Grandmothers have always held a special place in our lives, perhaps yours helped looked after you when you were young, or perhaps she imparted words of wisdom or tales of generations and cultures past.
Maybe she makes the best family meals or had the single best recipes that even your mom couldn’t beat!
Whatever role your grandma played in your life, we can bet that she remains special to you and that you are special to her.
With that in mind, why now bestow upon her an awesome nickname that matches what she means to you, or sums up her personality.
While there’s nothing wrong with grandma or grandmom, perhaps yours deserves something a bit more special!
Oftentimes, grandparents choose what they’d like to be called, but that doesn’t stop you coming up with something a bit more interesting.
So for the best nicknames for grandma, read on.
Table of Contents
Traditional Nicknames for Grandma
Starting off with the basics, these are a few examples of the standard nicknames for grandmothers in English, maybe if your grandma is a bit traditional she will appreciate ones of these classic nicknames which are all derived from ‘grandmother’.
- Grams or Gramms
International Nicknames for Grandma
All languages feature what linguists call ‘kinship terms’ and names for grandmothers, as an important part of a family grouping, are always featured.
If you’re looking for a nickname that’s outside the box and has an international flavor why not choose one of these fun nicknames for your grandma.
They come from both well-known languages and perhaps a few that you might not have heard of!
Examples of International Nicknames for Grandma
This sweet nickname is commonly used by grandchildren in France and in some French-speaking countries. The more formal term in French is Grandmére.
Dyirbal (Australia): Gumbu or Babi
Dyirbal is a native Aboriginal language from Australia.
It has long been of interest to linguists because of its complex grammatical structure and kinship terms system.
In Dyirbal ‘Gumbu’ is the name for the grandma on the mother’s side, while ‘Babi’ is the name for the father’s mother.
Interestingly, these terms also have a reciprocal system, which means that there is a special term that means ‘grandparent and grandchild’ which is formed by using the affix -dir.
So, ‘Gumbudir’ means ‘mother’s mother and grandchild’, among native speakers these reciprocal terms are frequently used with the grandchild and grandparent calling each other Gumbudir or Babidir.
Or if that’s too complicated for you, just stick to Gumbu or Babi depending on which grandma you’re naming!
Igbo (Nigeria): Nne nne
This sweet nickname for a grandmother comes from the Nigerian language Igbo, which is one of the African nations four official languages. Igbo is spoken by roughly 18 million people so it’s safe to say that you won’t be the only grandkid calling your grandma nne nne!
Mandarin: Nai Nai and Lao Ye
Like in Dyirbal, in Mandarin Chinese these terms for grandma are different depending on if the grandma you’re naming is on the mothers or the father’s side. Nai nai is used for the paternal grandma (dad’s mother) and Lao ye for the maternal grandma.
Hindi: Naani and Dadi
As we’re starting to see many languages in the world classify names for grandmas based on whether they are on the paternal or maternal side and Hindi, an Indian language, is the same. Naani is for the maternal grandma and Dadi for the paternal grandma.
For More Nicknames: 154 Hindi/Indian Nicknames For Guys and Girls
Interestingly, Hindi is also spoken outside India in countries like Fiji, Suriname, and Nepal among others, so there’s definitely a few Naanis and Dadis around the world!
If none of the above suit your grandma, check out these diverse international terms for grandma:
German: Oma or Omi
Bengali (Bangladesh): Nānī
Maori (New Zealand): Kuia
Cajun French (Louisiana, USA): Mamere or Maw Maw
Tagalog (Philippines): Lola
Uzbek (Uzbekistan): Buvi
Japanese: O baachan
Hawaiian: Kuku wahine (or Tutu)
Malay (Malaysia, Brunei, Singapore, Indonesia): Nenek
French Canadian: Mamie
Catalan (Spain): Àvia
Farsi: Madar Bozorg
Welsh (United Kingdom): Mam-gu
Egyptian Arabic: Teta
Cute Nicknames for Grandma
If your grandma really fits into the sweet grandmother mold and is an absolute sweetheart with you and others in the family, consider some of these cute and sweet nicknames.
Or, since nicknames often involve an element of irony, perhaps your grandma is an absolute tyrant and one of these nicknames used ironically would suit her.
Examples of Cute Nicknames for Grandma
This cute sounding nickname comes from the Spanish for grandma which is Abuela. The -ita suffix is the diminutive form which adds affection and tenderness to the word, it’s kind of like saying ‘dear grandma’. Perfect for a sweet Spanish-speaking grandma or any grandma really.
This nickname for grandma is quite popular in the United States and probably comes from babies and toddlers mispronouncing grandma, and you can’t get cuter than that!
Like Abuelita, this cute sounding nickname for grandma makes use of a diminutive form, the English -kins. It makes the perfect nickname for a cute and small grandmother.
The perfect cute nickname for grandma, especially when grandpa is called Pop – you can have Lolly and Pop!
- Tinks or Tinkerbell
Like the fairy in Peter Pan, Tinks or Tinkerbell is the perfect cutesy nickname for a grandma who is small and cute.
Other cute nicknames for grandma include:
- Abbie or Abba
- Bubbles – for a grandma with a bubbly personality!
- Granny Cupcakes
- Granny Mammy
- Granny Pie
- Huggy or Huggly – perfect nickname for the Grandma who loves hugs!
- Lolli or Lulu
- Pumpkin Pie
- Snuggy or Snuggums
- Twinkles – For the grandma with a twinkle in her eye.
Cool Nicknames for Grandma
Is your grandma a little bit edgy or hip? Perhaps she lived through the swinging sixties and has retained a bit of a rebellious nature, or maybe she rocked out at the original Woodstock!
If you’ve got a cool grandma who is young, or young at heart and doesn’t want to be saddled with the traditional terms like gran, why not choose her a cool nickname to match her spunky personality.
Examples of Cool Nicknames for Grandma:
This cool nickname for grandma seems to be gaining in popularity, try it for your hip grandmother before it becomes passé!
Named after the Scandinavian kids show, Moomins is sure to be an original, zany choice.
- Yah yah
This cool nickname for grandma comes from the Greek informal term for grandmother.
- Granny Weatherwax
This nifty nickname comes from the famous ‘Discworld’ series of books. Esmerelda Weatherwax is a witch and a coven member.
The perfect nickname for a very cool grandma.
Some other examples of cool nicknames for grandma include:
- Belle or Bella
- Cee Cee
- Hempstock – From the grandmother in Neil Gaiman’s ‘The Ocean at the End of the Lane’.
- Ga Ga
- Gi Gi
- Gee Gee
- La La
- Big Mom
- Big Momma
- May may
Funny Nicknames for Grandma
If the grandmother that you’re looking for a nickname for has a great sense of humor consider choosing a funny nickname for her.
Perhaps the nickname could play upon her own name, or include a pun, or involves an element of her personality. The possibilities are endless when you get creative!
Examples of Funny Nicknames for Grandma
- Glamma or Glammy
A glamorous grandma would be the perfect recipient of this funny nickname which joins the words glamor and grandma together.
Is your grandma a bit of an ‘iron lady’ with a will of steel? If so why not give her a nickname based on the famous 1980s British prime minister, Margaret Thatcher.
- The Prune
Be careful with this one as your beloved grandma might not appreciate this funny nickname! Prunes are dried plums which are quite wrinkled and prune juice has long been favored by the older generations as a natural laxative!
It’s no secret that as we age our joints start to become a bit stiffer and we might be a bit creaky. Again, your grandma may not appreciate this one.
The perfect funny nickname for the cranky grandma who’s a bit tetchy or easily irritated.
For the grandma who is tech-savvy and up to date with the latest internet sensations.
- Golden Girl
Perfect funny nickname for a grandma who channels the generation showcased by the TV show ‘The Golden Girls’
Other examples of funny nicknames for grandma include:
- MainMa – For the grandma who had a formative place in your life.
- Grammager – The perfect funny nickname for a grandma who likes to manage everything.
- Grandzilla – A funny nickname for the grandma who can be a bit of a monster!
- GrimGram – For the grandma who doesn’t have a sunny outlook on life.
- The Oldster
- The Matriarch
- The Antique
- Time traveller
- The Big Boss
- The Relic
- The Fossil
- Hellfire – For the religious grandma who is fond of a bit of ‘hellfire and brimstone’.
- Baby Kochamma – Named for the grandma in ‘The God of Small Things’ by Arundhati Roy
- Napa – For the wine-loving grandma!
- Nano – For a small grandma.
- B.C. – Before Christ
Slang / Insulting Nicknames for Grandma
Different cultures treat the elderly differently. In some cultures, the older generations are revered and are always treated respectfully. Unfortunately, in Western society, this isn’t always the case.
The following are a list of slang or derogatory terms for both elderly women in general, and grandmas. We do not recommend applying these to your own grandma unless she has a very good sense of humor, comes up with it by herself, and/or is able to join in the laughs.
You wouldn’t want to insult your own grandma or someone else’s for that matter so these nicknames are best used only to refer to people.
After the character in Peter Pan who loses his bag of marbles!
- Spring Chicken
As in the phrase ‘she’s no spring chicken’ meaning she’s not young, this nickname could be used ironically for a grandma who is very old.
- The Ancient One
Again, this nickname refers to the age of the person, but it takes on a fun regal tone.
- The Wrinklies
This nickname for elderly people is often used to refer to both grandparents but can be used for just one of them, too.
Some other slang / insulting nicknames for grandma include:
- Old bat
- Old bag
- Old trout
- Old fart
- The Olds
- Old Fogey
- The Ancient One
- Moth Eaten Ma
- OAP – ‘Old and putrid’ instead of ‘old age pensioner’
- Over the hill – Refers to the age of a person, ie. ‘they’ve gone over the hill’.
- Senile Suzie
Celebrity Nicknames for Grandma
Celebrities have long been known for their unusual choices when naming their children, take rock musician Frank Zappa as an example, his daughter is called Moon Unit! Or Gwyneth Paltrow who named her daughter Apple.
As these celebrities get older and gain grandparents status themselves some interesting nicknames occur.
Perhaps one of these unusual celebrity-inspired nicknames would suit your grandma too.
- Blythe Danner: Wolf or Lalo
Paltrow revealed that her mother wanted to be called Wolf, but the nickname Lalo stuck instead.
- Susan Sarandon: Honey
- Goldie Hawn: GoGo or Glam-ma
- Laura Bush: Mimi Maxwell
- Rita Wilson: Yia Yia
- Kris Jenner: Lovey
- Nancy Pelosi: Grandma Mimi
- Martha Stewart: Martha
- Debbie Reynolds: Aba Daba
- Joan Rivers: Nana New Face
- Naomi Judd: Mamaw
- Patty Duke: Nana
- Sharon Osbourne: Shazza
- Suzanne Sommers: Zannie
We hope from this diverse collection of cute, cool, international, funny, slang, and celeb-inspired nicknames for grandma you’ve found the perfect one for yours.
Let us know in the comments if we’ve missed anything or if you’ve got a brilliant nickname for a grandma that the world absolutely needs to know! What do you call your grandma?