Names for Grandparents…What do you call yours?

Last week I had lunch with my dear friend, Faith, whom I don’t get to see often enough. We chatted merrily over fried fish and sweet tea, catching up on PTA gossip, Pinterest failures and family news.

Faith is super excited about becoming a grandmother at the end of May. She’s all ready to meet her granddaughter …. except for one detail.
FAITH: “People keep asking what I want to be called, ya know, as a grandmother. And I can’t come up with anything. I don’t really feel like a ‘Grandma.’ That sort of denotes gray hair and Little Red Riding Hood and storing BenGay in your purse.”

ME: “What about ‘Nana’ or ‘Gigi?’ Those seem more youthful. Less BenGay, more Juviderm.”

FAITH: “Yeah, we’ll see. Maybe the right name will come up before the baby is born.”
I didn’t think about Faith’s nickname conundrum again until yesterday when my son Andrew told me about going over to his best friend Brady’s grandmother’s house.

ANDREW: “We changed into our baseball uniforms at ‘Munk Munk’s’ house.”

ME: “Excuse me? ‘Munk Munk?’”
ANDREW: “Yeah, that’s what he calls her.”
ME: “I hate to ask, but was there any resemblance to a chipmunk? Long striped, furry tail? Cheeks full of acorns? Was she up in a tree?”
ANDREW: “Mom! It’s just what he calls her. Ya know how people sometimes have weird names for their grandparents.”

My sister, brother and I called my dad’s mom “Granny.” She chose it for herself, shooting straight past “Nana and MeeMaw’ to the oldest sounding thing she could possibly think of. It’s like she viewed grandmotherhood as one step away from death….and a need to wear really baggy, high waisted underwear. (I can’t believe I just went there.)

Granny…looking quite saucy.

My childhood friend John called his grandmother “Jocelyn” at her request, which was weird because her name was Patti. Apparently, Jocelyn is what her clients had always called her. And coincidentally, her clients were all named John. Funny how that worked out.

Sabrina, my first roommate after moving to California, called her grandpa “Spider.”

“Is it because he’s so creepy?” I asked.

“No. Didn’t you see the web tattoos on his elbows? Duh!”

“Oh, right. My bad.”

In an effort to learn more nicknames of parents’ parents, I conducted an informal Facebook poll. The responses have kept me laughing all morning. Here are some of the funnier, more unique names I can suggest to Faith and her husband Dan, along with my tasteless and unnecessary commentary in parentheses.

 Lisa- “Spot”
Cindy – “Glamma”
Katy –“ZsaZsa” and “Cookie”
Dale-“Sugardoodle” (I’m starting to crave sweets. Thank you, Katy and Dale.)
Wendy-“Papas-the-Builder” and “Eeh.” (Don’t you think compared to Papas-the-Builder, Eeh, got the short end of the stick?)
Angel-“Lolly and Pop.” (too cute!)
Maria-“Lela and Lelo”
Whitney-“Papa Woofie” (I wonder if he’s really hairy… or howls a lot.)
Judy- “Grumpy”
Jamie-“Wheazy” (Fish don’t fry in the kitchen. Beans don’t burn on the grill!.)
Mary Ann-“GranMary” (I like that! I want my grandkids to call me Grangela.)
Gil-“Bark Bark” (really? Bark Bark? I hope it isn’t because of severe eczema or a smoker’s voice.)
Gil-“ Pop Tart would be a good grandpa’s name.” (Why do we so often name our grandparents after food items? Maybe Faith’s granddaughter could call her “Jello.” or “Tootsie Roll.”)
Miz Thang-“GoGo.” (I wonder if Belinda Carlisle’s grand kids call her that.)
Nicole-“Pumpkin and Poppy”
Jennifer-“Nana Boobies and Gram Cracker” (Imagine the family reunion! “Which one is Nana Boobies? Oh, there she is.”)
Darlene-“Dardo,” pronounced “Dardoo.”
Billy-“LaLa” (not the yellow Teletubby)
Brad-“Queenie” (I’m guessing humility is not her strong suit.)
Ashley-“Gemma” (love this!)
Alexis-“Cappy” because he’s a retired airline captain” (this would also work if your grandpa’s a street thug who does a lot of drive by’s. Just sayin.’)
Good stuff! Thank you all for sharing. I’ll update this post as I receive more names.
This entry was posted in Juviderm, Little Red Riding Hood, names for grandparents, Pelican Bay State Penitentiary, Pinterest and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

14 Responses to Names for Grandparents…What do you call yours?

  1. Darlene Daniel says:

    You are on a roll Angela!! You got some very interesting and diverse names. Love your commentary on some of them!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. My great aunt is referred to as “Grauntie”…

    My kids call their grandparents Nonnie, Poppie, Gamoo (have to drag out the” oooh” sound… She lives by cows…), and Lovie.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. I love this post! I am about to become a grandmother in early June and again in October. At the ripe old age of 39, I am not feeling the whole “Grandma” name thing, and am always looking for ideas! I'm liking “Mimi” lately…

    Liked by 1 person

  4. misstikiwak says:

    Self-selected by my children when they were young: Grandma became Goomy and Grandpa became Guppy. And then to distinguish the grandmothers when my children became snotty preteens, “Fat Grandma” and “Skinny Grandma.”


  5. angelaweight says:

    Lol!!! Thanks, Misti. Did the grandmas know their new names from the snotty preteens? I hope not.


  6. angelaweight says:

    What? Im not sure I understand.


  7. Her Majesty sounds good to me.


  8. I’m a grandma… who goes by “Gramma.” No kerchief and no use of Bengay. 😀 I find it funny how so many grandmas-to-be worry about coming up with what they shall be called, when it’s really the grandkids who choose once they can talk (to even the slightest degree). My husband soon became PawDad by our oldest grandson when he was not even two. Forever PawDad he’ll be. For me, “Gramma” just happened. Good luck to your friend on finding out her grandma name her grandchild bestows upon her.


  9. Cathy says:

    I never knew how many names were used! My dad’s parents were Oma and Opa cause they came from Germany. Mom’s parents were Nanny and Poppy. Loved them all!


  10. kimtb says:

    My mom’s name is Jan, and she’s GranJan. I have a friend who was bound and determined never to be a called Grandma…she was going to be Mimi. Then she saw her grandbaby, and said she could call her whatever she wanted (and she was grandmimi).


  11. CaptCruncher says:

    Oh Angela, I am sooo glad you “went there” – the granny panties, the hysterical names (and you even funnier comments)! Love it!


  12. WendysHat says:

    Those names though! Lol! We always called mine Grandma and Grandpa! My children did, for some strange reason, call my Grandma “Mimi” because she wasn’t their Grandma I think and they didn’t want to confuse them.


  13. Roz Warren says:

    Great topic. Great list!


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