Great nickname choices for grandparents

June 5, 2021Advice, Lifestyle, Parenting, Real life

Deciding which nickname you want your grandchildren to call you can be tough, especially if you don’t yet feel old enough to really be a grandparent. Whatever you choose, will become your name for the rest of your life but this process doesn’t need to be stressful – it can actually be fun! Some families have traditional nicknames for their grandparents that have been passed down through the generations. Others use modern and trendy nicknames that they feel are more personal and fitting for them. As your grandchildren grow up and develop, some of the sweetest nicknames can come from mispronunciations or babblings, such as ‘Grum’ or ‘Ganny’. 

If you’re looking for some interesting or uncommon combinations for your family to use that aren’t the traditional ‘Grandma and Grandad’, we’ve picked out some of our favourites from across the world to hopefully inspire you. Try them out and see what feels right for you. 

Now that little one’s can finally see their grandparents, it’s important they have some different nicknames at the ready for when they are able to reunite. If your little one uses ‘Ma and Pa’ for mother and father, this can be adapted slightly to become Marsie and Parsie. Soft and endearing, this combo of nicknames can become a quick favourite for little ones for their easy pronunciation and pleasant phonetics. Sweet and simple, Marsie and Parsie are a lyrical option for little ones to nickname their grandparents. 


Nana and Papa are classic abbreviations of Grandma and Grandad. Nana is thought to have either come from the popular English nickname ‘Nanny’, or was more likely the result of childhood babbling. Papa is said to have Greek origins and although it meant father then, nowadays the name is typically used for grandfather. The repetition of a single syllable is easy for little ones to pronounce so if yours is particularly young, this could be an ideal option. Nana and Papa are both short yet sweet and an endearing alternative to longer, more formal nicknames to use for grandparents.

For a more affectionate and lyrical option, consider Maw-Maw and Paw-Paw. The repetition of the same syllable makes this a great option for a little one learning their words. Young one’s will also find Paw-Paw easy to remember if their grandparents have cats or dogs or any pets with paws in their home. Thought to have American Indian history, hailing specifically from the Cherokee tribe, these catchy nicknames will help your child increase their vocabulary while interacting with their beloved grandparents. 

A more informal alternative to Grandma and Grandpa, Gram and Gramps are perfect nicknames for little ones to call their grandparents. These names feel a little less grand than some and many grandparents may prefer a less formal, softer nickname. Gramps often becomes Grumps which is another adorable and endearing name for a grandfather. Simple and easy to pronounce, this is an ideal pair to introduce your baby to. 

For a more European feel, consider the Italian translation Nonna and Nonno. These names mean Grandma and Grandad in the Italian language. For an endearing adaptation, try Nonnina which means ‘little grandmother’, to add a caring touch. This is often shortened to ‘Nonni’, which is gender neutral, so can be used for either grandparent. Using a culturally different name will introduce a little one to another language when talking about their grandparents. 

In Filipino, Lola and Lolo translate to Grandmother and Grandfather but also can be used for any one who is over the age of 60 as a form of respect. These Filipino abbreviations are a less formal, affectionate translation for grandparents. The repetition of the ‘L’ syllables will help a little one’s speech and teach them new loving words for their loved ones. In Filipino culture, the grandparents are typically highly involved in their grandchildren’s lives, often looking after and caring for them. These caring names are a great alternate nickname for grandparents. 

Creativity is key  

Often a name will become so commonly used that no one actually remembers where it came from. A Grandad with the name Andy can become Grandy. Creativity and fun often make the best names that will stick for a lifetime. If a little one’s grandparents live on a farm, it’s fun to consider something like Granny and Grandad Tractor. 

When it comes down to it, it doesn’t really matter which name you pick or which name your grandchild chooses for you. Whichever nickname they choose, it’s bound to be your favourite. Make sure to enjoy it while it lasts – they’re only little for so long.