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Updated by Lisa G on May 17, 2021
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183 Grandmother Name Ideas That We Love

Grandmothers have always held a special place in our lives, perhaps yours helped looked after you when you were young, or perhaps she imparted words of wisdom or tales of generations and cultures past. Maybe she makes the best family meals or had the single best recipes that even your mom couldn’t beat!

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Traditional Nicknames for Grandma

Traditional Nicknames for Grandma

Starting off with the basics, these are a few examples of the standard nicknames for grandmothers in English, maybe if your grandma is a bit traditional she will appreciate ones of these classic nicknames which are all derived from ‘grandmother’.

Nan
Nana
Nanny
Gran
Grana
Granny
Grannie
Gram
Gammie
Gamma
Gams
Grams or Gramms
Gramma
Grandmama

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International Nicknames for Grandma

International Nicknames for Grandma

All languages feature what linguists call ‘kinship terms’ and names for grandmothers, as an important part of a family grouping, are always featured.

If you’re looking for a nickname that’s outside the box and has an international flavor why not choose one of these fun nicknames for your grandma.

They come from both well-known languages and perhaps a few that you might not have heard of!
Examples of International Nicknames for Grandma
French: Mémé

This sweet nickname is commonly used by grandchildren in France and in some French-speaking countries. The more formal term in French is Grandmére.

Dyirbal (Australia): Gumbu or Babi

Dyirbal is a native Aboriginal language from Australia.

It has long been of interest to linguists because of its complex grammatical structure and kinship terms system.

In Dyirbal ‘Gumbu’ is the name for the grandma on the mother’s side, while ‘Babi’ is the name for the father’s mother.

Interestingly, these terms also have a reciprocal system, which means that there is a special term that means ‘grandparent and grandchild’ which is formed by using the affix -dir.

So, ‘Gumbudir’ means ‘mother’s mother and grandchild’, among native speakers these reciprocal terms are frequently used with the grandchild and grandparent calling each other Gumbudir or Babidir.

Or if that’s too complicated for you, just stick to Gumbu or Babi depending on which grandma you’re naming!

Igbo (Nigeria): Nne nne

This sweet nickname for a grandmother comes from the Nigerian language Igbo, which is one of the African nations four official languages. Igbo is spoken by roughly 18 million people so it’s safe to say that you won’t be the only grandkid calling your grandma nne nne!

Mandarin: Nai Nai and Lao Ye

Like in Dyirbal, in Mandarin Chinese these terms for grandma are different depending on if the grandma you’re naming is on the mothers or the father’s side. Nai nai is used for the paternal grandma (dad’s mother) and Lao ye for the maternal grandma.

Hindi: Naani and Dadi

As we’re starting to see many languages in the world classify names for grandmas based on whether they are on the paternal or maternal side and Hindi, an Indian language, is the same. Naani is for the maternal grandma and Dadi for the paternal grandma.

Interestingly, Hindi is also spoken outside India in countries like Fiji, Suriname, and Nepal among others, so there’s definitely a few Naanis and Dadis around the world!

If none of the above suit your grandma, check out these diverse international terms for grandma:

Afrikaans: Ouma

Albanian: Gjyshe

Italian: Nonna

Greek: Giagiá

German: Oma or Omi

Bengali (Bangladesh): N?n?

Spanish: Abuela

Maori (New Zealand): Kuia

Polish: Babcia

Cajun French (Louisiana, USA): Mamere or Maw Maw

Portuguese: Avó

Tagalog (Philippines): Lola

Irish: Mhamó

Hebrew: Savta

Hungarian: Nagymama

Yiddish: Bubbe

Swahili: Bibi

Uzbek (Uzbekistan): Buvi

Danish: Mormor

Nepali: Baje

Japanese: O baachan

Estonian: Vanaema

Russian: Babushka

Croatian: Baka

Hawaiian: Kuku wahine (or Tutu)

Icelandic: Amma

Korean: Halmeoni

Malay (Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia): Nenek

French Canadian: Mamie

Catalan (Spain): Àvia

Farsi: Madar Bozorg

Welsh (United Kingdom): Mam-gu

Egyptian Arabic: Teta

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Cute Nicknames for Grandma

If your grandma really fits into the sweet grandmother mold and is an absolute sweetheart with you and others in the family, consider some of these cute and sweet nicknames.

Or, since nicknames often involve an element of irony, perhaps your grandma is an absolute tyrant and one of these nicknames used ironically would suit her.
Examples of Cute Nicknames for Grandma
Abuelita
This cute sounding nickname comes from the Spanish for grandma which is Abuela. The -ita suffix is the diminutive form which adds affection and tenderness to the word, it’s kind of like saying ‘dear grandma’. Perfect for a sweet Spanish-speaking grandma or any grandma really.

Geema
This nickname for grandma is quite popular in the United States and probably comes from babies and toddlers mispronouncing grandma, and you can’t get cuter than that!

Grammakins
Like Abuelita, this cute sounding nickname for grandma makes use of a diminutive form, the English -kins. It makes the perfect nickname for a cute and small grandmother.

Lolly
The perfect cute nickname for grandma, especially when grandpa is called Pop – you can have Lolly and Pop!

Tinks or Tinkerbell
Like the fairy in Peter Pan, Tinks or Tinkerbell is the perfect cutesy nickname for a grandma who is small and cute.

Other cute nicknames for grandma include:

Abbie or Abba
Bambi
Ba-nana
Boomie
Bubbles – for a grandma with a bubbly personality!
Bunny
Cha-cha
Cookie
Dear
Darling
Dearest
Fluffy
Granny Cupcakes
Granny Mammy
Granny Pie
Honey
Huggy or Huggly – perfect nickname for the Grandma who loves hugs!
Lolli or Lulu
Lovey
Mermie
Mini-Ma
Momsy
Moo-Moo
Muffy
Nanoo
Nooni
Peaches
Pittypat
Pumpkin Pie
Queenie
Snuggy or Snuggums
Sunny
Sweetie
Tootsie
Twinkles – For the grandma with a twinkle in her eye.

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Cool Nicknames for Grandma

Is your grandma a little bit edgy or hip? Perhaps she lived through the swinging sixties and has retained a bit of a rebellious nature, or maybe she rocked out at the original Woodstock!

If you’ve got a cool grandma who is young, or young at heart and doesn’t want to be saddled with the traditional terms like gran, why not choose her a cool nickname to match her spunky personality.
Examples of Cool Nicknames for Grandma:
MeeMa
This cool nickname for grandma seems to be gaining in popularity, try it for your hip grandmother before it becomes passé!

Moomins
Named after the Scandinavian kids show, Moomins is sure to be an original, zany choice.

Yah yah
This cool nickname for grandma comes from the Greek informal term for grandmother.

Granny Weatherwax
This nifty nickname comes from the famous ‘Discworld’ series of books. Esmerelda Weatherwax is a witch and a coven member.

G
The perfect nickname for a very cool grandma.

Some other examples of cool nicknames for grandma include:

Abba
Amma
Amba
Alba
Bamba
Bebe
Belle or Bella
CC
Cee Cee
Hempstock – From the grandmother in Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’.
G-Ma
Gramcy
Ga Ga
Gi Gi
Gee Gee
Gadgi
Gabbi
La La
Mia
Big Mom
Big Momma
Mimaw
Queenie
Sassy
Mimi
Tutu
Lia
Nimi
Nima
Pippa
Pippy
May may
Kitty

If the grandmother that you’re looking for a nickname for has a great sense of humor consider choosing a funny nickname for her.

Perhaps the nickname could play upon her own name, or include a pun, or involves an element of her personality. The possibilities are endless when you get creative!

Examples of Funny Nicknames for Grandma
Glamma or Glammy
A glamorous grandma would be the perfect recipient of this funny nickname which joins the words glamor and grandma together.

Thatcher
Is your grandma a bit of an ‘iron lady’ with a will of steel? If so why not give her a nickname based on the famous 1980s British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.

The Prune
Be careful with this one as your beloved grandma might not appreciate this funny nickname! Prunes are dried plums which are quite wrinkled and prune juice has long been favored by the older generations as a natural laxative!

Creaky
It’s no secret that as we age our joints start to become a bit stiffer and we might be a bit creaky. Again, your grandma may not appreciate this one.

Granky
The perfect funny nickname for the cranky grandma who’s a bit tetchy or easily irritated.

Insta-gram
For the grandma who is tech-savvy and up to date with the latest internet sensations.

Golden Girl
Perfect funny nickname for a grandma who channels the generation showcased by the TV show ‘The Golden Girls’

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Other examples of funny nicknames for grandma include:

MainMa – For the grandma who had a formative place in your life.
Grammager – The perfect funny nickname for a grandma who likes to manage everything.
Grandzilla – A funny nickname for the grandma who can be a bit of a monster!
GrimGram – For the grandma who doesn’t have a sunny outlook on life.
The Oldster
The Matriarch
The Antique
Time traveller
The Big Boss
The Relic
The Fossil
Hellfire – For the religious grandma who is fond of a bit of ‘hellfire and brimstone’.
Baby Kochamma – Named for the grandma in ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy
Napa – For the wine-loving grandma!
Nano – For a small grandma.
B.C. – Before Christ

Read more about grandma endearments