Who’s your grandmother?

I’m from Sydney and I called my grandmother “nana”; Scott’s from Texas and he calls his “mee-maw”.

To be honest, when I first heard him say it I thought he was making it up. He has more than once tried to convince me something was USian or Texan that was merely Scottian. He likes to trick the dumb foreignor. But then I heard his nieces calling his mother “mee-maw”, so unless he briefed them ahead of time and they’re amazingly good actors, I’m ready to believe some Texans really call their grandmothers “mee-maw”.

Scott’s convinced that calling your grandmother “nana” is an Eastern European thing, but I know plenty of other Aussies with no Eastern European background who call their grandmothers “nana”.

So I’m driven to do some empirical research: Where are you from and what do (did) you call your grandmother? For extra credit: what do/did you call your grandfather? I called mine “papa”; Scott called his “grampa”.


  1. maureen on #

    I called my grandmother “Oompah” . . . it was some joke of ours. She often signed cards that way. But I think the normal default was “Gram.” My grandfather was definitely “Granpa.”

  2. Kenina-chan on #

    “Grammy” and “Nanny” are the nicknames for my grandmothers. “Poppop” and “Zaide” are for the grandfathers of my family.

  3. Justine on #

    Maureen and Kenina-Chan: Where are you both from? We’re trying to figure out if there’s a regional corelation. Did other people in your area call their grandparents that? I never heard “Zaide” before.

  4. maureen on #

    I am from philadelphia! home of the cream cheese!

  5. Eric on #

    I’m pretty sure that “meemaw” is a USism. I’m from North Carolina, and I called one of my grandmothers that. My wife is from Missouri, and she did also.

    I’ve always suspected that it may be found mainly in the southeastern US, but I’m not sure.

    Great topic, though.

  6. Mitch Wagner on #

    I’m a Jew from New York, and we called our grandparents “Gramma” and “grampa.” Although many Jews from New York used the Yiddish for their grandparents: “Bubbie” for grandmother, “zaydie” for grandfather.

  7. Electric Landlady on #

    I’m from Canada (Toronto, to be precise), mainly English and Scottish descent. One set of grandparents were Granny and Granddaddy, the others were Grandma and Grandpa. But I have quite a few friends and cousins who call their grandmothers “Nana” — both grandmothers are English, if that makes a difference.

  8. Tim on #

    Born in the deep south of the u.s., have lived in Texas since age 10:

    –my mother is “Grandmama” to my children; this was the same thing I called both of my grandmothers. (Ditto “granddaddy” for the male side.)

    –my father’s mother was “grandmama” for the children of my generation, but “gran” or “gram” or “granny” for the next generation.

    –my wife’s mother is “nana” to all of her grandchildren. (her husband is “papa”.) her mother is “gama” to the same generation.

    –my wife’s other grandmother was “ama” to everyone. her husband was “papa” to his grandkids.

    –my mother’s mother’s mother was “Ma baines” (her last name) to everyone. (her husband was “papa”.) her mother was “maw”.

    –it is certainly true that “mee-maw” is fairly common parlance in Texas and the deep south. (male equivalent = “pee-paw”)

  9. Patrick on #

    My mother’s parents were grandma and grandpa(grampa, it sort of alternated between the two pronunciations) I’m from the north east US.

    My son calls his grandparents – Nanny and Poppa. Numi. GrandBob and GrandCat

    Yeah he has 5. That’s down from the original 6 grandparents he had. The names came from his ability to speak at an early age rather than anything else.

  10. marrije on #

    I’m Dutch, and i called my grandparents ‘oma’ (grandmothers) and ‘opa’ (grandfather). We did distinguish between ‘oma soepie’ (grandma soup) and ‘oma sappie’ (grandma juice), but those were strictly in-family names.

    My kids call their great-grandmother ‘omi’, but i’m not sure what other dutch children lucky enough to have great-grandmothers call them.

    One of their friends is half-friesian, and he calls the frisian grandmother ‘beppe’ (bep-puh) and the grandfather ‘pake’ (pah-kuh). in friesland you’d call your mum ‘mem’ and your dad ‘heit’ (height).

    is this still in use with australian friesians? (or would that be frieslanders? i get very confused with friesians being cows, here they’re just black-and-white cows, and frisians are people from the lovely province of friesland)

  11. alysa on #

    an Arizonan here, my grandparents are grandma and grandpa followed by their first names: grandma Mary for instance. same goes for my parents when they refer to their grandparents, and they were raised in AZ and UT.

  12. Owldaughter on #

    I’m Canadian of Scots descent (direct and a couple of generations removed). My Canadian (Montreal) paternal grandparents were Gran and Granddad; my Scottish maternal grandparents (Kirkcaldy/Edinburgh) were Nana and Granddad. My two-year-old son calls his maternal grandparents Nana and Granddad, like I did; he calls his paternal grandparents Grandma and Papa, at their request. (They’re from Newfoundland/Nova Scotia, if that helps any.)

    Interesting topic!

  13. Kevin on #

    I am from nowhere — my dad was in the service and we moved around a lot. I have lived in Texas, upstate New York, NYC, New Jersey, New England, St Louis, Northern Cali, Chicago and Memphis and have only ever heard mee-maw in the South and then only rarely.

    I called my grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, which is what my father’s Chicago based family used. My mother, who was originally from Poland, occasionally called our grandma “nana”.

    My wife, who is from Michigan and Maryland and whose family are mutts without any real recognizable, distinct ethnic heritage, calls her grandmother nana.

    Our kids call my mom Grandma, her mom Grammy, my step mom Grandma Bert and her step-mom Grammy Kathy.

  14. cathy on #

    I’m a NY Jew. I called both my grandmothers “grandma” and my grandfather “grandpa.” My mother called her grandparents “bubbe” and zeyde” as did her parents. For what it’s worth, her parents were german/polish jews and 1st generation native born americans and they made a conscious decision not to teach my mom and her sister yiddish so that they could talk without the kids understanding them.

  15. serafina zane on #

    i just call my grandmothers grandma, can’t give any input on the grandfather thing, as they were both gone before i was born. i just stuck with “grandma” though. other names sort of struck me as odd. and i’m from nj, btw.

  16. emmaco on #

    Australian with mixed background (lots of irish surnames anyway) and we’ve got Nan and Da (latter from eldest grandchild presumably shortening Granda) and Grandma and Grandad

  17. Liz on #

    Irish, in the under-25s demographic. Grandmother was ‘Nanny’ or ‘Nan’ growing up, later – dunno why – became Gran, or her given name. Grandfather was ‘Grandad’ as long as I knew him, which wasn’t long.

  18. Justine on #

    Emmaco: Which bit of Australia?

    Liz: which bit of Ireland?

  19. David Moles on #

    Grandma, grandpa, granddad. (nebraska and pennsylvania, english / german / “scotch-irish canadian yankee”.) I’ve never heard “mee-maw”, but then, them south of the mason-dixon line ain’t quite like the rest of us. (gwenda?)

  20. kim on #

    i call me dad’s parents granny and pop-pop.
    i call my mom’s parents grandma and grandpa.

  21. krissi on #

    I’m from Canada and I called my paternal grandmother “grandma” and i also call my great-grandmother that as well, since she’s the one that’s still alive. My paternal grandfather died when I was two, but my older cousins called him “pa”.

    On my mom’s side, my grandmother is called “nana” and her mother was called “nanny”. They are from Nova Scotia and of Irish and English descent. My nana chose to be called nana rather than grandma because she thinks it sounds better, and my mother told me that’s what she wants to be called, too.

  22. emmaco on #

    Sorry, brisbane

  23. Justine on #

    Kim: Where are you from?

  24. Cat Sparks on #

    from sydney: Grandma and Grandpa

  25. Jennifer on #

    “grandma and grandpa” and “grandmummy and granddaddy.” i’m from california, first set of grandparents were from montana and the other set were from back east.

    My biological grandpa, who I never met, was supposedly called “boompa.” I don’t know why.

  26. michelle on #

    my grandma is from texas, and we call her “grannie” and her husband “pa-paw”.

  27. Little Willow on #

    My grandmother is Noni.

    You should watch this:

  28. Alma Alexander on #

    Outlier, for what it’s worth – I come from a non English speaking culture and the words are probably specific to my own ethnic kindred.

    My grandmother was “Baka” (probably derived originally from the word “Baba”, which means “old woman”, and softened into something more kindly)

    My grandfather was “Deda”

    My paternal grandmother, with whom I had rather less to do with and hardly ever called her anything as a result, was “Majka” to everyone – although the word literally means “mother” it is often used in that particular geographical locale to describe an older or “old” woman and thus transmigrated to the grandparently association…

  29. Justine on #

    Little Willow: Where are you from?

    Alma: Were exactly are you from? We had a Dutch contribution earlier.

  30. holly black on #

    On the very swiss-german side of my family, I called my grandmother “nana” and my grandfather “pop” or “little pop.”

    On the more mixed side of my family, I called my grandmother “Gram” or “ama” and my grandfather “grampa” or “big pop.” I had a great grandmother on that side and called her “ami.”

  31. Justine on #

    Where did you grow up, Holly?

  32. David S. on #

    I’m from Sydney, Australia. I used to just groan at the mention of my grandmother’s name (mother’s side, my father’s side having thoughtfully died before I was born). If I had to speak to her I called her grandma. Both my grandfathers died before I was born or old enough to talk.

    In retrospect (I was only ten or so when she died) I was a little harsh on my grandma, but at that age I deeply resented having to give up my room when she came to stay. I had this plastic skull on a piece of elastic that I set up over the door of my room once so when she opened it down in dropped in front of her face. She never said anything to me but I don’t recall her ever staying with us again…

  33. holly black on #

    I Grew up in NJ.

  34. Eliza on #

    I grew up in new mexico, but v. close to the texas border. I had two grannies, a grandaddy, and a paw-paw. i definitely knew people who had mee-maws.

  35. Liset on #

    i’m a mexican californian
    me and my cousins call my granparents granma and granpa
    my cousins’s kids call them abuela and abuelo

  36. mark c on #

    My grandparents all lived in sheffield in northern england – we called one gran “nan nan” and the other “grandma” and the one living grandfather was called “grand dad”

  37. Nicholas Waller on #

    All my grandparents were long dead by the time I was born, save one who I never met anyway. But “nana” and “nan” are pretty common in Britain for grandmothers… Alesha Dixon, winner of the latest UK Strictly Come Dancing (aka Dancing With The Stars elsewhere), referred often to her two Nans and how much they enjoyed seeing her prance about on TV.
    And see Nana in the Royle Family here: http://youtube.com/watch?v=EuvLh_ZfRdQ

  38. lisa h on #

    My parents families are from northern wisconsin. we call our grandmothers “grandma {surname}” & one grandfather “grandpa” and the other “papa.”

    My husband is from Alabama and his grandmothers were “mama minny” and “mee-maw.” I don’t know about his grandfathers. He also has an aunt “Nonny” (not her given name, a title of sorts).

    My kids call my parents “grandma & grandpa” and his parents “nana & pa.”

  39. Delia Sherman on #

    I only ever knew one of my grandparents–my grandmother, whom everyone in the family called Bombie or (even worse) Bom-Bom. But even in Texas, that was idiosyncratic. Those of her grandchildren who knew my father’s mother refer to her as Mother Sherman. That was in South Carolina.

  40. Alma Alexander on #

    I was born in Serbia. What used to be Yugoslavia.

  41. emily on #

    my maternal grandma (eastern-european jew, i believe) i called nana. my maternal grandpa (ditto, though also a brooklynite) i called popop. i’m an ny jew.

    my paternal granpa (southern & new england) i called grandpa (first name). my paternal grandma (ditto) i called grandma (first name).

  42. damselfly on #

    From Canberra, Nanny and Grandpa on one side, Grandma on the other. My mother is now nanna to my brother’s kids. a friend of mine when i was growing up called her grandparents oompah and boompah, which astounded me at the time, but i see from the previous answers its not a singularity after all 😉

  43. capt. cockatiel on #

    I’m from washington state and I call my grandmothers “Gramma” and I called my grandfather “grampa.”

  44. Miss Cee on #

    My parents are from Melbourne – my father’s parents (lower middle class) were Nanna and Poppa. My mother’s father died when she was young, and her mother (upper middle class) is called by her first name by all her descendants – a bit unusual, I think, as I’ve never met anyone else who called their grandparent by their first name. My husband (from Brisbane) has a Nan and Grandfather, and a Grandma and Grandpa.

  45. Barb L on #

    I’m from New England. I grew up with grandma and grandpa. My children call my parents this as well but call my husband’s parents of french descent meme (pronounced: mem may) and pepe (pep pay). There should be accent marks but hell if i know which ones and where!

  46. Harriet on #

    From Queensland, Australia, I call my grandmother Mim, but that is definitely a “family” thing – I’m guessing it originated with some sort of mispronunciation by the eldest grandchild, but was carried through 10 grandchildren and 12 (to date) great-grandchildren.

    My grandfather was Pop (or Poppy when we were very young).

    I don’t know about grandparents on the other side of the family, as they died early.

    I don’t actually recall anyone I knew in Queensland calling their grandmother Nana (growing up on Noel Streatfeild, I associated Nana with Nurse/Nanny), but when we moved to NSW it seemed like everyone I knew at school used the term. I don’t recall anyone having a Grandmother or Grandma – it was all Nana or Nan.

    My stepmother is Oma to my niece. I think my mother is Grandma to my other nieces. My father is Poppy to them all (will probably mature into Pop).

  47. Mary Elizabeth S. on #

    I only had my one grandma, and I called her granny. the whole family did, actually. We lived all across the us (Colorado, Kansas, South Dakota, New Jersey, Illinois, Idaho, Arizona).

    My older brother’s kids call my mom “gaga”, but that’s because the first of them picked it out for her.

    My aunt’s grandkids call her “gammy” or “oma”. She lives in Seattle, WA.


  48. Liz on #

    Justine @18, I’m from Dublin, the north side (Howth-Baldoyle-Kilbarrack area originally, if you want to be *really* specific :)).

  49. Jen Robinson on #

    Grandma for my paternal grandmother. Nana for my maternal grandmother.

  50. Jen Robinson on #

    ps. Forgot to say above (sorry!), grandma for paternal/nana for maternal, I’m from the US Northest (outside of Boston), with northern european ancestry on both sides.

  51. dragonfly on #

    i’m from michigan (well, i grew up there) and both sets of grandparents were grandma and grandpa. nothing new. but my husband’s mom is called “grandie” by her grandkids (ie, my son will call her that when he can speak). and my husband’s dad’s wife (sorry, confusing!) is called “gram”.

  52. Karen on #

    I’m from london in the UK – called my grandmother, grandma and my grandfather, grandad.

  53. chris barnes on #

    My maternal grandparents were Nan and pop, and my paternal grandparents were grandma and grandpa.

    when my brother and sister had kids, i got to see the process by which granparent names were assigned to my mum and dad. the various grandparents decided jointly who would be called what. My parents ended up as “nanny” and “pa”. of course, the grandkids tend to adjust this as they see fit! my 9 year old nephew now jokingly calls my parents (his grandparents) “servant a” and “servant b”, which is apt considering how they’ll do anything for him…

    (I’m from Sydney, Australia.)

  54. Ellie on #

    I’m from michigan. My parents didn’t want to have things get confusing about which grandparent we were talking about so on my dad’s side it was Grandma and Granddad and on my mom’s side it was Grandmother and Grandpa

  55. Jonathan Strahan on #

    i was born in northern ireland. i had a granny and a pappa. my wife was born in brooklyn, and she has a grandma, as i recall. my own two girls, going their own way here in perth, have nanny wendy and nanny ellen, and grandpa irv. not sure what that shows.

  56. Sash on #

    I grew up in Sydney and had nana and poppy on both sides. My paternal grandparents are Hungarian and wanted to be called something that sounded like ‘nodge-mama & nodge-poppa’. No idea how you’d spell that. We live in Brisbane now and my kids call my parents nana & poppy and my husband’s parents grandma and grandpa. Sometimes they get bumma & bumpa though, as my son used to call them that. I liked it, in a sinister kind of way.

  57. emily-wa on #

    from boston, ma.

    grammie and grampie on dad’s side.

    mammie and papa on mum’s side.

    and my great grandfather is great-papa.

  58. jocelyn on #

    i live in north carolina. my texan grandparents are called grandmother and grandaddy, but my dad (from texas) called his grandmother ‘mamaw’ which is close to mee-maw. my new england grandparents are momo and popop. i don’t know where those two names came from.

  59. lili on #

    grandma and grandpa on mum’s side (english) and nana and jim on dad’s (australian) because jim feared getting old and refused to admit that he was a grandparent.

  60. jonathan on #

    I’m in Melbourne and my grandparents were Nanna & Grandad. My parents go by Grandma and Grandpa/Granddad. My in-laws in Nova Scotia are Nanny & Poppy to their grandkids.

  61. Anna on #

    My parents and grandparents were born and raised in Kansas… and my grandparens were Granny and Pop.

    I was raised in Texas, though, and not everyone’s grandma was mee-maw there. in fact, few were. But i’ve definitely heard it several times, so it’s not (strictly) a scottism.

  62. Nicholas Waller on #

    i know a teenage girl called poppy (her real name; her sister’s named rose) who calls her father – a man I know as “pinky” – papa. I don’t know what she’d have called her grandfather, but as he was old enough to be flying and crashing biplanes between s.e. england and nice in the 1920s I think he’d gone on before she was born.

  63. sylvia_rachel on #

    I called one of mine “Grandma lastname” and the other “grandma firstname” — except that one lived in southern california and the other in northern michigan, so in practice whichever of them i was actually talking to was just “grandma.” my daughter calls my mother “grandma” as well (she’s only got the grandma).

    i never called my grandfathers anything, because one died before i was born and the other when i was a baby.

    where i’m from is a trickier question. i was born in alberta, but my mum and dad are from new england and michigan respectively, so i talk weird 😛

  64. kim on #

    justine in reply to the question that you asked me eariler, like in commet #23 i am from houston, texas.

    family history back to germany, ireland, and indian.

  65. Ginger on #

    I’m from New York City. I called my Eastern European grandparents “Grandma” and “Grandpa”, although over time this mutated to “Gram” and “Granpa”. My Irish grandmother was also “Grandma” –> “Gram”.

    Our son calls his grandparents and great-grandparents “Grandma”, “Pappy”, “Nannie” (from Nana), “Pappy”, and “Grannie” and “Grandpa”. Grandma and Nannie/Pappy are in Pennsylvania, while Grannie/Grandpa are in NY.

  66. Catherine on #

    I’m in Louisiana and I call my great grandmother mee-maw. My grandmothers are grandma and grammy. My grandfathers are grandpa and pawpaw.

  67. Eliza on #

    On one side, American South: My mother called her grandparents Nana and Pop-pop. Her mother is Granny to me.

    On the other side, American North: My dad called his grandparents Grandma and Grandpa, and I do the same for his parents.

  68. Justine on #

    Elodie: Damn, I wish people wouldn’t comment on syndicated ljs. All their answers disappear.

    But thanks for mentioning it cause I never look there.

  69. lizabelle on #

    I’m from north-east England, and my grandmothers were Nanna and Granny.

  70. marie on #

    Well, I’m Egyptian (living in Australia) and I call my grandma “Teta” and my grandpa “Gedo”.

  71. Katy on #

    My mom is from Minnesota, where I was born, and my dad is from Utah. We called both grandmothers (since deceased) Grandma FirstName. Well, Grandma Elva and Grandma Jeanne. I have never had living grandfathers, though we did call my dad’s uncle Grandpa Ernie and his wife Aunt Margie.

    My cousins called the grandma that we shared (Jeanne) Grandma Doerr (pronounced door), as that was her last name and their other grandma Grandma Clinite. So they were a Grandma LastName family.

  72. Callista on #

    I’m from SW Ontario, Canada and I called my grandmother bubby because she’s jewish. I never knew my catholic grandmother. my kids’ call my mom grandma (or since they are 2 and 8 months, meema) They called my hubby’s mom nana before she passed.

  73. Dess on #

    My mom’s mom is grammy
    her step-dad is grampy
    her dad is pop-pop
    and my dad’s dad was poppy(I’m from philly)

  74. steve turner on #

    I used to call my grandparents “nanny”, and “grandma” (didn’t remember the grandfathers well sadly).

    But my young children now have a more interesting time, with a nanny, grandad, nan, pop, grandfather, grandmother spread across both families and several generations.

    I’m from Sydney, and there’s no real ethnic/cultural reason for these choices I think, just a use of different name shortenings to separate all the different relatives. I was confused more than my son for a time 🙂

  75. Heather Shaw on #

    My maternal grandmother was just “Grandma”, but my paternal grandmother we all called “Nanie”. I was never quite sure if this was a nickname for “nana” or for her first name, “Jane”.

  76. Heather Shaw on #

    Whoops! I’m from the midwest — I grew up in Indiana and my maternal grandma lived in IL and my paternal in OH. Of mostly Scottish/ German descent, but waaay back, so probably not relevant.

  77. stormywriting on #

    I am from Minnesota, but my lines of decent are definately forgin- on my Italian side, I called my grandfatther ‘Papa’ and my grandmother ‘Cama’ (pronounced like comma)

    On my European side, it was ‘Grandpa’ and ‘Grandma’

  78. Erin on #

    grampa and gramma (midwest)

  79. veejane on #

    I’m from the northeast, and only ever called my grandparents by their names. All four of them. We’re a formal bunch.

    My stepsister, however, who is Maine French, called her grandparents Memé and Pepé, which I gather is common among the ethnic French in this country.

  80. Sandy on #

    I’m from Michigan. My granddparents were always refered to as Grandma and grandpa.

  81. ~grace~ on #

    It isn’t Scottian–my Oklahoma grandmother was Meema! Sometimes Beema. Her husband was Papa Joel.

    The other set were mamella (italian for grandmother) and grandpa.

  82. Shloopy on #

    For kenina-chan and me in comment number 2 (we’re sisters, so our background is the same. Unless she’s adopted. :p )
    ‘nanny’ and ‘poppop’ are the names us grandchildren could call them as babies. (Pretty much chosen because it’s what we called them when we were teensy-weensy.)
    ‘Grammy’ and ‘zaide’ are on the Jewish side of the family- I’m positive ‘zaide’ is some Yiddish word. ‘Grammy’ is just an abbreviation for grandmother.
    Well that covers the ethnic names, the rest just sorta… make sense. You know, until a friend looks at you like you’re crazy when you introduce them to your grandparents.

  83. margaret on #

    I’m Canadian, but my grandparents were all German-speaking so both sets were Oma and Opa.

  84. Kadie-Wa on #

    when ever my sister and i see our grand parents, we call them the grands.

    or, grandpa and grandma, but sometimes they let us sneak in a g-ma or g-pa, but that’s getting a little too hi-tech for them.

  85. Kadie-Wa on #

    Oh, and I’m from the usa.

  86. Rebecca on #

    From Florida!

    Mom’s mom: Grammy
    Dad’s mom: Grandma (or gramma)
    Mom’s dad: Grandpa

    I didn’t know my Dad’s dad, he passed away before I was born. But we usually call him by his name (Milton) or Grandpa.

  87. PJ Hoover on #

    My grandparents were Polish. Babka was my grandmother and Jadek was my grandfather.
    I’m not from Texas originally but live here now, and it’s funny but true – I’ve heard the mee-maw thing from my friends.

  88. Sean on #

    I call my maternal grandparents “grandma and grandpa”, and my paternal “nana and papa”.

  89. Justine on #

    Shloopy: thanks for the extra info! I still don’t know where and your sister are from though.

    Kadie-Wa: which bit of the USA are you from?

    PJ Hoover & everyone else who verified “mee-maw”: Part of me is always a little disappointed when it turns out Scott is telling the truth.

    Sean: Where are you from?

  90. Travis on #

    I’m from South Carolina, and I called my grandmother “nannie”, my grandfather “papa”, my great grandmother “me-maw”, and my great grandfather “pappy”. Weird, huh?

  91. Justine on #

    Travis: At this point everything is looking weird to me!

  92. Rebecca on #

    holy crapping hell, 92 comments. i must be very late. 😉

    in my immediate family, we seem to call relatives by variations of their first names. my dad’s mom was “grandma jane.” my dad’s dad died long before i was born, but i’d probably have called him “grandpa bill.” my mom’s mom is “neeny” which comes from her name, “jean.” my mom’s dad was “harbo,” b/c he was named harvey.

    my mom’s family is from san antonio, tx, and my dad’s from a bunch of states in the deep south, mostly georgia and alabama. (he moved a lot.)

    and for the record, i’ve heard “meemaw” before, but i didn’t realize it was just a texas thing. then again, i used to think everyone said “y’all.” 😀

  93. Alys on #

    I’m from Massachusetts, USA. My mother’s parents (born and raised in MA, from French-Canadian stock) I called Memere and Pepere (I think that’s the right way to spell it….pronounced “mem-ay” and “pep-ay”). My father’s parents (born and raised in upstate NY) were Grandma and Grandpa. My sister’s children call my parents “Memere” and “Grampy”. (They’re under six. I’m wondering if “grampy” will change as they get older?)

  94. janet on #

    My names for my grandparents are boring, but my husband and all his siblings (from Pittsburgh, Pa) called his grandmother “Ummy” and his grandfather “Bop-op.”

    alice (California girl) calls one grandmother “Grammy” and the other “Grandma Jo.” She also has two aunt Ruths, but that’s another story.

  95. Ally on #

    Wow lots of comments
    I’m from arkansas and I have a nana, mimi, noni, bobba (means grandma in slovakian), and a grandma
    (some are great grandmothers)
    but no meemaw. that just sounds weird but i know others who call them that

  96. ysa on #

    I cannot believe that Scott is from Texas and never heard of “nana” for grandmother. I lived in Dallas for a while and my roomate, who was Mexican American called her grandma on her mom’s side Nana. Actually, we all called her Nana, because she tended to adopt everyone. Another family friend who lives in Arizona calls her Texas grandma (paternal) nana, and her nana’s mamma is GG, Great Grandma. Her Arizona grandma is Grammy. Basically, all the “Nana” grandmas I know are from Texas!

    I am originally from the middle east and did not know either grandmother, as my mother was European and her parents were not around and my father’s parents were dead when I was born. Most of my friends called their grandmas Tatteh (pronounced tay-tuh).

  97. Kris on #

    i grew up in Sydney and both my maternal and paternal grandmother were called ‘nan’ (…’nanny’ when i was very young!). my maternal grandfather was ‘grandpa’, paternal grandfather ‘grandpop’.

  98. sir tessa on #

    Mum’s parents were Nana and Pop.

    Dad’s parents are Amah and Ayeh. Cantonese.

  99. claire on #

    white side is anglo and midwestern us (michigan). grandparents were grandma (pron. “gramma”) and grandpa (pron. “grampa”).

    chinese side has very specific relationship names for all relatives so maternal grandmother was “poh poh” and maternal grandfather was “gung gung”. for chinese diaspora families you’ll also deal with the issue of whether they’ll use the chinese standard or the standard of the country/region they’re in. my cousins called my maternal grandmother “grandma sarah.”

  100. celsie on #

    I went with grandpa or grandma, either identified by the first letter of their last name, or “you know, the crazy one,” or, “you know, my dad’s/your mom.”

    Oddly enough the crazy grandpa is on my mom’s side, and the grandma on my dad’s. It took me twenty years to figure that out.

  101. earthsea on #

    Chinese here. Call one grandma “mah-mah” (with a flat intonation), and the other “Ah-ma” (sharp intonation). Sounds totally different because they’re from different dialect groups.

  102. Herenya on #

    I’m from Melbourne. I had a Grandma and Grandpa on one side (although I often copied cousins who added first names to that).

    The other side chose Mutti and Papa, due to associating traditional grandparent names with other people and not feeling _that_ old. ‘Mutti ‘comes from Mutter, German for mother – mum and siblings learnt German at school and sometimes called her that. There’s also German on her side of the family.
    I’ve never heard of another Mutti, not even when I went to Germany…

  103. kris on #

    My grandmother’s mema as well, but i spell it all one word like that. all the younger cousins in my family call her sta though; it toke her awhile to tell everyone that’s the chezch word for grandma. 🙂 my grandpa is just that, and on my dad’s side it was oma & opa as they were german. 🙂

  104. lunamoth on #

    My husband and I are from Pennsylvania (near Philly). He calls his one grandmother “nana” and the other “baba” (she’s from Ukraine). His grandfathers, as well as mine, were both “pop-pop”. As for me, my grandmothers were “grammy” and “grammum”.

  105. larry on #

    I’m a Jewish guy from Los Angeles, CA – all my grandparents are Polish.

    I made up my own names. I was disturbed by the lack of specificity in the terms Grandma and Grandpa. I called the maternal grandparents Ma’sma & Ma’spa. The paternal grandparents were Pa’sma and Pa’spa. Pronounced long, as in Ma & Pa.

  106. Caryle on #

    I’m finally being drawn out of lurkersville by this post; aren’t regional language quirks interesting? 🙂

    I spent my first eight years in the middle of Illinois and am of English/Scots-Irish/German descent. As a little girl, I called my paternal grandparents Me-maw and Papa. My maternal grandmother was Nanny; unfortunately, my other grandpa passed away before I was born.

    As I’ve lurched into adulthood, Nanny has morphed into Gramma because calling her nanny had started to feel a bit silly.

  107. Faith on #

    I’m from Texas, and I called my dad’s mother Grannie, and my mom’s mother Dee-dee (which was her nickname). My husband, who’s from upstate New York, called his grandmother nana.

    (and for the record, i called one grandfather Granddad and the other was Bad-bad–a nickname that resulted when one of his grandchildren was chewing him out and called him a bad-bad-granbad.)

  108. Sali on #

    Not that you need another answer but I’m from the UK and I called my grandmothers Nana when I was younger and Nan when I got to my teens. Grandfathers were Grandad.

  109. joeln on #

    I’m from Vermont, from a mostly french-canadian family. On one side, we use “papa” and “mamie”(which we say like eisenhower, but i’ve heard other, frencher families say it more like may-may, or with aigus over the e’s). and on the other side, we say “pa” and “ma”. (that side is much more strongly a farming family–i don’t know if that’s related, but it sounds so kansas. my partner is philadelphia-italian, and they say “grandpop” and “grandmom.”

  110. keri on #

    I’m from Texas

    grandmothers were grandma and granny
    grandfathers were grandpa and paw-paw
    “mee-maw” was used heavily by friends and neighbors, though.
    my cousins’ children call their grandma “mimi”

  111. Roda on #

    I’m Middle Eastern (Assyrian) and I call my grandmother “nana” too!

  112. Mahek on #

    I’m fron pakistan but i live in england. i never saw them but when i refer to them, i say nan or nana and granddad, granddaddy or grandpa.


  113. Jessica on #

    Grandma= Gammy or Gam

    Didn’t have a grampa, but I understand my older cousins called him something that sounded like pop-aw

  114. emerging writer on #

    I called my grandparents Grandma and Grandpa (English and class conscious). My kids call my parents Granny and Grandad (English) and my husband’s side Nana and Grandad (West Cork Irish)
    My dad called his dad pop which I always thought was strange.

  115. Laura on #

    My grandmothers were both “Grandma,” my grandfathers were “Grandpa” and “Granddad.” I grew up in Oklahoma, where I knew a few kids who called their grandmothers meemaw.

    Someone I work with is a grandmother and her grandkids call her MeeMee. I’ve never heard that one before.

  116. Kadie-Wa on #

    Oh, sorry this is a little delayed, but I’m from Minnesota.

  117. Simon on #

    Cheshire (North West UK) and I called both mine Nana, as did my wife who is from the South East of the UK

  118. barb on #

    this is so interesting. my grandson is 19 months and we’re still not sure what I should be called. we’ll have some ideas now.
    my latest have been yia yia (greek) marj or wench.

  119. Jenn on #

    i am from the appalachain region of North carolina. My grandmother is mammaw and my grandfather was pappaw (pep-paw). This seems to be fairly common in the region and i have heard it is related to the scots-irish descent of most of the residents.

  120. Diana on #

    barb (#119): yia-yia is a fantastic grandmother name. That’s what I called my grandmother (because we’re Greek), and my grandfather was called papouli (papou is also common, but papouli seems a more affectionate derivative). I also lived for a long time in New Orleans, and noticed there most kids call their grandparents maw -maw and paw-paw.

  121. ariel cooke on #

    my husband is from kentucky and called his maternal grandparents “mah-maw” and “pa-paw” (with a broad first a like cat). they were scots-german. his paternal grandmother was known as “mimi.” they were mixed british isles descent. i am a new york jew and boringly called my grandparents grandma and grandpa. but my great-grandmother was bubbe.(yiddish.)

  122. Andrew Wheeler on #

    my own grandparents were boring: both sets were just “grandma” and “grandpa” (with last name added, if necessary, for clarity).

    however, my wife had a grandma and a nanna, to keep them separate. The nanna was of danish extraction in New Jersey, for what that’s worth.

    (my own kids have two grandmas, one “poppy” and a grand-dad.)

  123. Lily on #

    I had a Nanna and Grandad, a Noni,
    a Grandma and a Grandpa.

  124. karen on #

    Belatedly… my family is from New York and New England. I had a Grandma and Papa, and a Grammy and Pop. My son has a Grandma, a Grammy, and Zayde, and his grandparents in Sweden are Farfar and Farmor (literally “father’s father” and “father’s mother”).

  125. megan crewe on #

    Missed this before–

    My brother and I call our grandparents “Grandma” and “Grandpa”. Both sides of our family has been in eastern Canada for a couple generations and before that our background is various shades of British (English/Scottish/Welsh).

  126. Libby on #

    I’m from New York/New England, with the usual WASP-y inputs (French, German, Scots, English, Dutch…). My mother’s parents were Grandma and Grandpop, father’s Grandmother and Granddaddy. My neighbors here in VA call one grandmother Mee-maw and the grandfather Pa-paw (or Papa?). That side of the family is from Ohio, with mostly WASPy forebears…

  127. Suzanne on #

    On my mother’s side grandmothers are either ‘Nana’ or ‘Nanny. I’ve wondered if that was a Danish thing, a Danish-American thing, or a Californian thing…

  128. monena on #

    I currently live in Dallas Texas. Both sides of my family have been in Texas a few hundred years (can trace back to early 1800’s) and my grandmothers are Nanny and Nana, my great-grand parents are Ma-maw and Papaw, and my mother goes by Noni. These are all well used names through the generations. One side of the family is predominately English and the other is predominately Welch, but we are completely Anglo-Saxon muts.

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