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What Children Call Their Grandparents

As your baby gets older and begins talking, she will have to call her grandparents something. Will they simply be grandma and grandpa? Or something a little cuter, like the way your child first mispronounces their names? Or will it be an ethnic name or something from your own childhood?

If any of the grandparents have divorced and are remarried, having names for each grandparent can be even more important to avoid confusion. In this situation, your baby may have multiple sets of grandparents and step-grandparents that she will get to know. While an older child may be able to simply say grandma X or grandma Y, for example, that is too complicated for an infant or toddler who is just learning to talk.

Also keep in mind that some younger grandparents may simply not be ready to be called grandma or grandpa. Another name, which doesn't have the same implication for older age, might be a good alternative in this case.

Some common names for grandmothers include:

  • Memaw
  • Memmie
  • MawMaw
  • Nanna
  • Nanny
  • Grammy
  • Abuela (Spanish)
  • Nonna (Italian)
  • Oma (German/Dutch)

Names for grandfathers include:

  • Gramps
  • Poppie
  • Pawpaw
  • Pepa
  • Poppa
  • Grandpapa
  • Abuelo (Spanish)
  • Nonno (Italian)
  • Opa (German/Dutch)

Very often, grandparents get their names by simply waiting to see what their grandchild will call them. Maybe she will just start using a common name, like grandma and grandpa, or maybe she'll come up with a name on her own. It may be a variation on one of these common names or she may mispronounce a grandparent's first name, like LaLa for Laura or SuSu for Susan.

More on: Grandparents


From The Everything Father's First Year Book Copyright © 2005, F+W Publications, Inc. Used by permission of Adams Media, an F+W Publications Company. All rights reserved.

To order this book go to Amazon.


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