Vana-ema’ because ‘vana’ means ‘old’. Myself and my siblings have always called our maternal grandparents ‘Nana’ and ‘Papa’.
    The endearing Estonian terms for Aunt and Uncle are ‘Tadi’ for Aunt and ‘Ono’ for Uncle (the ‘o’ in ‘Ono’ is supposed to have the two little dots on the top but I don’t know how to do that on my computer keyboard!). My mum’s cousins used to call my grandfather ‘Ono’ and my mum called her uncle Eric ‘Ono’ as well. We’ve never used ‘Tadi’ for any of our aunts. We’ve just called them ‘Aunty’ throughout the whole family.

  184. Judy Says:

    The Zulu term for grandmother is gogo. It’s also used to address an old woman.

  185. Dev Says:

    I call my paternal grandparents Bauchan and Gigi, I know obachaun is Japanese, my paternal grandmother is Japanese and my paternal grandfather is French and German.. I’m not sure where Gigi comes from
    My maternal grandparents are gramma and grandpa, I’m not sure of their heritage but I know it’s mostly european, my grammas parents where poppy and nana, and my moms puerto rican step mother is Tata

  186. Fiona Says:

    My children always called my father Pama as my first born could not say Grandpa and she called my mother Danny as she couldnt say Granny! Her great grandfather was called DatePama! My husband’s father was known as DadDad instead of Grandad.

  187. Catherine Says:

    In Wales, my grandmother and grandfather on my mothers side where called Grandma (pronounced Gram-a) and Grandpa(pronounced Gramp-a).On my fathers side my Grandmother was Nani (pronounced nan-ee) and my Grandfather Bampi (pronounced bamp-ee)

  188. Walter Says:

    In Ukrainian we always called our Grandmother (Bobchi) and Grandfather (GiGi) I am now called GiGi by my grandchild and my wife Bobchi.

  189. Akahane Says:

    I was reading through this page (found some great names for my fictional characters to call their grandparents!) and wondered what other Chinese people posted.

    I’m from the northern mainland and I’m adding what what I call my grandparents in brackets to the Mandarin ones Shermeen posted, which were all formal names:

    Grandfather (paternal): 祖父 zu3 fu4 (爷爷 ye2 ye)
    Grandmother (paternal): 祖母 zu3 mu3 (奶奶 nai3 nai)

    Grandfather (maternal): 外公 wai4 gong1 (老爷 lao3 ye2) [note: interestingly, if you drop the tone like in ye2 ye, and say lao3 ye, it means lord/master, but both meanings use the same characters and is barely differentiable! I think this is one of the few instances in Mandarin, which is a homophonic-homotonic-heterographic language, of a word that is a heterotonic homograph.]
    Grandmother (maternal): 外婆 wai4 po2 (姥姥 lao3 lao)

    Now, my maternal grandparents are from southern mainland originally (still Mandarin-speaking, but starting to veer towards Cantonese influences), and I’ve heard my relatives on that side use these:

    Grandfather: 公公 gong1 gong (not really sure which side. Possibly both.)
    Grandmother: 婆婆 po2 po (IIRC this one is maternal grandmother.)

    Chinese family titles are ridiculously convoluted, and I find it just as ridiculously interesting.

  190. Forex Signals Says:

    I remember as a child, all the kids in the neighborhood called a friend’s grandmother, from Poland, Babka. I looked it up in a Polish dictionary and Babka is interestingly a Polish word for grandmother.

  191. afsaneh Says:

    In Iran we call our grandmother(maman bozorg/madar bozorg/maman sara [for example]) and call our grand father(baba bozorg/pedar bozorg/baba josef [for example]) and there are many phrases in remote areas that I dont know them all.

  192. Jenna Says:

    My friends growing up were Arabic (Palestinian) They called their Grandmothers Tata and their Grandfathers Cedo.
    For Great-grandparents it was just doubled, Tata-Tata and Cedo-Cedo
    Short “a” and long “e” and “o”

  193. Jennifer Austin Says:

    When I was younger, one of my cousins called her one grandmother citi , any clues to where it might have came from?

  194. Darlene Says:

    My grandparents were Palestinian-Lebanese-Syrian:

    Grandmother: Sitty or Sitti
    Grandfather: Giddy or Jid

    Abu Jid would be greatgrandfather

  195. Margaret Says:

    Maori ( New Zealand native inhabitants )
    Grandfather…. Koro
    Grandmother.. Kuia

  196. Hilary Says:

    I am of Scottish and Jewish descent. Family consensus says I will be called Bubby G when my first grandchild arrives in April. The G is for granaidh which is the Scottish Gaelicized word for granny. I like this moniker…

  197. Lisa Says:

    In Chinese, we say a ya or ye yeye for dad’s dad and a Niang or nai nai for dad’s mum, and the mums mum is wai po and mums dad is wai gong. Thanks for the great website to the Lisa who founded it! :)
    Lisa Jin

  198. Mark Says:

    I come from Scotland and my niece and nephew reffer to there grandad as Papa or Pampa. My welsh girlfriend calls her grand father Bampi. An old Fife scottish term for grandfather is your “Dey”. I wish i knew phonetics better so i could right it phonetically because the word has a unique twang to it.

  199. Lisa Says:

    Hi Mark,

    If you’d like to record how you say those words, I can post mp3’s here too.

    Cheers!

    Mama Lisa

  200. Kiera Says:

    I was pretty young, 39, when i became a grandmother. My mom is a “nana” so I was not going to be one. haha My granddaughter’s paternal grandmother is “gramma” and her grandfathers are both (grand and great) PopPop. Irish decent. My father, as a grandfather, was Papa, but has passed away. I tried to get her to call me “Ama”, but she kept calling me “Owa” which stuck (she says: OH-WAH when she is being demanding and Oh-wuh when being loving and her wonderful self). I do have family members that are dutch that use Oma and Opa, which may well be where she got it. But, she gave me Owa and Owa I am. :) My grandparents (maternal) were Gramma and Grampa. Paternal were Papaw and Mamaw Paternal greatgram was Nonni.

  201. Crystal Says:

    Miy Miy is what my grand babies call me, their grandma! And I love it!

  202. Maatakiri Te Ruki Says:

    Charlie Says:
    July 25th, 2010 at 10:31 pm
    koro …….pronounced kaw/raw (the r is rolled like a scottish person pronouncing it)…. is the maori name used for granparents…both male and female.

    tēnā koutou, ngā mihi ki a koutou katoa e kimihia i ngā ingoa pai mō ā tātou tūpuna. hello to everyone, acknowledgements to you all for looking into names for our ancestors, specifically grandmother and grandfather. Just saw Charles comment about KORO being used for both male and female and well to my knowledge that is incorrect. In Aotearoa/New Zealand; we have kuia for an elderly female; and kaumatua or koroua for an elderly male. However, there are dialectal differences as well; in our tribal area (west cost of North Island) we identify our grandparents as ‘tauheke or koroheke’. We call our grandmothers “Kui” “Kuia” Kuikui” and our grandfathers “Koro” “Koko” or “Pa” . Growing up in my whānau/family so that we could “identify” which grandparent was which; we called our fathers’ parents Nana North (because she came from the Far North) and Nana Pā. We called our mum’s parents Grans and Granddad. Hope the info helps. :)

  203. Tatjana Says:

    In Serbian, Grandfather is deda and Grandmother is baba. Endearing names would be deka for Grandpa and baka for Grandma. Grandma is sometimes called nana, as well.

  204. Galateea Says:

    I saw that two other people posted about how you can say grandmother and grandfather in Romanian, but still, I’d like to add some things. First, Romanian is a language where you pronounce each word as it is written; to make a difference compared to, let’s say, English, the word ‘boom’ is pronounced in Romanian the same as in English, but we write it “Bum” (for the record any type of written ‘o’ are pronounced like the ‘o’ from ‘old’. But i saw that somebody already explained the pronunciation somewhere above, so I’ll skip it. And now, back to business. Grandmother is “bunică”, or “bunicuță” as the hypocorism. Also a less used term “mamaie”, usually only used in the countryside but not necessarily ( i was raised near the capital and still only used this one because it seemed to me like it was a more affectionate word than the other one and made me feel closer to her (my parents worked a lot so i lived with my grandparents). Grandfather is “bunic”, or “bunicuț” as a hypocorism and “tataie” with the same rule as above. Some even use “buni” to call both their grandmother and their grandfather. And together, grandparents are called “bunici”. What’s interesting is that both words are derived from the adjective ‘bun’ which means ‘good’ or ‘kind’ (>w<)

  205. maricel Says:

    filipino words for grandma is lola and grandfather is lolo

  206. Missie Says:

    Does anyone know if the name ‘Nomi’ is a name used from a country for grandmother.

  207. Lisa Says:

    Here’s one from Urban Dictionary:

    glam ma

    The new generation of grandmas, who are stylish in the way they live and dress. These women do not fit the typical cardigan – wearing, permed hair granny stereotype, they are glamorous.

    You don’t have a grandma, you have a glam ma.

  208. Denise Says:

    I would love to hear these Irish words for grandmother spoken, so as to hear the correct sounds. Gaelic is like an Asian language, it’s not always phoneticilly spelled.

    (These were found on other sites)
    Maimeó, máthair mhór, máthair Chríona (MAW her KHREE un na),

    Seanmháthair
    (This won’t be 100% but it’s a start on how to pronounce the letters in this particular case:

    ’s’ is like the English ’sh’
    ‘ea’ is like the English ‘a’ in ‘far’
    ‘n’ is like the English ‘n’
    ‘mh’ is like the English ‘w’
    ‘á’ is like the ‘a’ in the Kaw river, or the English ‘awe’
    ‘th’ is like the English ‘h’ in ‘Harry’
    ‘air’ is like the English ‘er’) (Found on another site)

    There is some question if Móraí (moree) is even Gaelic, yet some one used it as Gaelic, in the reading I’ve been doing.

    Also in trying to find these in translation sites that have “voice” it often says obsolete. Which is a huge assumption when using names for grandparents etc. as one can see by the entries here. What is obsolete today could be the trend tomorrow, at least for that family.

    I would especially like to hear Morai and máthair Chríona as those are the ones I think I will consider using. Even though I found their phonetic spelling I’d like to hear them spoken.

    I think I read that máthair Chríona means, mother of the heart, is this true?

    Thank you for such an interesting site. I have learned so much and hope I have a grand variety of ethnic Grand children. I love so many of the Grand-names.My family is Scots-Irish, my first grandson is Mexican. Unfortunately for me his Mexican Grandmother is already Abuela. I hope I find a comforting Grand name soon as my Grandson will soon be talking and I cringe at Grandma.

  209. kandre Says:

    i like jan’s idea of jamma. for jan+gramma. that would make me kamma. nice. Noni is nice too. hmmm. fun thinking of what i might soon be as we wait to greet our first grand babies!

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