With all the baby excitement going on from the Virtual baby Shower for Katie from Sew Woodsey, I started thinking about when my daughter was pregnant and I was choosing my own grandparent name. I’d never thought about a grandparent name…at all, until then. I remember finding good lists of names but didn’t come across any advice or tips for choosing a grandparent name. Silly as it seems, choosing a grandparent name turns into a very big deal and it’s a lot of fun too!
When it was my turn to pick my grandparent name I was nearly 51. Once I reconciled within my own head and heart that a grandparent could still be “young, hip, wear jeans and be cool” I embraced the task of choosing my own grandmother name. Don’t get me wrong, I was thrilled I was going to be a grandparent…I just wasn’t ready to be called grandma.
I was lucky and wasn’t alone in this new stage of life. My good friend and neighbor’s daughter was pregnant too. We had many conversations over a glass of wine…or more 😉 while we were narrowing down our “new names”. She choose Mia. My sister had already become Gigi. Me? I was just plain stuck. Nothing fit and I did not want the family name of Nana.
Ya know what?
The more I read through lists of names, the more I realized that I had so many choices! Today the choices of grandparent names run the gamut from traditional, trendy, playful and even international. But where to start? Now that it’s common to pick your own name, the choices are overwhelming! There are traditional choices like Nana or Gamma. Fun names like Cookie, or trendy ones like Glammy. There are so many names to choose from! I’ve put together a few tips for choosing a grandparent name that I found helpful in my quest \for the perfect grandparent name for myself.
My tips for choosing a grandparent name:
- Keep a list of your favorite names as you find them.
- Do you have any nicknames?
- Are there any ties to sports or hobbies?
- Are there any family stories or special memories that come to mind?
- Are there any names that you just plain like because you just like them?
- Consider sharing your list with the new parents to be and make the choice a family process.
I also found these books helpful in choosing grandparent names.
The Big Book Of Grandparent Names
You Can Call Me Hoppa: The Grandparents Guide To Choosing A Name That Fits.
Ultimately, I shared my list of potential grandmother names with my daughters. We had a good time making the choice together.
What name did I finally choose?
My name, Wendi, came from the Peter Pan story. There was a scene when Wendy was flying and the lost boys called her Wendy Bird. My daughter used to call me Wendy Bird when she was little. To us, Birdie just kind of fit. I love the connection to my daughters childhood and this connection made my new grandparent name a perfect choice and the perfect fit for me.
Good luck to you and best wishes for new life as a grandparent. I hope my tips for choosing a grandparent name give you a few good ideas for choosing your own new name.
If your new grand baby is a boy, feel free to download my Baby Boy Subway Art HERE. It’s darling and looks great framed.
What’s YOUR favorite Grandmother name? Do share, we have a wonderful growing collection of reader stories below!
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I thoroughly enjoyed reading all these comments. I’m pregnant with our first (first grand child on husband’s side) and my mother in law wants to be called “grandma”. It’s not that I hate it, but just want something more special for our baby to call her.
I am hopeful our little will come up with a special name that sticks. Thank you so much for sharing!!
Wendi Wachtel says
Congrats on your new up-coming addition! I’m glad my article was helpful! It was fun putting it together and I love hearing about what others use for their name choices.
My daughter is pregnant with my first grandchild. I just told her I want to be called “Magma” because I plan to be a hot grandma
Wendi Wachtel says
What an amazing name and so very unique. Love your spirit too, I’m with you 100%, being a Grand doesn’t have to mean your old! You go Magma!
Maintain the remarkable job !! Lovin’ it!
Hi Shirley and thanks so much for your visit & sweet note!
Alma Kitchens says
I love this post thanks for sharing I wanted the perfect name too, Granma or Nanny but noooo. My grandson was almost nine months old when he started mumbling words his first one was Shufee?? We finally figured out it was for my son Fernie hah go figure then for me it was Gapoo?? My daughter finally figured out it was after a children’s show the grandpa’s name was Grandpo. I felt awkward at first but now all nine grandbabies call me Gapoo and my husband Cranny Cranpa. We love it!!
Wow, Alma… I love your grand names! Seriously, how special and unique! Thanks so much for sharing your story and original grandparent names. I know my readers enjoy reading what others have shared!
Cathleen Hill says
My grangmotherd names were Dan Dan and Coosie, and mother was grandmom and memom, I had no idea what I would be. My oldest grandson loved Pochanis and thought she was beautiful. All of a sudden he started calling me Big Grandma and I didn’t get it until one day while we were watching Pochanis he started calling he Big Pochanis, I new right then I had been blessed he adored me, now all my grandchildren and some of their friends call me Big Grandma, and they started calling my momLittle Grandma. So now I am going to be a Great Grandma, and I will be just fine if I am called Great Big Grandma love my family
Hi Cathleen, Thanks for sharing your Grandparent name & story! It’s such a special honor when the little one have a part of the “chosen name”. I’m sure yours puts a smile on your face every time they call your name:) Thanks again for your visit and sharing your sweet Grandparent name!
My cousins called their grandmother “Grammy,” and I thought that was cute. When my first grandchild was barely talking, my dad handed her something and said, ” Give this to Grammy.” She gave it to me and said, “Here, Gabby.” It stuck and I am now known as Gabby by three grandchildren. I love it, and my husband, “Papa,” says it’s appropriate! I like that it’s unique. When my mom was little, she couldn’t say Grandma, so she called her grandmother Gommy .She was pretty much called Gommy the rest of her life!
Hi Pam, Special names the kids give are my favorite. What a great story! I love Gommy and Gabby, both are darling. I like that they are unique also. Lucky you! Thanks for sharing your names and thanks for your visit too!
We were only 42 when our first granddaughter came along, no “g” name for us, we were to young and cool for that! We became Pops and Toots, we didn’t know she would be a girl and my daughter loved the thought of a little boy yelling out “Hey Toots!”
Hilarious story! I love your name choices. Your family sounds like fun, you must all have a good sense of humor. Thanks so much for sharing your story!
I am sooo struggling with this. My 16 year old daughter is pregnant. I’ll be 38 when baby Violet is born. I’m thinking of going with Mimi. When I was little my family called me Kimmie and when they would ask me what my name was I would say “Mimi”. I’m not sure if it was because I couldn’t say my name or I actually thought my name was Mimi as in me me. lol I really thought I was being silly not wanting to be called the “G word” but I’m so glad to see that I’m not. It’s something I was kinda beating myself up about. Now I have to find a cute name for my husband too. Thank you so much for this and for everyone that commented. You all made my night. 🙂
Kim, Thank YOU for sharing your story! I think for many, including me, the idea of being a new grandparent also meant we were moving into a new stage of life. That can be scary, so can a teen pregnancy. It’s kind of a double whammy when you weren’t expecting it. Wishing you all the best with your daughter. You and your husband will love being grandparents, it’s a lot of fun. I love the name you picked, especially with your story that goes with it. The wonderful thing about sharing your grandparent name story is that someone else may read it and get encouragement from you. Again, thank you for sharing:) Sending you hugs!
Omaida hernandez says
I love all stories they are all so unique. I wanted really bad to be called “Abuela” Spanish for Grandma but at about 8 months old my oldest Grandson started calling me “yeya” then as he started talking better he changed it to “Iya” n my husband is “Awi” Now we are Iya n Awi even for the adults.
Omaida, Your names are extra special since they came from your grandson. I love the name Abuela too, maybe one day he will call you Abuela Lya. Thanks so much for sharing your story!
My mom wanted to be called Nonni, as my daughter has grown we have had many variations of Nonni – my favorite and the one that has seemed to stick for now is Non and is super cute to hear when your 3 year old just wants to go to Non’s house.
That is darling! I love the name Noni, you don’t hear it often. Even better is when the grands give a name a personal touch. Thanks so much for sharing your story!
We called my grandparents Grandma and Grandpa but somewhere down the line Grandpa was shortened to Pa. He was an ornery man so when we all got older and he was happy, we called him Pa. If he called us complaining or was grumpy, we called him Grandpa.
My mom’s name is Laura and my cousins have long called her La-la. I suspect that when she has grandchildren, that is what she’ll want to be called. She loves that nickname!
Beth, what fun! I suspect you all could clue each other in by what name you used for your Grandpa. La-la is a lovely name, how special to have one already for when the special occasion arrives:) Thanks so much for sharing your story.
David aka Mamps says
Wow. I don’t believe I have seen so many comments on a subject recently.
In my case, I fully intended to be Grandpa, but my son’s father-in- law claimed that first. So, I chose Gramps. My granddaughter could not say “Gramps” and it came out as “Mamps”. When our grandson came along 5 years later, Mamps was well established. I am now proud to be the one-and-only Mamps. Although, I do not expect to ever get a Mamps Hallmark card, or find a T-shirt for Best Mamps Ever.
Spellchecker seems to prefer “Lamps”, but who ever heard of a grandparent called “Lamps”!!!
Hi Mamps! I haven’t heard of that choice of a name yet either and I love it! How fun. I think it’s extra special when the name choice is a combination of what the grandparent & the grandbaby choose. The stories behind the names are aways such fun to hear. I hve no doubt a Hallmark card or at least t-shirt in your honor are well deserved:) Thanks so much for sharing your story here!
Rebecca Jones says
Okay.. I Just read your article on Grand Mother names. I picked Grammy two and a half years ago when my first little sweetie pie came along. A little girl. Kora. We now call her Kora Bug. I wanted Grammy to be my call name…sicne my grandmother was called Granny. …well… she couldn’t say that and called me Da Da. Thats what it was for 20 months!! lol…. Its an endearing name to her. I felt special…and then one day… out of the blue… she said dada, but then corrected herself … with a smile.. and said gammy!! We both laughed!!!.. Now she can say Grammy with no problem. She calls my oldest daughter, Lauren.. Auntie Wawa, my youngest daughter Myra … is auntie My-My. Naming us all has been such fun. I loved hearing all the stories. And Birdie is just adorable!!
Hi Rebecca..and yes! Reading the stories that everone has shared is absolutley wonderful! Including yours. I love how our grandparent names seem to be part of the special bond between the grandkids & us. Love yours, and the auntie names are darling too! My oldest daughter is Aunt B and she loves it:) Thanks so much for sharing your story and your visit!
My MIL and FIL are lolly and pops. My husband has always called his dad pops and my FIL loved it so they wanted to do a play off of it. We absolutely love it and it has been an easy one for my son to say. In September my FIL passed away but they will always be lolly pops to my son.
Tessa… What fantatsic names and such a special story too! This is the first couple grandparent name we’ve had here! Thank so much for sharing your story!
My daughter & her husband, just told us they are expecting. His mom has a grandchild by her daughter, she chose Nana, with a long sounding a. Would it be wrong for me to be Nana, with a short a the ah sound? Growing up families had multiple Grandma’s. When they were first married, I mentioned grandchildren once, and was told it was to soon to talk about that. Then one day, my daughter said they had talked about what his mom & dad would like to be called when they have grandkids, and she chose Nana, because Grandma sounded old. I felt like I hadn’t been given a chance to decide since I couldn’t discuss it before this. I like Nana- N ah n ah. Would that be confusing?
Hi Lisa, I can see where you probably felt cheated on picking a grandparent name. I love your name choice, it’s lovely! In my opinion, it’s your name, you should choose the one you love and feels fits you the best:) Thanks so much for sharing your story and congratulations on your soon to be grandbaby!
Oh my gosh as I was reading this I thought I would go by birdie! Before I read that was your name! My grandmother called me Jenni bird so I thought that would be cool to go by Birdie!
Jenni, It’s a lovely name! To me what makes it most special is the family story and history that goes along with how the name came to be. My girls called me Wendi bird..actually when one of them was being a brat, but I love the the connection. I know you will too. Congrats on your new grandbaby and so glad you found the perfect name:) Thanks for sharing your story too!
I just love names and all these stories. I did like the tradition of using Gramma, but wanted to differentiate between me and my mother-in-law, so I go by Gramma Kathy. Funny story about my son-in-law’s mother. He had a daughter when he was very young and his mom was not happy. She was telling a friend that she was not ready to be a Gramma and the situation was “just ducky.” She’s been Ducky ever since!
Kathy, Isn’t it fun picking your own name? I love all of the stories too and thanks for sharing yours here as well. I think the name Ducky is too cute too! Again, thanks for your visit!
My daughter is pregnant with our first grand baby, my name is Michelle well my daughter babysat one of my best friends kids from when they were babies until last year, they were 6&5, when they were just talking they could not say Michelle, and called me seashell, I want my grand baby to call me that my daughter is all for it, but her friends thinks its stupid. Any comments??
Hi Michelle, Are you kidding? Seashell is great! What a lovely story you’d have to share about how your special grandparent name began. I vote yes!! I had a few people look at me like I was off my rocker when I choose the name Birdie, but what made it so special was the story behind it and how it came from my girls when they were kids themselves. It had meaning to us and I knew it was right. Follow your heart ! Thanks so much for sharing! ..and let me know what name you choose!