Choosing a Fun and Modern Grandma Name
A Facebook follower on my author page , Stacy Sterling Robinson, sent me a message. She was trying to pick a modern grandma name. Something “fun, sweet, sassy, but still elegant.”
She asked what my grandchildren call me. Stay tuned. I’ll reveal the answer to that question later…
Since this seems to be a topic of interest to grandmothers, I’ll list the most popular grandma names, the trendiest grandma names, and describe ways to create a unique grandma name. But first, let’s briefly examine why this is such a popular trend.
Why Hip Grandmas Want a Modern Name
It’s no surprise that grandmothers today are searching for chic grandparent names. Arguably, more active and healthy than previous generations of grandparents, we baby boomers are redefining aging. We still rock out, just not in rocking chairs!
As I wrote in an earlier blog, “Baby Boomers Blazing New Trail as Grandparents, “True to our roots, we are determined to reinvent ourselves and be the grooviest, hippest, most involved, and greatest grandparents ever. We’re embracing our new role with the same excited enthusiasm we once had for macramé plant hangers and bell bottom jeans.”
That being the case, why not have a unique and fun grandma name to match our groovy-ness?
Of course, there’s a practical reason for grandparent nicknames as well. As Robinson pointed out to me in her message, her grandchildren have other grandparents who go by “Grandma” so she wanted a different name to cause less confusion.
And that’s a valid point. With people living longer, many grandchildren have a gaggle of grandparents, great-grandparents, and maybe step-grandparents too. If everyone went by “Grandma,” the grandkids’ heads would spin trying to keep everyone straight.
Perhaps that’s why a few grandfathers are jumping on the bandwagon and going by different names as well. Some grandpas go by Pop-Pop, Gramps, Pappy, Papaw, or as my husband is called, Bapa.
In fact, an article in USA Today, reports that 41% of grandmothers use an individualized nickname as well as 28% of grandfathers.
The Most Popular Grandma Names
According to participants in a survey done by babycenter.com, the ten most popular grandma names are:
Of course, grandmas don’t have to go with any of these traditional or popular choices. Grandmothers have more options than ever today.
Choosing an Ethnic or Chic Grandma Name
Grandmas may select a name associated with a particular ethnicity or nationality such as Tutu (Hawaiian), Yiayia (Greek), Bubbe (Yiddish), Ouma (Afrikaans), and Abuela (Spanish). Looking for something elegant? Many French children call their grandmother “Grand-mère,” which can also be shortened to “Mémé.”
Some grandmothers opt for a trendy grandmother name or decide to make up their own name. Here are a few ideas for modern grandmas looking for something a bit more unique:
- Glam-ma or Glammy
- G-Ma or G-Mom
- Pippa or Pippy
- Sweetie or Sweetums
Of course, there’s even more names than the ones I’ve listed here. Check out the comprehensive list for both grandmothers and grandfathers on considerable.com. Having a hard time choosing the right grandma name? The online magazine Grandmagazine.com has a fun quiz to help grandmothers select the right name to match their lifestyle and personalities.
Creating a Grandma Name From a Given Name
Some grandmothers come up with a name based on their own names. Perhaps their name is Candace or Cecilia and they choose to go by CeeCee. Or Nancy could become Grancy. One grandmother with the last name of Smith considered being called “Apple” by her first grandchild since she was a “Granny Smith.” Haha!
For example, my first name is Julie. I kind of liked the idea of my grandkids calling me JuJu. My youngest sister, who was born when I was 15, called me by that name as a child because Julie was hard for her to pronounce. I had a sentimental attachment to that name and thought it was cute.
But it didn’t stick. Because here’s what can happen.
When Your Chosen Name Gets Changed
Parents may choose a different grandma name than one you’ve carefully selected. My ex-daughter-in-law began calling all of us grandmothers Grandma with our names tacked to the end. So, in the end, I became Grandma Julie. Since my youngest granddaughter’s other grandparents have their own unique nicknames, I am simply Grandma to her.
Well, that’s what I am, so I decided to own it!
Or your grandchildren themselves may start calling you by a name different than the one you originally chose for yourself.
And you know what? Usually grandmothers embrace whatever name comes from the mouths of their precious grandchildren with joy. The chosen name becomes special, especially when their beloved grandchild adds an “I love you” to the grandma name. That’s definitely how I feel!
So, what do you think of this trend? Do you have a special grandmother name? Please share in the comments below to help inspire other new grandmas searching for the right name.