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Choosing a Grandma Name for a new Grandmother

Congrats, Grandma!

Soon you will be holding your brand-new family member. Your baby’s baby. What a blessing. But, before we get too excited about the tiny human about to join your clan, let’s spend a moment to think about you. This baby is going to look to you for love and support. It’s going to have to call you something. A new name, at your age? Heck yeah, G-mam! “Your age”, what is this?

As the Baby Boomer generation becomes grandparents, using the traditional Grandma and Grandpa name, although still the reigning champs according to babycenter.com, has become less and less appealing. An article in USA Today, reports that 41% of grandmothers use an individualized nickname. The Baby Boomer generation doesn’t feel old. Choosing an individualized nickname is the perfect way to balance the assumed “elderliness” of grandparenthood with your young at heart spirit and the excitement of a beautiful grandbaby.

The Grandchild Choosen Name

That beautiful grandbaby may also help in your search for a unique nickname that fits you. Some grandparents even plan for this by choosing a base name and wait to see what the baby does with it. Sometimes the results may surprise you. The actress Blythe Danner, mother of actress Gwyneth Paltrow, wanted to be called Woof by her grandchildren, according to an article in the New York Times. Her grandchildren call her Lalo. In the same article, actress Goldie Hawn tells of how her son decided she would be called Glam-Ma, a term which officially stuck.

According to participants in a survey done by babycenter.com, the grandchildren may just dub themselves the grandparent-namer. One mother said that her daughter decided to call her grandfather Pappy rather than Grandpap. Another mom says that they had decided her father would be Boompa, but her daughter couldn’t pronounce it and instead came out with Pom Pom. In both cases, the baby’s name stuck.

Top Ten Grandma Names

The top ten grandmother names according to the babycenter survey in order of popularity are:

  1. Grandma
  2. Nana
  3. Grammy
  4. Granny
  5. Mimi
  6. Gram
  7. Nanny
  8. Oma
  9. Mamaw
  10. Gran

Creative and Unique Grandma Names

Grandma-Names-vSome of the more creative names from the over 1,400 unique names reported in their survey were:

  • Ami
  • Babs
  • Big Mama
  • Bubbie
  • Cookie
  • Didi
  • Gamma
  • Gramma-Bamma
  • Gangie
  • Hugs
  • Lala
  • Mamita
  • Momo
  • Omi
  • Nanner
  • Panda
  • Punky
  • Safta
  • Vava
  • Zippy

There are obviously many choices on the market, in terms of names. So don’t worry too much about clashing with your grandbaby’s other grandma or grandmas. There are plenty of names to go around. However, the names are generally given on a first-come, first-serve basis. If you don’t have prior claim to the title through family tradition, it all depends on who calls dibs first. Of course, you can share. There are plenty of families with two Grandmas that both go by Grandma with some other name. Grandma Ethel and Grandma Monique, for example. Fit in a first name, last name, or nickname to keep everyone’s head straight when trying to tell you two apart in a conversation. Who knows, your grandbaby may decide that you look more like a Grethel or a Gramon than anything else.

Whatever you decide, whether you choose Grandam from Shakespeare or Big Mama from Grandchild Number One, what is most important is your relationship with your grandchild. Don’t let the search for the perfect name keep you away from the perfect child joining the family.

About Ana Weickert

Ana is a Theatre, writing student, and presidential scholar at Rockford University. She loves the spoken, written, sung and performed word. The granddaughter of fantastic grandparents and a wonderful Nana, she is a contributing writer to Grandparently and other online sites.

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