Grandparent Names

If you are about to become a first-time grandparent, you know that beyond the incredible excitement of having a grandchild lies the question, “What will they call me?”  For most soon-to-be’s, there is the assumption that their grandchild will call them the name they have in mind, and a good deal of time is spent coming up with just the right name.  Sorry!  Not going to happen!  The names your grandchild pick for you come from their own interpretations and those usually stick.  Plus, as a general rule, whatever the first grandchild calls you is what all the others to come are going to call you.  So, let’s hope for the best!

As in past stories, Facebook friends and family participated in a grassroots poll by sharing their own grandparent names.  Some are fairly consistent and well-used; others are one-of-a-kind.

Mamaw and Papaw seem to be frequent choices; the spelling occasionally changes to Mamo and Papo. These were the top name combinations. Interestingly, most names appear to go together.  Grandma, Granny, or Grannie were not as common in the poll as one might expect; neither was Granddad or Granddaddy.  Perhaps those letters are a little harder for babies to manage?

Grandparent couples included Meme and Pepa, Pipa and Mima, MiMi and Papa.  And one unique combination of Bubs and Bibi.

And, why use just one name when repeating it sounds so much better, right?  Such as Poppop, GiGi, or RiRi (his granddad’s first name is Ricky—makes sense, right?).

Nonny and Nana for grandmothers are frequent, as are Pops or just Pop.

One grandmother shared that their grandchild’s name for her was Darling, because that’s what the baby always heard his granddad call her.  What a sweet story to share with future generations, and proof that children are always watching and listening?

Others shared their names given by the grandchildren were Nana and Gaga, Papa T and Yea-Yea, BB and Bull, Pop and Grammy, GaGa and Dziadek (Polish for grandfather).

Not all grandparents embrace the grandparent-type names; they’re thrilled to be grandparents, just not into commonly used grandparent names.  Some just prefer their own first name or a grandparent name tacked onto their name like Nana Sandy.

As a new grandparent, you can try to influence what your grandbaby calls you by calling yourself whatever name you prefer.  But, make no mistake, that baby is going to call you what they want to call you. And, you’ll be just fine with whatever your name turns out to be!

At the end of the day, just holding a grandchild snuggled in your arms is the start of a new phase of life. There’s nothing like the adoration in a grandchild’s eyes, no matter what name they’ve picked to call you. You will wear that name proudly; it identifies you as that little person’s grandparent.  Let the spoiling begin!

“Don’t you want a cookie for each hand?  They’re your favorite kind, right?  No, well we’ll just go get some more, then.”   Sound familiar?  You bet!



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