Wednesday, July 10, 2013

Grandparent Names

Grandparents are at the heart of families.

They are sources of love and affection. They can serve as role models, caregivers, and guardians. They can offer advice, wisdom, and reassurance. They share our joys as well as our sorrows. They play such an important part in many lives.

And, they can go by so many names.

Sadly, I have lost all of my grandparents. But, they were known to us as Grandma & Pa  and Mama & Papa. My own parents are referred to by their grandchildren as Grandma & Grandpa.

On the other hand, my husband called his grandparents Mamaw & Papaw (his parents go by the same) and Grandaddy & Nanny.

So many name variations for these important family members.

I am hopefully a long way off from becoming a grandparent. Our kids are 12, 15, 17, and 20 so like I said...a looong way off. But, I have to admit that I've given a thought or two to what I would like to be called when I do become a grandma.

The other night at the dinner table, the conversation somehow turned to the various names people use for their grandparents. I mentioned that I did not want to be called by the more traditional sounding names that are used in our family. I proclaimed that I wanted to be called either Mimi or Gigi. This was met with much consternation from my husband and kids. They didn't care for those names at all.

I think Mimi and Gigi are rather hip and fun-sounding and because they begin with M and G (as in Mamaw and Grandma) they still seem fitting for a grandmother moniker. But, my family was having none of it. My husband insisted that it was the proper and respectable thing to do to follow along with the names of your own grandparents. I think that it's up to each individual to choose their own special nickname, or at least let the grandkids choose the name. We agreed to disagree.

As a third and more traditional option, I said that I would consider being called Nanna. They all seemed okay with that one.

But really, I'm holding out for Mimi.

I started wondering about all the different names that folks use for their grandparents. Besides ours that I mentioned above, I know of a Grandy, a Granny, and a Poppy. I put the question out on Twitter and here's some of the feedback I got...

Most people responded that they use the traditional name "grandma" in their family. But, there were also some others mentioned, a few of which I've never heard (all very cute names!) --

For grandmothers: Grammie, Gram, Grams, Nonna, MIM
For grandfather: Bompa (how fun is that?!)

What about you? I would love to hear what names are used for grandparents in your family...


Liz @ A Nut in a Nutshell said...

We called them Grandma and Grandpa on both sides, but my kids tell me that they'll have none of that for me. I'm getting something unique...maybe I should be worried?

Crissy said...

Mamaw and Papaw. :) It's what my kids call my parents, too.

Mariah @ said...

We have a lot! We have Grambo, Grammy & Grandad, and G-pops & Gigi!

Susan S said...

we have a mom mom and pop pop and grand mom and pop.. it was all different wen I was a kid :)

Mommy Moment said...

My grandma died a month ago. Her and I were so close. We talked daily and had supper together once a week.

As for the names of grandparents...
My daughters call my parents grandma & grandpa, my husbands parents Kookum (Cree) and Papa (French). They called my grandparents Grammy and Grampy.

Chelsea Day said...

We have Grandma & PopPop. I'm not really sure what I will use though.

Dorothy Teel said...

I have two sets of grandchildren that call me Mimi and one set calls me Grandmom (daughter in laws mother is MiMaw there) and one set who call me Grandmom they are a lot older, when my mom was alive they called her GiGi for greatgrandmom she loved it..