What do you call your grandparents?

Since discovering I’m going to become a GRANNY this summer – read all about it here – I’ve been thinking a lot about what I want my Granny name to be.

In terms of the more traditional options, Granny is my favourite. I’m not particularly keen on Nan or Nanny. I don’t know why, but when I think of Nan I imagine a woman in one of those cleaning tabards, leaning against a back door, smoking a cigarette and looking cross. No offence to all the Nans out there. Nanny is just Nanny McPhee, and I don’t have any hairy moles (yet).

My mum and her mum are/were both Gran, and my Dad’s mum was Grandma, so I want something a bit different from those, and Granny has an air of mischief about it that I like. I imagine a Granny would do thinks like hide miniature bottles of prosecco in her handbag when she took her grandchildren to soft play. Although come to think of it, my Gran used to take a thermos of gin and tonic when she took me to the beach, so perhaps that’s more genetic than name based.

Me as a Granny emptying my vast handbag, Mary Poppins/portable gin bar style

So what should I be called? 

I want something fun, but not too weird. I would like something that can be corrupted a bit, because Bee and Belle get a lot of pleasure from changing Gran to other things, like Granulated Sugar, Granola or Ugranda, and I go from being plain Mum to all kinds of different variations – Muffinsky, Muff-Bag, Merm or, a personal favourite, ‘My Colleague Jo Shirt’.

(Don’t ask as I no idea any more.)

I’ve got until July to decide, otherwise I’ll end up having to put up with whatever ‘hilarious’ name Bee picks for me, so thinking caps on please.

What do you call your grandparents? Do you have any suggestions for me?

Photo by John Fornander on Unsplash



  1. 4 January, 2019 / 11:24 am

    We had a lot of discussion when our son was born in June. Husband’s family is English and we’re Scottish. Concensus seemed to be that Nana was the more Scottish option apparently so my Mum is Nana and my dad is Papa. My in-laws chose grandma and grandad straight off the mark within days of the pregnancy announcement. Personally my great grandmother was Nana and she was awesome. I also have a granny and she’s amazing too. My grandad’s new wife is Babushka.

  2. 4 January, 2019 / 12:26 pm

    I had a Nanny, Nanna, and two Granddads. Don’t choose the latter.
    I think you should be called ‘Slanny-Gran’

  3. msedollyp
    4 January, 2019 / 2:30 pm

    congratulations to you all, how exciting! my grandmother was nonny

  4. 4 January, 2019 / 6:30 pm

    My Mum was the same – she didn’t want to be Grandma as that was her own Mum. And she hated Nan / Nana as do I. She chose Granny in the end – she was going to be Granny Pam but they just call her Granny ❤️

  5. 4 January, 2019 / 9:37 pm

    I started out as Nanny Kim but Molly calls me Nanny Kimball and tbh I love the way she says it.My hubby was Grampy John,

  6. Carol Thomas
    4 January, 2019 / 11:05 pm

    Our Grandchildren call me Granna! That was the name I chose. Granna sums me up! Quirky and different

    I did not want Grandma (that was my late mom) My husband is Grandpa which is cute cuddly.

  7. Jo James
    4 January, 2019 / 11:50 pm

    Granjophine? x

  8. Victoria Prince
    5 January, 2019 / 8:50 am

    I like granny as well :) My grandmothers were always both granny! If we needed to differentiate when talking about them it would be granny [surname]

  9. Christine Hutchins
    5 January, 2019 / 10:00 am

    I was just 37 when I had this conundrum to muse upon (well, 36 when we knew we were to become grandparents, and 37 when the first one came along). My grandparents were Grandma, Nan and Grandad (2 grandads), all followed by their surname. Until the age of 36 it never occurred to me that there were other ways, other than using the surname, of designating which grandparents you were talking about – and it didn’t seem strange at all to call grandparents by their surname, yet aunts, uncles and great aunts and uncles too all got known by their Christian names!

    So, I auditioned a few different grandmother titles – and sorry Jo – I decided I was too young for gran, granny, grandma or similar. My mum was known as Nan, my stepsons’ mum goes by granny mother (like her mum did), a quilting friend of mine of mine is known as Nanny Seaside (as we are in North Devon, she has a beach hut, and her grandson lives in the Midlands). I thought about Oma, Omi, but went with Nanny Christine. Sometimes I am just Nanny, and sometimes – if they are vying for my attention I am Nanny Christine. I may have been swayed by the idea of the Mary Poppins Nanny, or perhaps even those nannies in One of Our Dinosaurs is Missing!

  10. 6 January, 2019 / 2:07 pm

    I say Nana but I like being called grandma Congratulations by the way Grab hold of all the good bits and make lots of happy memories.

  11. 11 January, 2019 / 1:20 pm

    I chose Nanny because I felt Granny was aging and I wasn’t ready for that – also my two were Granny and Nanny and Nanny was my favourite! I was Far away Nanny for a while when we lived in Devon. Now with my smallest I am nanny and her Daddy’s Mum chose Nonna (Italian) (though she isn’t) because she was of the same thinking as far as Granny was concerned and Nanny was taken (lol)
    Congrats, and see what the little one comes up with when they start talking……the littlest one’s dad called his Nan Noonoo as he couldn’t pronounce Nanny and it stuck, he still calls her that now.

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