When my first child was born, I remember my parents being adamant on what she would call them. They had their grandfather and grandmother names ready, as if they had been secretly planning what my kids would call them my whole life. It’s an important relationship, the one between grandparent and grandchild, and it deserves great attention and detail, even when it comes to names. So if you are looking for unique names for your kids to call their grandparents, look no further than this list of 15 names that aren't grandma and grandpa.
My family is of Indian origin, so family nicknames are derived from the culture. In my family’s language, Urdu/Hindi, maternal and fraternal grandparents have distinguishing titles. For a mom’s parents, the names are Nana (grandpa) and Naani (grandpa), and for the dad’s parents the names are Dada (grandpa) and Daadi (grandma). My mom wanted to be cute, so she has my kids call her “Naano," and my father just ended up being “Excuse Me Dada” because he would always mess with the kids by saying “excuse me”.
That being said, kids have a tendency to make up their own nicknames, despite what you drill in to them. My mom wanted my twin nephews to call her “Naani Mom," but they turned it into “Nammo," which she loves just as much. So don’t be surprised if your kids conjure up their own adorable nicknames. Here are some cute grandparent names to choose from that are unique, fun, and will sound adorable when you hear your kids say them. (Or, you know, shout them when they see their grandparent pull into the driveway.)
Take a few letters out of Gramma and you get Amma, which is a super adorable name for a grandmother. You can even use a variation, like Ammy. In India, Ammi and Amma are commonly used for mothers, and it’s just as cute to use for a grandma.
While it is commonly used as a name for dads, Papa is just as cute for a grandpa. You can use variations like Papi, Pappaw, Poppers, Pops, Popsi, or Poppop. The best thing about nicknames is they aren’t written in stone, so you can turn them into whatever feels right.
One of the cutest grandma names I found was Mammy, and I think it would be super easy for a little one to pick up when they begin talking. There are a few variations of Mammy, including Mammsie, Mumsy, and Mawmaw.
Gampy is one of those grandparent names that probably evolved organically from Grandpa or Grandpappy, and it’s a lot cuter and easier to say. There are some variations, including Gumpy, Gamps, Gampa, and Ganpa.
Similar to the Urdu/Hindi grandmother name “Naani," Nonna is an adorable nickname, traditionally used for Italian grandmothers. There are tons of variations, including Nonnie, Noona, Nooni, Nanoo, and the traditional Nanna.
My twin nephews call their grandfather Dadoo, and it sounds so cute when they say it. Dadoo has a few variations too, including Doody, Doodad, and Dadda. I’ve also seen an adorable Flinstones inspired variation — Dabbadoo. Just have the kids call their grandma Yabba and you’re set.
A really playful grandma name is Lola, which is traditionally used in the Philippines. There are some cute variations of it too, including Lolla, Lolly, Lula, Lally, Leela, and Lilo. Any of these variations will easily roll off your kid's tongue, even when they just start talking.
In many languages including Turkish, Hindi, and Persian, Baba is a traditional name for fathers and grandfathers. Although Baba is cute enough on its own, there are a few fun variations like Baboo, Babo, Beebaw, and Boppa.
A traditional Greek name for grandmothers is Yaya, and in the Thai culture it’s just Ya or Yai. There are some fun variations, like Yayo and Yama.
An adorable grandpa name is Chief, or Jefe in Spanish. It would be really appropriate for a grandpa that is the head of the family and likes to take charge.
If grandma is a rock star, then no name is more perfect than Glamma. There are a couple of great variations including Glammy, Glamama, and Glamster.
12. Big Daddy
A grandpa is just an older father, so why not call him Big Daddy? There are tons of fun variations of Big Daddy, including BiggieD, BiggieDad, BigD, and BigPop. Perfect for a hip-hop grandpop.
Ona is a really easy, short, and sweet grandma name. It’s similar to Nonna, but probably a little easier to say early on. Variations of Ona include Onie, Onna, and Oona.
Dadsy is similar to Daddy, but much cuter for a grandfather name. A few variations of Dadsy are Dazzy, Didzi, Dizzy, and Daddio.
A traditional Polish name for a grandmother is Babka. There are some variations like Babicka (Slovakian), Babushka (Russian), Bubbie (Yiddish), and Bibi (Uzbek).
Another sweet name for a grandmother is Gigi. It's popular enough that it can be found on tea towels and other cute home goods, but still fairly unique. USA Today reported that grandparents are now trying to choose names that sound less "grand" or formal, and Gigi has made the cut.
Mimi is another fun, spunky grandmother name that has a casual air to it, but is still pretty sweet. Like Gigi, it's a fairly popular one, especially in the southern states, and could be just right for a grandmother who wants a name with an extra pep.
Granddad is super classic, but it's pretty unique when compared to Grandpa or Papa. I love the traditional flair of it, but that it's not too formal for even the littlest grandkids to say.
OK, Poppy is just adorable. It's like a new twist on papa, but makes me think of a grandpa who just jokes around all day and loves giving his grandbabies raspberries on their tummies.
Hop on Pop is the perfect book to gift the man in your life that's going to be known as PopPop to your little one. It's just cute and sweet without being overly silly.
Editor's note: This post has been updated.
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