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Names for grandmother

By Winsome Coutts

What should we call grandmother? There are affectionate names for grandmothers, old-fashioned names, different grandparent names in other languages, contemporary grandparent names; how do we choose? And who gets to choose?

What Should We Call Grandmother?


When the first grandchild is on the way, the grandmother-to-be starts picking out her “grandma name”. This is an interesting ritual that often begins with the exclamation, “I’m too young to be called grandma! Are there names for a young grandmother?” and ends with an interesting and sometimes amusing list of names. There are different grandparent names in other languages - most cultures have certain names for grandmother that are exclusive to that culture, such as Bube or NaiNai, but these names migrate, just as people do, and they become used outside of their cultures of origin. Often family tradition will dictate what names for grandparents are to be used.

Grandmother names often turn out to be something completely unexpected that the grandchild comes up with. Nana might become NeeNee, and Grandma might become Gammo. Often these names stick because they are cute, unique and were bestowed by the grandchild. Who better to choose a name for grandma?

When deciding what name to use for grandmother, it’s always good to try to let the grandmother herself make the first choice. Some grandmothers have very definite ideas of what they should be called, and others are more open to suggestions. Something that is very important to remember is that whatever name grandmother ends up with, it should be something that is comfortable for both her and the family to use. Often this ends up being the generic-type names that are associated with the culture and the names that have been passed down through the years. These are fine of course.

Affectionate names for grandmothers, old-fashioned names, contemporary grandparent names, which will you choose? Try one on for size. Some common names for grandmother are:

Baba
Granny
Nan
Bube
Grammie
Oma
Gram
Mamie
Nannie
Mawmaw
Nanny
Mamoo
Nini
Niny
Abuelita
Grams
Memom
Ninny
Gran
Memere
Nona
Grandma
Mimi
Noni
Mom Mom
Nonna
Grandmaw
Bamma
Mum

Sometimes grandmothers like to be called by their name, such as Grandma Phyllis, or Grammie Nora. Sometimes two grandmother names end up strung together, such as Grandma Nini. Grandmother names may be quite formal as in Grandmother Smith.

There are endless ways to choose a name for grandmother. Toddlers who are just learning to speak might make up words, or family tradition offers appropriate names. Some grandmoms have more created their own. There is no correct way to choose a name for grandmother. Most often the name just comes naturally and when it does, it just feels right.

Me? I’m Farmor (pronounced as it looks). My daughter-in-law is Swedish – and Farmor is Swedish for ‘father’s mother’. They also have Mormor – ‘mother’s mother’, Morfar – ‘mother’s father’ and, you guessed it Farfar – ‘father’s father’. So you always know which grandparent a child is talking about.










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Winsome Coutts is the passion behind the new self help authority site, www.4lifeselfhelp.com. She is a lifelong student of personal development, meditation and goal setting. In the pursuit of her own dreams, she has created www.4lifeselfhelp.com as a tool to help others find success and happiness along with resources to live an abundant life.

Visit www.4lifeselfhelp.com today to take advantage of their resource library, free articles, resource tools and guidance.

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