Grandmother Filter
June 7, 2009 3:52 AM   Subscribe

Grandmother filter: What do your grandchildren call you?

What do your grandchildren call you other that Grandma or Grandmother? Did they come up with the nickname on their own or is it a name that you selected to be called?

Does the nickname have a story behind it? Let me know - thank you!
posted by pamspanda to Human Relations (102 answers total) 5 users marked this as a favorite
I called my grandmother, who loved French, 'Grandmere'.

At least, I think that's how you spell it.
posted by twirlypen at 4:44 AM on June 7, 2009

posted by cj_ at 4:49 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

Sorry, no story except the usual "that's all my 1.5 year old could pronounce and it stuck".
posted by cj_ at 4:50 AM on June 7, 2009

Given this is is the Internet, I think the question is "What do you call your grandmother?" :)
I called my Norwegian one "Mormor". The other grandmother wasn't nice enough to get a nickname.
posted by dunkadunc at 4:55 AM on June 7, 2009 [1 favorite]

I'm not a grandmother, but over the years in my family grandmothers have been called:

Madea (yes, we are from the south)

I really don't know the background or history behind any of them, the most random one being, Mimi...but I think it's the cutest.
posted by SoulOnIce at 4:57 AM on June 7, 2009

We called our grandmother "Mo" and my daughter calls her grandmother "Omma" (and her great grandmother "Mo"). German ('Mo' = short for 'Mutti' = short for 'Mutter').
posted by glider at 5:16 AM on June 7, 2009

The name I gave for my dear grandmother, as soon as I learned to talk, was "Nonny." I don't know how or why I landed on the name, but all of her subsequent grandchildren followed suit and Nonny she was. We spell it Nonny or Nonnie.
posted by applemeat at 5:18 AM on June 7, 2009

My mother is Grana. Her mother is Nana, or Nanners. Her mother was Gigi (great-grandma), or Tevie, short for her given name of Tennessee. My father's mother is HB, for Honey Bunch, which is what Pop (grandpa) has been calling her for the past 65 years.
posted by notquitemaryann at 5:20 AM on June 7, 2009

My kids call my mother and mother-in-law Nana and Gram. My sister-in-law's grandkids call her Nama. Mum asked to be called Nana -- said she was too young to be Grandma. The others just happened, and then they stuck.
posted by jlkr at 5:21 AM on June 7, 2009

I called my great grandmother, 'shy gran' until she died when I was aged 11, I never really thought that this was in any way strange - until I was about 20! apparently it was because when I was a toddler she used to say that I was very shy, 'isn't she shy?' etc. so I cottoned on to this, and eventually the entire family called her that. Even now, my own Gran (her daughter-in-law) refers to her that way.
posted by Augenblick at 5:43 AM on June 7, 2009

I called my grandmom "Innang".
posted by LittleMissItneg at 5:43 AM on June 7, 2009

I called my grandmother Nanny, which was what she decided before I was born. My daughter calls my mother Grandmamma (emphasis on first syllable) and my stepmother Memom (pronounced MEE-mom).
posted by chihiro at 5:50 AM on June 7, 2009

My grandmother was mom-mom, which I think my mother came up with before my sister was born. All the other cousins except one older cousin called her that--the fact that someone called her "granma" always seemed weird to me.

My other grandmother was "Granma North." Not sure why her last name was thrown into the mix.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:53 AM on June 7, 2009

I called both my grandparents "Grandma Lastname".

My son calls my mother-in-law "Grandma Firstname" and my mother "Nana". He called both of then Grandma Firstname until he realized his cousin called her "Nana" and he wanted to be same-same.
posted by Lucinda at 5:54 AM on June 7, 2009

I called my local grandma that I saw every week (if not more often) "Grandma" and the non-local one "Grandma Firstname" (the grandpas followed the same pattern).

My first cousins once removed call my aunt "Nana" and they call my grandma "Gigi" (for Great-Grandma), which I love. If I have kids I think they're going to call my mom either Nana or Mimi. "Grandma" itself conjures up a mental image of an old lady with white hair and that's just not my mom. Darned youthful baby boomers.
posted by elsietheeel at 6:08 AM on June 7, 2009

My sister and I call our grandmother "Grammy" but the rest of our cousins call her "Mimi". We called our great-grandmother "Mummo".
posted by Nolechick11 at 6:09 AM on June 7, 2009

My nephew calls his grandmother 'Gaga'. I'm not sure of the story behind it.
posted by Gomez_in_the_South at 6:09 AM on June 7, 2009

My maternal grandmother was just Grandma Marsh and my paternal grandmother was Grandma Jolene. It couldn't be less creative, really. I should ask my parents how the grandkids came to call one by her last name and one by her first, especially when Grandma Jolene was far less friendly.

I think it would be hilarious if my daughter called my parents Geemaw and Peepaw, but they're less keen on it. I suppose we'll just plan to let names evolve organically.
posted by brozek at 6:15 AM on June 7, 2009

My cousins call their grandparents (my aunt and uncle) Bumpie and Wowie -- mispronunciations of Grandpa and Grandma, respectively. They also call their great grandparents Super Grandma and Super Grandpa, which I think is really cool.

Friends of mine, who come from an Argentinian family, call their grandparents Baba and Atos, mispronunciations of the Spanish Abuela and Abuelo.

Mine have always just been Grandma and Grandpa (or Grandpap on one side of the family)... guess I'm boring.
posted by olinerd at 6:18 AM on June 7, 2009


My grandmother decided she would be Nana long before I was born, and lo, she was. Similarly, my mother will be Oma to my children.
posted by grapefruitmoon at 6:22 AM on June 7, 2009

Have to throw in the Yiddish word Bubbe- I just called my father's less-religious-but-also-Jewish mother Grandma, but had my maternal grandmother been alive when I was born, that's what I would have had to call her. (And my own mother will probably insist on being called Bubbe when I have children of my own.) The Yiddish word for grandfather, Tzaydie, is much more awesome sounding in that it doesn't make you sound like a Real Housewife of New Jersey referring to your anatomical endowment.
posted by alygator at 6:22 AM on June 7, 2009

I just called both of mine Grandma, but I have some cousins who call one of my aunts "meemaw", which I always found odd. And now that those cousins are in their early 30's I find vaguely embarrassing that they still call her that.
posted by cropshy at 6:29 AM on June 7, 2009

We called one set of grandparents "Grandmuv and Grandfa" because they preferred that our mother and her brother call them "Mother and Father." The others were "Grandma and Grandpa," which are both words I really dislike. My father became "PopPop" to my nieces and my mother, oddly, became "Grandma" even though she dislikes the name too.

I'm a stepmother (following death, not divorce), and I didn't want to usurp the official title. However, I hoped my step-grandchildren (who've known me all their lives) would call me by some funny name that would naturally evolve out of a joke or a childish pronounciation and wouldn't sound ridiculous in 20 years. However, my first name does not lend itself to abbreviation but is easy to pronounce. Unfortunately, the oldest simply imitated his parents and started calling me by my first name and the rest followed suit. All three call my husband "Grandpa" (grrr) and me by my given name, which I confess contributes to feelings of outsiderness and lack of authority with them.

The other grandmother felt that she was too young for the job (she's fifteen years my senior) and the usual appellations made her feel old. She wanted the children to call her "Gigi," but they call her "Grandma" instead. She deserves it.
posted by carmicha at 6:30 AM on June 7, 2009

We called my mother's mom, Mimi (paired with Peepaw for my mother's dad). This tradition was continued by the children of my cousins, who call my aunt and uncle the same. Geographically, Southern and Appalachia. Sometimes I think my grandmother would refer to herself as Meemaw, though.
posted by Atreides at 6:32 AM on June 7, 2009

My family calls both of my grandmothers "Grammy" ("Lastname" used only to distinguish when necessary). My SO calls his French-Canadian grandmother "Mémé" and his other grandmother "Grandma".

His mother gave up a son for adoption who she later reconnected with. She asked that his children call her "Mémé" which works well as she would be the third grandmother.
posted by bobobox at 6:43 AM on June 7, 2009

My niece calls my mom abuela but it comes out shortened as "buela", and she pronounces it as "way-la".
posted by sephira at 6:45 AM on June 7, 2009

Grammie, which I came up with on my own as an infant, and Mémère (french canadian)
posted by nothingsconstant at 6:47 AM on June 7, 2009

We called my maternal grandparents Grandma and Grandpa (referred to them as Grandma Lastname and Grandpa Lastname when talking of them) as did all my cousins. My paternal grandparents got named Grandma Firstname and Grandpa Firstname, although those first names are not, in fact, their real names, but nicknames that have little if anything to do with their real names. My great-grandmother was Ma Quinn (pronounced Maw Gwen).

I called one set of step-grandparents Grandma and Grandpa At The Farm, although as long as I've known them they never actually did live on a farm. Maybe they did before I joined the family, I'm not sure. I called my other set of step-grandparents Stepmom's parents. They are not my family and they made sure I knew it.

I plan to ask my parents what names they prefer but also allow my children to call them something else if it sticks.
posted by peanut_mcgillicuty at 6:53 AM on June 7, 2009

I arrived in the world with only one surviving Grandparent, whom I call "Grandmother". When I was younger I called her "Gramma," while all my friends referred to her as "Gramma Lastname." She has lived to see the birth of my son, who calls his grandmother on his mother's side "Gramma," calls my mother "Gramma Firstname," and calls his only surviving great grandmother "GiGi."
posted by EnsignLunchmeat at 7:11 AM on June 7, 2009

One grandmother is 'grandma' and the other is 'memaw'
posted by deezil at 7:21 AM on June 7, 2009

My grandma was "Ram" because of pronunciation issues on my part. My niece calls my mom "Grandma Babe" because my mom insists she's too young to be a grandma. My niece's other Grandma is "Grandma Pumpkin".
posted by ShadePlant at 7:22 AM on June 7, 2009

So far (he's 2) my grandson calls me grandma and his other grandmother "nana" (which the other grandmother worked out with me in advance, ha).

I called one of my own grandmothers "mem-maz" (no clue how she got that) and the other one was Nonie. (Short for Konolia, her real name.)

My own children just called my mom grandma.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:29 AM on June 7, 2009

I call my grandmother, "Gram," and my grandfather, "Grampy." No story as to why/how, but I think "Gram" is what I want to be called if I ever become a grandmother.
posted by katemcd at 7:33 AM on June 7, 2009

I call(ed) mine 'abuela/abuelo' (pronounced awelLA/awelLO); our kids call their maternal grandparents 'nana/poppa' and and my folks 'gramma/grampa'.

My grandmother recently remarried and the kids (and I) refer to her new husband as 'Abuelo Miguel'. My great-grandfather on that side of the family was "Abuelo Juan". Another great-grandmother was "Mima" because that's all my own mother could call her. The great-grandfather, then, was "Mimo", since that'd be the masculine form.

My wife's grandparents are (were) 'grammy/grampy' and 'ma-maw/pam-paw'.

And we miss them all terribly.
posted by jquinby at 7:38 AM on June 7, 2009

My father's mother is 'nana' - all the grandmother's in that line are nanas - and my mother's mother is Bubi (same word and pronounciation as alygator's family, different spelling). No special story behind either.
posted by shaun uh at 7:54 AM on June 7, 2009

My mother's parents (of Italian descent; on that side I'm the fourth generation born in the US, I think) were "Nana" and "Poppy". My father's parents (born in Cuba, as was my father) were "Abuela" and "Abuelo", which are Spanish for "grandmother" and "grandfather".

You didn't ask about great-grandparents, but three of my great-grandmothers were alive while I was. My mother's two grandmothers (who died when I was 7? and 9? so I remember them) were always "Grandma Lastname"; this is what my mother called them, so it carried over naturally. My father's mother's mother (who left the US when I was a baby, so I only knew her from stories) was "Grandma Firstname" -- which is kind of strange in retrospect, because I used Spanish words for my father's parents, and she didn't speak English.
posted by madcaptenor at 7:57 AM on June 7, 2009

Well, my daughter's got six living grandparents (my parents are divorced and remarried). She's got a Nana/Grandpa, a Grandma/Poppa, and (the most unique) a Grand[firstname]/Grand[firstname]. The first name ones are my Mom and Stepdad, and they are one syllable names that go well with Grand- attached to them, lets say Grandanne and Grandcarl. It's cute and unique and keeps us from having to resort to Grandpa [Lastname] to keep them straight in her mind.

My maternal grandfather refused to be called anything but "Grandfather", even when we were toddlers, and that is what my brother and cousin called him well into our adulthood. It seems overly formal, but it was really kind of sweet.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:06 AM on June 7, 2009

Everyone in my extended family called my maternal grandmother Nai Nai – my understanding is that it's Chinese in origin, which means it probably came about from her stay in China with my grandfather as a medical missionary. (My maternal grandfather was similarly called Pop-Pop, but I don't think that has Chinese etymology behind it.)
posted by WCityMike at 8:08 AM on June 7, 2009

My daughter calls her maternal grandmother Memaw (much to our Kentucky-transplant amused shame). Her maternal step-grandmother is Nana. Her paternal grandmother is Grama.
posted by mrmojoflying at 8:14 AM on June 7, 2009

Great grandmothers:
~ Great
~ Nana

~ Grandma and Grandpa Wenzel
~ Grandpa Jim, Grandma Jean, and Grandma Amy

My second-cousins call their great grandparents (the Wenzels), Oma and Opa (German).

My dad called his Grandma, Gaga, when he was little, and it stuck.
posted by litterateur at 8:17 AM on June 7, 2009

I call my grandmothers Granny and Grandma Firstname, although this is pretty much always shortened to GF.
posted by Lotto at 8:29 AM on June 7, 2009

My grandparents were all Mamaw and Papaw, with last names added when necessary to distinguish. One great-grandmother was Granny [lastname]. although she always signed cards Mamaw [firstname]. The other great-grandmother that I knew was Mamaw [lastname], although her daughter always referred to her as Mammy.
posted by dilettante at 8:35 AM on June 7, 2009

I'm the youngest of three so by the time I was born it had been established that both grandmothers were called Meemo so we also had to tack on the last name to differentiate between them.
posted by Restless Day at 8:37 AM on June 7, 2009

My sister and I called our French grandparents on either side Memere and Pepere. My niece calls our parents Memma and Poppa, and her paternal grandparents Bakka and Grandma.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 8:38 AM on June 7, 2009

I called my father's mother Big Mama, and then just Big. She was five feet tall and maybe weighed a hundred pounds. What I remember is that my mother was explaining to me what my grandmother was -- "not mama but your daddy's mama" -- and I was surprised that my daddy, huge and grownup as he was, could have a mother, and said, oh! The big mama!

My great-grandparents were Mamaw and Papaw, both sets on my father's side. I was lucky to know two sets of them, however briefly, and I grew up thinking that Mamaw and Papaw were great-grandparent names.
posted by Countess Elena at 8:59 AM on June 7, 2009

A friend of mine was running a marathon. Her daughter cheered her on with a sign that said "Go Ma !" Hence her grandson's name for her .. GOMA !
posted by duckus at 9:01 AM on June 7, 2009

(I think I would have remembered memma)

The nonni (the grandparents).
posted by Zambrano at 9:03 AM on June 7, 2009

My grandmother is from Greece, so she is γιαγιά, pronounced ya-YAH. The first syllable is barely present, more like y'yah. I can't stand when people say it like yah-yah, same stress on both syllables, because this is not right.
posted by andeles at 9:09 AM on June 7, 2009

I call my maternal grandmother Mami (which is Spanish for "mom"), because she took care of me a lot and we were very close. I called her than on my own, and I'm the only one of her grandkids to call her that. The rest call her Abuela or Abuela Irma.

I called my paternal grandmother Abúa, which came from one of my older cousin's mispronunciation of Abuela. It was an established name before I was born and I called her that because it's how I was taught to call her.
posted by DrGirlfriend at 9:24 AM on June 7, 2009

Amongst my circle of friends, our grandparents are:

Nana and Puppa (Canadian. Puppa is spelled Papa)

Apoa or Poa-poa for Grandma, Akung for Grandpa (these are the Cantonese names for maternal grandparents)

HALmonie (Korean for grandmother)

Nonna and Nonno (Italian)

Oma & Opa (German)

Nanny and Bompa (Bompa is a Dutch nickname for Grandpa. Bomps for short. Bompa is one of my favourite words that has ever been invented.)
posted by pseudostrabismus at 9:30 AM on June 7, 2009

I called my grandmother who was named Dorothy, Grand Dot because everyone else called her Dot. I called my other grandmother Grandma Jones, because that was her last name. Note, this was not a distinguishing thing, if I was in a room alone with Grand Dot, I would call her Grand Dot. I tried calling her Granny once and she got really upset. But, I have no idea how or who came up with these names.
posted by Bulgaroktonos at 9:34 AM on June 7, 2009

Name Nerds has a ton of grandparent suggestions. You may want to look there, too, for ideas.
posted by litterateur at 9:34 AM on June 7, 2009

I called both of my grandmothers Granny. (I learned later in life that it drove my paternal grandmother crazy that she didn't get her own name. Whatever.) I also had a Granddaddy and a PawPaw.

My parents have decided that they are to be Grammy and Grampy, and practice those names with my and my sister's pets. No children yet.
posted by sugarfish at 9:40 AM on June 7, 2009

My brother and his wife have gone with "Garma" in reference to my mom my baby niece. No, I didn't just misspell "Grama," and no, it doesn't make any sense to me either.
posted by GamblingBlues at 9:46 AM on June 7, 2009

My mother wanted her grandchildren to call her Granny but the first grandchild could only say Ninnie. Over the years, Ninnie has become Nannie. My father was called Daddy by my neice because that what my sister called him and Pa by my other sister's son. My sisters and I called our Mother's parents Ma and Pa Lastname and called our Father's parents Ma and Pa Firstname. My father called his grandmother Mama but to us she was Ma Firstname. My Aunt's grandkids and great grandkids call her MeeMaw and her husband was PeePaw.
posted by sapphirebbw at 9:59 AM on June 7, 2009

I call my grandmother MaeMae. My daughter has a Lola, which is Tagalog for grandmother.
posted by sporaticgenius at 10:01 AM on June 7, 2009

On my Dads side it was Granny and Pa, on my moms it was Ma (my grandfather died when I was and infant)

My niece and nephews have Mamaw and Papaw and Noni and Papi.
posted by meeshell at 10:02 AM on June 7, 2009

Growing up I had a Grandmother and a Nannie.

My children call my parents Grandmama and Grandaddy, and my in-laws Nana and Paw-paw.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 10:08 AM on June 7, 2009

Maternal Grandma was Boggie (BAH-ghee), others were Gramma and Grampa Lastname. Boggie was my older brother's best attempt at pronouncing Grandma.
posted by degrees_of_freedom at 10:26 AM on June 7, 2009

My kids have got Mimi & Papa Jim, Pop-pop & Grandma Carol, and Grandma Judy and Bobble.

Mimi and Bobble (to an extent) were self chosen and the kids came up with the rest.
posted by Barnsie at 10:26 AM on June 7, 2009

I called my maternal grandmother Mammock.
posted by hermitosis at 10:32 AM on June 7, 2009

Just Gramma & Grampa. Although when all four generations get together, it's always "My Gramma" or "Your Grampa". Otherwise my niece never knows who we're talking about.
posted by dogmom at 10:36 AM on June 7, 2009

posted by metastability at 10:39 AM on June 7, 2009

My paternal grandmother is Memom (pronounced Mee-mom). I have only met my maternal grandmother once because she lived in Korea, and we called her Halmoni, which is the Korean word for grandmother.
posted by Shesthefastest at 10:44 AM on June 7, 2009

My mother's mother was always just grandma. But my father's mother was one I haven't seen so far on this list - mamusia, which is Polish for (more or less) "mommy." I don't know exactly why we should have called my grandmother "mommy," but I think that her kids (ie, my father & my aunt) had always called her "mamusia" and it just stuck for life. (And yes, she was Polish.)

This thread is making me miss my grandma!
posted by Conrad Cornelius o'Donald o'Dell at 11:23 AM on June 7, 2009

American born with British parents: Gran
posted by Nickel at 12:20 PM on June 7, 2009

My English born and raised mother calls her grandparents Gran LastName and Grandad LastName
posted by Nickel at 12:22 PM on June 7, 2009

Mine were Mamy and Papy (french canadian).
My great-grandmother was Nannie, my mother called her the same thing.

On my dad's side, they were Grand Maman and Grand Papa Lastname. I was much less close to them.
My great-grandmother on my dad's side was Grand Maman Lastname, which is odd because she didn't speak any french.
posted by OLechat at 12:27 PM on June 7, 2009

It was Granny and Gusty on my mother's side. (His name was Augustus.) My great-grandmother on that side was GG. Or Gigi, I suppose. She died before I was old enough to worry about how to spell it.
On my father's side, it was Mimi and Poppy.

I ran out of grandparents way too early. Sigh.
posted by emelenjr at 12:39 PM on June 7, 2009

My son called my mom Nama for a long time. It's how he was first able to most closely pronounce Grandma.
posted by peep at 12:48 PM on June 7, 2009

Beste (some type of Danish nickname for grandmother)
posted by FergieBelle at 1:02 PM on June 7, 2009

My mom's called "Gummy" by my niece and nephew, (little-kid name that stuck) and my Dad's "Pop-Pop."

My wife calls her Grandmother "Me-may" (French Canadian thing, I think) and her stepfather's dad is "Pee-Paw", which is a West Virginia thing.

My siblings and I called my grandparents "Grammy and Grampa." (Only got to know the two of 'em.)
posted by Slap*Happy at 1:05 PM on June 7, 2009

My wife's mother and my mother both had names they hoped my son would call them as grandmother, but he, of course, ignored their plans and decided to call them "Grammy Lou" (her name is Louise) and, inexplicably, "Moggy". They both like the name they got, which is good because both names stuck.
posted by dirtdirt at 1:53 PM on June 7, 2009

Mimi, chosen by my older cousin somehow; Nana, chosen because my grandmother didn't want a grannyish sounding nickname. SO calls his Grandmom and Mammaw, developed by older cousins. My parents called theirs Granny, Nanny, and Grandmother, all chosen by older siblings/cousins. SO's nieces call his parents Ma and Pa. They went through various names for his mom for a while, but the child ended up just calling her "Ma" and it stuck.
posted by ishotjr at 2:04 PM on June 7, 2009

I called my Yiddish speaking grandparents Bubba (like a red-neck, not Bubbee) and Zaida. My American born grandparents were Grandma and Big Daddy. (I called him Big Daddy once and he liked it so much he made sure it stuck.

My children called their great-grandmothers Grandma (first name). Their grandmothers were Grandma in person and Grandma (first name) when we needed to clarify. When the kids were older, my own grandmother came to live about 2 hours away from us (all the others were East Coast). The kids learned that when I said just "Grandma" I meant my own grandma since I would forget to add on the first name since she was the only one I called "Grandma" when I was growing up.

The two grandfathers were called Zaida (my dad) and Grandpa (my husband's dad). My mother was horrified by the thought of being called Bubba and said she preferred Grandma Sue.
posted by metahawk at 2:18 PM on June 7, 2009

We're Filipinos, so grandma is Lola and grandpa is Lolo. Adorable and sweet. My nephew couldn't pronounce his Ls very well, so he called them WaWa and WoWo.
posted by HeyAllie at 2:42 PM on June 7, 2009

My brother and I called ours Grammy and Granny. Slightly more amusing, though, is that for a while, my brother called Grammy "Two Mommy", because he'd learned that she was Mom's mom.
posted by spaceman_spiff at 2:54 PM on June 7, 2009

Paternal grandma, a Southerner, was M'Dear (as in "Mother Dear"). However, since we were in Brooklyn at the time, all of us little ones said it like, "M'Dia."

We called my maternal grandmother as little as possible.
posted by notjustfoxybrown at 3:27 PM on June 7, 2009

My granddaughter calls me Nana. :)
posted by Lynsey at 4:38 PM on June 7, 2009

We called our Hungarian grandma Nagymama, pronounced "nodgemoma", which means "big mama"
posted by lazy robot at 4:44 PM on June 7, 2009

Grandma and Pop-Pop on my dad's side, though I called that grandmother "Gawgaw" when I was very young.

Mom-Mom (another "grandmother sounds too old" grandma) and Pop-Pop on my mom's side. Mom-Mom's parents were Buscha and Dziadzia. (We're Polish.)
posted by desuetude at 5:00 PM on June 7, 2009

I had/have Nanny (great grandmother), Gram, Grandma. My daughters have Grandmama & Papa (because I call my parents Mama & Papa, so Papa wasn't taken by my husband, who is Daddy, and Mama --> Grandmama, since I'm Mama) and Grandma & Grandpa (my husband's)---and Gram, still, for their great-grandmother, because why change something that works?
posted by leahwrenn at 5:13 PM on June 7, 2009

My dad's parents are Mamaw (pronounced Ma'am-aw- no rhyming!) and Papaw (pronounced more or less the same way). My older cousin came up with those- I have no clue where she got them. My mom's parents were Grandma and Grandpa. If my brothers/I have kids in time for them to know my dad's parents, I imagine we'll stick with Mamaw and Papaw for them and use Grandma and Grandpa for my parents.
posted by MadamM at 6:04 PM on June 7, 2009

Mini-webhund (7 yrs old) calls her maternal grandparents "Gramps" and "Grams"; she calls her paternal grandparents "Omi" (ph: O-me) and "Opa." As I called my German grandparents "Oma" and "Opa" when I was little, my mother wanted to be something other than the "Oma" that her mother was, we use "Omi." Works great. Keeps a touch of the German heritage and gives us 4 different names for all 4 grandparents.
posted by webhund at 7:06 PM on June 7, 2009

'Babushka' = grandma in Russian (emphasis on the first syllable, not the second!), and 'dedushka' = grandpa.

My dad's mother is Babushka Natasha. My mom's parents are Ba and Dedushka. (Or sometimes Babushka Ella, but only if it was unclear which grandmother was being referred to.)

Other people sometimes called their grandmothers Baba or Babka, which is pretty common but I always thought was weird and disrespectful, since it's also an insulting way of referring to an old woman. My cousins call my aunt's mother Baba Marina, though, and she doesn't mind at all, so that's what I call her as well.

Carmicha-- don't be offended if they call you by your first name. I call my aunt by her first name, just out of long-established habit, and I've never thought any less of her than my uncle or that she's family any less than he is. That's just how I was introduced to her as a small child, before they were married, and it stuck.
posted by lolichka at 7:19 PM on June 7, 2009

Mine are Grandma & Grandpa and Gram/Gramma/Grandma & PawPaw. (I'd be interested to see a geographical representation of the distribution of PawPaw, MeeMaw, and the like--it seems very standard in the US South.)

My great-grandmother was Grum to everyone in the family, including her children.

An uncle recently coined GrandMartha for my maternal grandmother, and she loved it--that may be what her great-grandkids end up calling her when they're old enough.

A friend tried to get his kids to call his mother Duckie and his father Bubble or some fool thing. I believe the grandparents threatened to boycott visits and are now called something more standard.
posted by hippugeek at 8:13 PM on June 7, 2009

I called mine Amama. (AHH-mah-mah) Not sure where that came from but it's been what we call grandmothers in my (Irish Texan) family for a long time, as far as I can tell.
posted by raygan at 8:20 PM on June 7, 2009

my maternal granparents that I see weekly are gram and pap. (pap-pap when. I was little).
my paternal grandma is amma (Icelandic for grandma) and grandfather was pap-pap kenny. great gram was gg.
posted by thisisnotkatrina at 8:31 PM on June 7, 2009

I have a collection on 9 grandparents, step-grandparents, and step-step-grandparents. They are as follows:

The Southerners: Grandmother (she wanted Grandmama, but the other grandmother took that one...and then didn't exactly use it. Grandmother sounds quite stuffy, which she wasn't, and I suspect it would have changed if she hadn't died when all the grandkids were young or not even born yet) and Papa, Papa (another one, this one was originally Daddy Firstname as we first experimented with how to do names in our new blended family, but he eventually became Papa some time after the other Papa had died) and Nene (Pronounced Nee-nee), Mama Firstname

The Midwesterners: Grandmama (which quickly became Grandma or sometimes Grandma Firstname to minimize confusion with other Grandma) and Grandpa

The New Yorkers:
Grandma Firstname (sometimes just Grandma) and Poppy
posted by naoko at 9:04 PM on June 7, 2009

My sister and I called our grandmothers "Grandma Lastname_1" and "Grandma Lastname_2", though of course while we were visiting them, respectively, we just used "Grandma". Same for our grandfathers - "Grandpa Lastname_1" and "Grandpa Lastname_2". I had no idea that this was so unusual - it sounds like almost everybody else has some varied assortment of terms. Interesting!
posted by Cygnet at 7:15 AM on June 8, 2009

raygan, that's how my children said "grandmama" while "gr" was a hard sound.
posted by fantabulous timewaster at 7:21 AM on June 8, 2009

My nephew calls my mom Anaanatsiaq, meaning 'grandmother' in Inuktitut.
posted by KathyK at 7:43 AM on June 8, 2009

Babcia (Polish) and Grandma.
posted by Pax at 11:16 AM on June 8, 2009

My mom's parents are Polish, so we call her Babcia (bob-sha). My mom recently decided that if she ever had grandkids she wouldn't want to be called Grandma or whatever but instead would want them to call her by her nickname when she was a kid (which, incidentally, she hated), which is pronounced gee-jah (I have no idea how to actually spell it) and which meant something like "little girl" or "baby girl" or something. My friends kids call their grandmother "Gnomie" because she's really tiny. I don't think she likes it much, but I think it's adorable.
posted by penchant at 11:21 AM on June 8, 2009

Also, we mostly abbreviated Babcia to Bop.
posted by Pax at 11:22 AM on June 8, 2009

I said Mutti and Opa (German side), and then Abuelo and Abuela (Mexican side)-- although sometimes substituting Señora for Abuela...I dunno why...
I did have a friend who called her grandmother "Miss Mary" which I thought was cute. Her name was Mary-- and she couldn't bear Grandma...and I another friend who's son calls his grandparents "Nanita" y "Papi" which I find adorable.
posted by dearest at 11:31 AM on June 8, 2009

I call my grandmother MiMi. I made it up when I was a kid. I distinctly remember discovering and being disappointed that other people were called MiMi as well.

My mom called her grandmother Nanny.
posted by phritosan at 11:19 AM on June 9, 2009

My grandmother on my father's side decided long before her grandchildren were born that she was to be called Two-momma (and her husband was Pap-paw). On my mom's side it was Mamaw and Gan-Gan" which are both pretty obvious mangles of grandma and grandad. When I was a teenager, my parents went on this crusade to have us call him Dindy instead - the rationale was that as an almost adult, we couldn't go around calling him by a toddler's name. It seemed weird to me at the time, but it never occurred to me to ask if he was the one that wanted it that way... I'll have to ask my dad about it.

We all called our great-grandmother "Maw" and her husband was just "Grandaddy".

My mom wanted to be called "Granny" and my father is "Paw" to all of his grandchildren. My kids are going to stay with him and and my step-mom this summer for the first time, so it will be interesting to find out how her title will get worked out.

My in-laws are called Nana and Poppa.

I also read a story once (maybe here on MeFi) about a couple that decreed that their names were Sampson and Delilah, and refused to answer to anything else from the grandchildren.
posted by Irontom at 12:11 PM on June 9, 2009

I had a Memaw, G.G. and a Greatgrandma Jackson. I still have a Papaw and a Grandma Julie.
posted by tinatiga at 4:22 PM on June 9, 2009

My grandmother is Grandy, and my great-grandmother was Grammy. Other notable grandma names I can think of include Dodie (paired with grandfather Gump), and Oma (paired with grandfather Opa).
posted by dizziest at 7:10 PM on June 9, 2009

Another (mixed) Filipina here, with nieces who call my parents Lola and Lolo. My family doesn't seem to have used terms for grandma besides 'grandma (name optional)' or 'ma'.

(I, on the other hand, am 'auntie banana' to the girls.)
posted by vespertine at 11:58 PM on June 9, 2009

Thank you, Metafilter fans, I am hoping for OMA - this will incorporate my childhood memories of Germany. Although born in USA I spent my first seven years growing up in Germany and spoke German before I spoke English. Time will tell - she may suprise us all!
posted by pamspanda at 4:05 AM on July 8, 2009

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