New Year, New Grandparent Names

New Year, New Name (aka Don’t call me Grandma)

new grandparent names

It wasn’t too long after we announced that a new tiny human would be making an appearance into our lives that people wanted to know what we were going to be called. For all intents and purposes, we ARE grandparents. Being that as it may, I was not ready to accept a traditional grandparent moniker yet. Call me grandma or nana one time and you are sure to get a response of “new phone, who dis?” After all, I myself am still within childbearing age and gray has not yet touched my tresses;(Randall may/may not be in denial referring to his as “highlights”.Whatever, it’s cool for guys.) As thrilled as we are to welcome this new little life we are both diametrically opposed to adopting the “G-names” as our own.

What would we be called then ?

With the help of our friends we crowd-sourced, scoured the internet, and even read a few books to get ideas. We got a lot of great responses, a lot of ones that just didn’t seem like they fit us, and some that were just laughable. Here is a list of the 13 Best Grandparent names we sorted through:

Best Grandparent Names

13 Best Grandparent Names

  • Nana & PaPa
  • Amma & Afi
  • Oma & Opa
  • Gramms & Gramps
  • Lolly & Pop
  • Memere & Pepere
  • Gpa & Gma
  • Grammie & Grampy
  • Gigi & Pops
  • Glamma & Ace
  • Nonna & Nonno
  • MawMaw & PawPaw
  • Mimi & G

This new name business was a really important because if you think about it the birth of the first grandchild means a new beginning for you too. A whole new identity. Your spouse, your adult children, and all the grandchildren to come will now call you by this new name. It is the name with which I will sign all Christmas tags and the signature with which I will send birthday money for decades to come. Our names will likely be saved and resaved under these new aliases in many family cell phones. It is possibly one of the only socially acceptable times you can choose a new name for yourself without entering a witness protection program or filling out a whole lot of paperwork. I will hopefully live as long or longer with this new name as I have all the years prior. It is a really BIG decision!!

Realizing this was a long-term decision and that we have four children of our own and when those children get married each of their future children will have another set of grandparents too. Add that to the possible number of great-grandparents scenarios and using a generic “grandparent” title and this could get very confusing. We were going to need to find something unique that was still meaningful.

None of the names above were quite the names we were looking for. We were at a bit of a loss until my friend, Susan offered up a suggestion. She had a former boss who became the parent of a parent pre-40, like us. She chose :Mia”, the Italian word for mine, as her new name. I really liked the thought of “Mia”. It was easy for a little one to say and didn’t make me sound aging or too cutesy. Paul and Sydney had already decided that they would be calling the new baby “Bella”, a shortened form of her full name Isabella Rose. In Italian, Mia and Bella combined means “my beauty” or “my lovely”. That made it special for me and I was all but settled on it. My only hesitation was we had been looking for a pair of names. So if I went with Mia, what would Randy be called?

We went back and forth with names and then it came to us. MAMMA MIA! If I went with Mia, Randy would go by Abba. We are huge musical theater fans and you can’t possibly think of MAMMA MIA! without Abba. In Aramaic, Abba means daddy. The term Abba also has a strong significance for religious scholars and since part of R’s grad degree is in theology/world religions, it seemed a perfect fit in that way too.

So there you have it. In a few days our legacy as Mia & Abba shall begin.

What names did your grandparents go by? Have you heard any unusual, unique grandparent names not included in the list above? 


  1. Wow. It’s so fun to think that I helped contribute to this legacy even in a small way May it last for many strong and long years. The best to you both.

    Oh – I personally had an Oma and Popi (was supposed to be Opa, but Toddler pronunciation won out), and a Granny and Grandaddy. My son has a Grandaddy and Gram, and a Grandma and Abuelo.

  2. Love this list! It’s always been Grandma and Grandpa in my family so when I become a grandparent, I definitely want something different. My friend’s children call their grandparents Grandy and Poppy – which I really like.
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  3. Love these names!!! My kids call my parents Gran and Boompa. I myself had a Nana and Boompa (Jimmy Stewart in Mr. Hobbs Takes A Vacation). Congratulations on becoming Mia and Abba!

  4. We have a Grandma (Oma is what they actually say), Pop Pop, PawPaw, Grandaddy and Grandmama who was supposed to be Grandmother but the oldest niece could let say it.
    Whatever you intend to be called might morph into something else that the Gkids decide! Good luck to all ❤

  5. I am excited to be an Abba. And yes, they are just sunfaded highlights in my beard, and at my temples… totally normal for someone who spends most of his time indoors HA!!

  6. I love it!! Your new names are rad and meaningful!! Cheers, Mia!

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