The birth of the first grandchild is just about the most exciting thing to look forward to after raising one’s own children. If you have a little one on the way and your parents are shopping around for names their grands can call them, the options can seem overwhelming.  

There’s ease and tradition (Grandma and Grandpa), geographical location (Memaw, anyone?), and ethnic or cultural ties (Nonno, Bubbe) to consider. The grandparents-to-be might also want to try out a nontraditional Grandpa or Grandma name that sets them apart and feels less, well, grand-parentish. More thoughts on that below…

Some grands might like to include their actual first name, especially if both sets of grandparents pick similar grandparent names (like Grandma Lynn on one side of the family and Grandma Jane on the other). Still other families will get creative and have a lot of fun with this process, basing the name on an association or hobby. One family we surveyed for this piece said their kids call one of their grandfathers “Grandpa on the Porch” thanks to his affinity for sitting on the front porch doing jigsaw puzzles! It doesn’t get any cuter than that.

No matter what their personal style and your own sentimental feelings, it’s best for the grandparent names to be selected before Baby’s arrival so that even from the first introduction and captioned photos, everyone’s on the same page. Your little one might come up with their own nicknames for the grands too, but this list will get you started. 

Grandfather Names

Abuelo: Spanish for “grandfather,” it is the most popular grandpa name in Spanish-speaking countries and families around the world. 

Boppa: Sounding like a play on Papa, this popular name for grandfathers has German roots.

G-Pa: Rumor has it that Lionel Richie goes by this ultra-cool grandpa name. We dig it!  

Gramps: A fun American grandfather name that’s short and sweet. 

Granddad: Traditionally used in the UK, this one has an elegant and dignified feel without being as formal as Grandfather.

Granddaddy: It has the sentimental appeal of Granddad with the softer and familiarized “-dy” suffix to endear the grandkids. 

Grandude: For the dude that just happens to find himself in the role of grandfather, this could be the one.

Grandfather: The highly traditional family might love the historic feeling of this more formal grandpa name. 

Grandpa: Get back to basics with this classic choice.  

Grand-père: The French word for grandfather is sure to become familiar to your little ones as it is a frequently seen grandpa on the show Daniel Tiger (whose title character will be your baby’s future life coach!).

Grumpa: A silly play on “grandpa” that the kids will get a kick out of! 

Nonno: The Italian word for grandfather is an old standby and rolls right off the tongue… especially for little ones learning the word, No

Opa: The German grandfather name is super cute, and it is also a fun word in Greek used to express enthusiasm, giving this grandfather name extra credit.  

Papa: If you have two grandfathers in the family who both want to keep it simple, this one works really well by adding their first name at the end to differentiate, a la Papa Jack.

Paw Paw: Typically paired with Memaw, it’s got back roads southern charm written all over it. 

Pop: …Or Pop-Pop for a fun twist.

Poppy: An elongated version of Pop that’s endearing and easy to say.

Zayde: From the Hebrew, this is the most used grandfather name in traditional Jewish culture. 

Grandmother Names

Abuela: The feminine match for Abuelo, used by Spanish-speaking families or those who descend from Spanish speakers. 

Babushka: Traditional Russian name for grandmother that’s so charming, bringing to mind a sweet granny in an apron, waiting to feed and cuddle the kiddos. 

Bubbe: Zayde’s counterpart from the Hebrew, traditional Jewish families use this grandma name.

Gaga: Often stemming from a very young child trying to sound out “Grandma,” it’s got the hard ‘G’ opener but a lighter and more carefree feeling than the proper name.

Gigi: Like Gaga, this cute grandma nickname is fun and easy to pronounce for the littles.

Glammy: The glamorous grandma will love this idea! Glamma is another option.

Grandma: Can’t beat the classics! For a softer take, you can go with Gramma.

Grandmother: It’s formal, but could be the right pick for the matriarch of your family.

Grand-mère: French for Grandmother, it’s not just sentimental for French families but très chic for everyone.

Granny: Quintessentially grandmother-like, this is an old favorite; Granna is a nice slant.

Lolli: For the whimsical grandma who is extra sweet, this contemporary grandmother name is just about the cutest. 

Memaw: Typically used by Southern US families, it’s a charming and cozy grandma name to embrace.

Nana: ... Or Nanny for more of a sing-song sound.

Nonna: The Italian grandma name is a beloved ethnic option to consider.

Mimi: It’s unclear the exact origins of this lovely grandmother name, but it is likeliest an anglicized take on the truncated Grand-mère–Mémé–from the French. Mia also means “mine” in Spanish and Italian, giving this sweet grandma name a possessive air as a shortening of said. 

Oma: The German grandmother name (feminine version of Opa!) is a cute choice.

Yaya: This is a popular grandma name for Greek families and lots of others around the world. It is easy for babies and toddlers to say and it sounds a lot like the word “yes,” which everyone knows is a grandma’s favorite thing to say to her brood!

Gender-Neutral Grandparent Names

Grandy: This super-cute grandparent name can be given to a grandmother, grandfather, and any grand who prefers their name to be free of gender.

Grand-[First Name]: A cool way to neutralize a grandparent name is to just add the prefix Grand to the grandparent’s first name, which adds a layer of respect and affiliation a la Uncle Max or Aunt Sue, without assigning any gender. 

Grandwa: Like Grandpa or Grandma, but with a neutralization to make it work for everybody. 

Nini: Taking the opening N from the word nonbinary, this is a sweet gender-neutral grandparent name to suggest. 

Tutu: The Hawaiian grandparent name is used for grands of all genders; you can add Wahine to differentiate grandmother or Kane for grandfather, but Tutu on its own is also a great choice for a nonbinary or gender-fluid grand.

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About Jenny Studenroth Gerson

Jenny Studenroth Gerson is an Atlanta-based lifestyle journalist and novelist (Let Me Let You Go, 2020). Her work can be seen in publications including HuffPost, Cosmo, and WSJ, among many others. Jenny has researched thousands of baby names, combed through hundreds of nursery designs, and curated dozens of baby shower guides, making her absolutely the mom—and writer—you want to talk to when planning for Baby. When not meeting deadlines, she is chasing toddlers or chugging coffee—or both! Find her on Instagram @ourlifeinrosegold for mom hacks and more.

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Disclaimer: The information on our site is NOT medical advice for any specific person or condition. It is only meant as general information. If you have any medical questions and concerns about your child or yourself, please contact your health provider.