Friday, January 09, 2009

Picking the Perfect Grandparent Name

If you’re about to become a grandparent -- or about to make grandparents out of your parents by having a child of your own -- you’ve most likely thought about what the upcoming child will call you or your parents. Of course, there’s the traditional “Grandma” and “Grandpa,” which works well for many people. But others feel they want a younger-sounding name or one that’s more personalized. So, how do you pick the perfect grandparent name?

The book, The New Grandparents Name Book: A Lighthearted Guide to Picking the Perfect Grandparent Name, is the ideal resource for uncovering all of your options. With more than 700 suggestions, as well as ideas for customizing your own, the possibilities are endless! What I like most about this book is that it’s not merely a list of names. It really helps future grandparents to think about their role in their grandchildren’s lives, their family heritage and their view of themselves as grandparents. Some of the naming suggestions include:

Traditional Names: These are some of the tried-and-true names that everyone recognizes, or that often pop up when children mispronounce “Grandma” and “Grandpa.” They include names like Grams, Nana, MawMaw, Gwampa, Gampy, and Banpa.

Heritage Names: These are the names that reflect a certain ethnic background. The authors, Lin Wellford and Skye Pifer, really did their homework in this category because they have names from almost every ethnicity imaginable, from Armenian to Zulu!

Trendy Names: These names tend to be more modern and youthful, such as Foxy, Glamma, Coco, Coach, G-Dog, and Nemo.

Fun and Playful Names: These names are cute and lighthearted. They’re also recommended for step-grandparents, who may be looking for a name that’s uniquely their own. Names include Greatma, Jamma, Pumpkin, Tinkerbell, Grandpup, Jedi, and Pogo!

Names Inspired by Personality or Interest: If you’re known for your sunny disposition or your love of a particular hobby, you might want to pick a name that reflects these traits, such as Bubbles, Cookie, Honey, Big Daddy, Campaw or Skipper.

Perfect Pairs and Merry Matches: Some grandparents may want to coordinate their names so they sound good together. Fun combos include Pebbles and Rocky, Mummers and Poppers, and Lolly and Pop.

Custom Names: How about something that is uniquely your own? Look at your own name to see if it might lend itself to customizing. Paul might become Pappy Paul. Fran could be called Gran Fran. Or Sue might like to be called Grammy Sue!

Honoring Ancestors: Look back into your family tree to see what previous grandparents were called. You might want to honor your own great-grandmother by adopting her special name when you become a grandmother!

The New Grandparents Name Book is so much fun to look through, and a perfect way to announce to your parents that they’re about to become grandparents! (There’s a page in the front where you can fill in the gift recipient’s name.) Quotes on grandparenting and notes from other grandparents on how they came up with their unique names will provide lots of chuckles. And blank pages at the end of the book allow future grandparents to brainstorm on names. I really enjoyed The New Grandparents Name Book and plan to pass it on to some impending grandparents!

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  1. One of my mom's best friends goes by Nana so my mom told me that is what she wanted to be called. Also, she wanted to be "differentiated" from the other grandmother. Keeping with this trend, we call my dad Papa. The in-laws are Grandma and Grandpa.

    I like it that it's easy to know which grandparent we're talking about because their called something different.

  2. Hi Kelly,
    That's a great reason to have different names for grandparents. My kids call both sets of grandparents "Grandma" and "Grandpa." They all live out of town, so whenever I tell one of the kids that "Grandma's on the phone," they always ask, "Which Grandma?" We wouldn't have that problem if one set of grandparents went by different names!

  3. Hi Susan!

    this is nice!

    as for my family we also have a unique names for the grandparents since they don't want to be called as such old fashioned way.

    for my uncle he wants his grandchildren, including my kids to call him as "papu" while his wife as "mamu". as for my mom she wants to be called "mamita" or "mama" instead of grandma.

    it's a unique way of calling them so the kids can differentiate each of their grandparents!:-)

  4. What a great book! I love that it has so many ideas from so many angles. I especially like "GreatMa"!
    We are lucky to have so many grandparents in our family. I'll have to see if they would be into this.


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