What’s in a Name: What Do You Call Your Grandparents?

Grandparents are precious beings. They have guided us, loved us unconditionally, and spoiled us with their affection. As grandchildren, we cherish the memories of spending time with these wise old souls who always seem to know the right thing to say or do.


But what do we call them? Grandma and Grandpa may be the default options for most people, but let's dive deep into this topic to see what unique monikers grandparents go by all around the world.

The Basics

Grandma & Grandpa

Grandma and grandpa are timeless classics when it comes to addressing your granny or gramps. It is straightforward and easy to pronounce—perfect for toddlers still mastering language skills.

However, if you want something more original than just using grandma or grandpa followed by your family name (e.g., Grandma Smith), then there are many other options available that will convey respect while also being unique.

Nan & Pop

Nan/Pap/Nanny/Poppy....they're only small kids for such a short period!(@grannystories)

Alternatively known as nan/nana/grand-nan/grandy, depending on which part of the world you hail from. This set of endearing names has been known to come from one's mother's side of the family in certain places globally like Ireland, Scotland etc... On occasion Pop, Pops,or even "Pa-Pa", can be used instead of granddad.

These less formal titles reflect closer relationships between grandparents and their young kin while also injecting an element of fun into everyday life through carefree frivolity.

Location Specific Names


In Mandarin Chinese culture its standard practice is calling maternal grandma popo(婆婆)and paternal ongong(公公)for grandfather / Image Credit: Photo by Prudence Earl on Unsplash

Different parts of the world have distinct ways of addressing grandparents. Here are some unique names globally:

Chinese Culture

In Mandarin, calling your maternal grandmother is referred to as popo(婆婆), and for your paternal grandfather gong gong (公公 ).


Icelandic people prove their creativity when naming their grandmothers. "Amma" is frequently used, as well as variations like Föðursynir, which refers to a grandmother who enjoys sharing stories about her father.

Trending hashtags like #amma or #lifelonglearning can enable you to investigate further what's hot among Icelandic grandma&grandpas!


South Africa locals take pride in sustaining Afrikaans Grandma slogans such as Ouma, born from Dutch-originated word oma for 'Grandma'.

North Americans & Nigerians(there is no obvious group reference)

While countries belonging from NA region use references dating back several decades with emphasis on maternal vs paternal differentiation in terms when calling(golden age considerate post/terminals over the years ranging from Momsy and Pop-pops via Nana up until even G-ma/G-pa- keeping things sweet sounnd wise!), Nigerians also do not refrain from giving illustrious titles/titles that reflect regional tribal understating within Nigeria; examples spanning cultural/societal roots include Màmá ìbèrè,Iya—alasẹ,khalto(Grandpa/grandmother).

They come up with enriching ways of including a little bit more culture into general aspects/aspects leading up-to family... amazing isn't it!.

Celebrity Grandparent Titles!

1) Kris Jenner may go by "Lovey." 2) Barack Obama Goes by Papa and Mama Kaye. 3) Martha Stewart is referred to as "Martha". 4) Chaka Khan goes by the name G-Ma.

Of course, everyone is familiar with her... people she's been interviewed by interviewers such as Ellen DeGeneres and David Letterman alike - Kris Jenner may go by "Lovey." The word invokes an image in your head of a grandmotherly figure-think Big Comfy Couch featuring Molly, from back in our good ol' childhood days.

Former U.S. POTUS Barack Obama is known to love grandparenting so much that he goes by two names (Papa& Mama Kaye) relating back-to how his grandfather was always proud of him during their time together.

The crowd favourite diva soul queen Chaka Khan; well-guarded personality/refuge for many- on this topic had said matter-of-factly “I’m not sure about Grandmommy or anything”, but prefers something more personalised like "G-Ma".

It seems almost every celebrity has some exotic way of bestowing titles! As you can see above even Martha Stewart is referred to just as "Martha"...so we guess sometimes keeping it simple works too!

Fun mash-ups

Combining cultures

Some might say that grandparents are like cultural treasures...and indeed they very much carry som unique customs/customs/beliefs with them wherever they go! By combining these customs, family members come up with creative ideas that make their grandparents feel extra special & valued. Not bad a idea right ? To get started here are few examples across different world regions:

1) OmaBopa(Oma+Babo) 2) Mommomu(Burmese+Hindi!) 3) Popsi Kansi( Japanese+Soto language!)

There're endless possibilities when it comes to merging/cultivating each others differences into one!

Trending combinations

Today's generation doesn't shy away from mixing and matching words-to make one unique term of bestowing respect. Here are a few ideas:

1) GramPapa/Grampy 2) Nandallo 3) Grandma-pa

We live in an era where tradition meets modern mindsets seamlessly; therefore, we can create titles that reflect just how special our grandparents to us albeit not screwing up potential underlying cultural/modern roots!


In conclusion, Grandparents form an essential part of any family unit - they offer wisdom and guidance accumulated over many decades together with timeless love which forms the bedrock upon everything within the family is built upon.

While it is easy to fall back with default titles like grandma or granddad...bearing witness to so many wonderful communities showing affection & creativity towards their own elders somehow makes you realise not everyone has been blessed enough to experience this unbridled joy yet.

It's indeed fascinating taking inventory into what nomenclature people-use for addressing their 'elders'; as always just remember whatever title works best thing for your kinship dynamic with grandparents should be fine- there isn't any concrete "correct" way (whether it's Amma,Foðursynir,Khalto or Chacha). Just keep things respectful, fun & caring because after all grannies/grumps deserve nothing less!

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