There are plenty of names for grandmothers, which can delight grandmothers who don’t want an old standby like Gram, Grandma, or Grandmother. Some young grandmothers would rather not be reminded of grandparent status, and others just like a name that sounds a little different or expresses the culture in which they were raised. Grandparents may have an idea in mind of what they’d like to be called, but grandchildren can sometimes thwart this. An inappropriate pronunciation of a grandmother’s name early on, may end up being the name all grandchildren choose later.
Some common names for grandmothers include things like nana, nonnie, grammy, mamaw, and big mamma. This is only the beginning though. Some people use names that reflect cultural or racial roots. Nonna is Italian for grandmother, and may be changed to Nonnie or Nanny. Belle mere is sometimes used in French for grandmother, though more commonly it apples to mothers-in-law or stepmothers. However, some grandmothers get called Bellmary or Bellmarie as a variant or grande mere, which is more common. Similarly Bella, which is Italian for beautiful, may perfectly suit the young or young at heart grandma. Oma is used in Dutch for Grandma, and Spanish-speaking cultures use abuela for grandmother.
If a name based on a certain language won’t do, there are other names for grandmothers that might. You can let grandkids call you by your first name, perhaps with Grandma in front of it. Joan would become Grandma Joan. Alternately, some people attach their last name to Grandma, and Mrs. Smith could be Grandma Smith. Especially when kids have two sets of grandparents it can help if they have different names for them.
This is only a departure point and you can create really any names for a grandmother that you choose. You’ll find a variety of inspiration on the Internet. Grandma can easily be Greema, Gran, Mima, Big Mom, Second Mom, Birdie, or Foxy. Sometimes children bestow the most special names for grandmothers. Imagine a child trying to pronounce grandma and coming up with all kinds of variations on this word. Greatma, germa, mama, rema, atma, are all examples, and sometimes really get creative. They may blend your name and grandma together, so that grandma Joan becomes Great Joan or MaJoan instead.
Though you can decide the names for grandmother that you’d like grandkids to use, don’t leave out the happy accidents that children may invent. It’s often the case that kids come up with names that are wonderfully unique and will mean no one else in the world gets to share the name your grandkid invented.