What Nicknames Do People Use for Great Grandmothers?

A great-grandmother may go by the nicknames Gran, Granny, Mammaw, Nana, or Mimma. Choose a nickname for a great-grandmother that is distinct from the nicknames used for the child’s other grandmothers or great-grandmothers to prevent misunderstandings.

Nicknames for grandmothers and great-grandmothers frequently originate from names that kids come up with on their own or from pronunciations of the term “grandma” that are simpler for small children. Some grandmothers choose for a different name because they believe the moniker “grandma” makes them appear older than they actually are.

You can give your great-grandmother a classic nickname like Mammy, Gammy, Mimsy, or Nonna, or you can give her a fashionable nickname like Coco, Bella, GG, Neema, or Pippa. The German Oma, the Polish Busha, the Flemish Bomma, or the Arabic Teta are some examples of international-inspired nicknames. Puna, TuTu, and Kuku are names given to Hawaiian grandmothers. Ya is a grandma in Thailand.

Consider adopting some of the nicknames used by famous grandmothers. The grandson of Goldie Hawn refers to her as “Glamma.” The grandchildren of actress Blythe Danner prefer Lalo. The humorous nicknames Booma, Bunny, GoMa, Lula, and Nooni are often used for great-grandmothers. Other entertaining options include GoGo, Lovey, Sunny, Tootsie, and Cookie.

By adding a first name after “Grandma,” many households distinguish between grandmothers and great-grandmothers. Use Grandma Mary if there isn’t a better moniker for, say, a great-grandma named Mary.

Misha Khatri
Misha Khatri is an emeritus professor in the University of Notre Dame's Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry. He graduated from Northern Illinois University with a BSc in Chemistry and Mathematics and a PhD in Physical Analytical Chemistry from the University of Utah.


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