Skip to main content

25 Alternative Names for Grandma and Grandpa

If grandma and grandpa don't want to be called "grandma" and "grandpa," we've got the ultimate list of alternative names for grandparents from different backgrounds and of varying levels of formality.
25 alternate names for grandma and grandpa
Updated: March 27, 2024
Table of contents

Whether grandparents want to choose their own name or wait for their grandchildren to choose what to call them, the options are endless. Some families have traditional names that are passed from generation to generation, others are looking for something new and trendy; whichever the reason, the options are endless.

Some of the best grandparent nicknames come from grandkids’ inadvertent  mispronunciations, like Bumpa or Grum, creating a whole new name that often sticks. Picking the perfect name doesn’t have to be stressful and can actually be fun. You can try out many different options from formal to trendy or traditional to wacky.

Related: 12 Great Activities for Grandparents and Grandchildren

Below you will find a list of 25 alternative names for Grandma and Grandpa, a mix of many different backgrounds and formality. Some come in pairs, but that doesn’t mean that they need to, feel free to mix and match based on what feels right. You never know what will stick!

Alternate Grandma Names and Grandpa Names

Choosing the perfect name for grandparents can be a delightful yet challenging task for expecting parents and grandparents alike. It's a title that will carry a lot of love, memories, and legacy. Whether you're looking for something traditional, modern, or uniquely whimsical, our list aims to inspire the perfect choice for those special individuals in your child's life!

  • Abuela and Abuelo - Spanish for grandmother and grandfather, these are popular alternative names for grandparents with Spanish heritage or family traditions.
  • Baba - Persian for Grandpa, Baba could easily be a grandchild's first word, making it even that much more special.
  • GiGi - Gigi is easy to pronounce and a much more modern alternative to Grandma that many younger grandmothers may prefer to be called.
  • Gram - An alternative for Grandma that feels a little less formal and stuffy. For grandmothers looking for something a little less grand, Gram is a great choice.
  • Grammie/Grammy - This is the perfect child-friendly alternative to Grandma that many young children gravitate towards. Some children may even switch Grandma to Grammie on their own.
  • Granddaddy - Typically heard in the South, Granddaddy is a more informal alternative to Granddad, even more informal than Grandpa.
  • Gramps - This is an informal alternative to Grandpa that is perfect for little grandchildren. Similar to Gram, it feels a little less grand than grandfather or Grandpa, and many grandparents prefer the less formal softer name.
  • Grumps - Certainly less formal than Grandpa, a lovingly adoration for a grumpy old man, Grumps is a cute child nickname for Grandpa.
  • MeMaw and PePaw - These alternatives to Grandma and Grandpa are most popular in Southern states. They can be used for grandparents or great-grandparents and are a special term of endearment.
  • Mémère and Pépère - Of French origin, and more specifically French Canadian, these are more formal alternatives to Grandma and Grandpa but a perfect way to honor your family heritage.
  • MiMi - Popular amongst grandmother's who feel that Grandma is too old and stuffy, Mimi is a younger more modern alternative.
  • Nana and Papa - An alternative commonly used in the United States, Nana in particular is one of the most popular nicknames for Grandma.
  • Nan - Of British origin, Nan is short for Nanny or Nana, all popular alternatives to grandmother. This is a great choice for families with European ties or British family history, and is short and sweet making it easy for little grandchildren to pronounce.
  • Nonna and Nonno - Italian names for grandparents, Nonna and Nonno are great alternatives if you have an Italian family or Italian traditions.
  • Oma and Opa - A less formal German translation for grandparents, Oma and Opa are affectionate alternatives to Grandma and Grandpa.
  • Pa - Shortened from Papa, Pa is a classic older alternative to Grandpa, and is an easy name for very young children to pronounce.
  • Pap - Pappy is a nickname for father, making Grandpappy, Grandpap, and then an even more abbreviated version, Pap, an easy alternative to Grandpa.
  • Pop-Pop - Considered slang, Pop-Pop is a very informal alternative for Grandpa.
  • YaYa - A popular Greek nickname for Grandma, YaYa or YaiYai are easy for young children to pronounce and hold special meaning for families with Greek heritage.

What Do You Call Grandparents?

Rutger Bruining, FamilyEducation’s Family History and Heritage Expert and CEO of StoryTerrace, gives us a little insight into family history with names for grandparents.[1]

He says, “Having documented the stories of countless grandparents through StoryTerrace, one thing we have learned is that nicknames for grandparents often stem from events or things that happened in their past. The interesting thing is that many people never realize this because they don’t know their grandparents' history before they were parents or grandparents. The names and stories behind them are as varied as every family. Each and every one of these unique names we give our grandparents will have a story behind it which adds to its importance to every family. Discussing this is a great way to connect with family members and understand more about their lives.”

Can a Grandma Be Called Gigi?

Yes, a grandmother can definitely be called Gigi! While the most common grandparent nicknames are Grandma and Grandpa, there are many other options that have become popular in recent years. One of these is Gigi, which has a sweet and playful sound to it.

Some people may wonder where the name Gigi originated from. It is believed to be derived from the French word "grandmère" which means grandmother. It is also possible that Gigi came from the nickname for the name Virginia, as many grandmothers are given this name.

What Is a Hippy Name for Grandma?

If you're looking for a groovy and unique nickname for grandma, consider calling her Moonbeam, Granola, or Sunshine. These whimsical names exude a free-spirited vibe that perfectly captures the essence of a hip and trendy grandmother. Embrace the hippie culture with this cheerful and unconventional moniker for your beloved grandma!

Interested in family history and genealogy? Check out our Family History and Genealogy Center for more interesting reads and fun ideas.

Pin it to save these ideas for later:

Sources +

[1] Home - StoryTerrace. (2024, March 8). StoryTerrace. Retrieved on March 27, 2024 from

Jennifer Caffelle

About Jennifer

Jennifer is currently working for a US-wide health care system, and has worked… Read more

Subscribe to Family Education

Your partner in parenting from baby name inspiration to college planning.