Other Languages Have Adorable Names For Grandparents, Too

Whether it’s Pop Pop or Nani, they’re all dear to our hearts.
May 6, 2019
Other Languages Have Adorable Names For Grandparents, Too

Grandparent names can be as idiosyncratic to your particular family as they are common throughout your language or culture, but what they all have in common is that they (mostly) evoke warm, fuzzy feelings. Unless you dreaded going to Nana’s house as a child, or associate the word “Gramps” with unpalatable hard candies you begrudgingly accepted every year on your birthday.

From variations on “grandma” in English to the preordained names some languages assign to maternal grandmothers versus paternal grandfathers, grandparent names are so numerous and varied around the world, you can fill an entire book with them.

Here are just a few of the grandparent names that are most common in other cultures — as well as some of the more unique names Babbel staffers call their favorite elders.

Grandparent Names Around The World

American English:
Grandma and Grandpa
Nana and Papa
Noni and G-Daddy
Mami France and Papi

Russian:
Babushka and Dedushka

Greek:
Yia Yia and Papou

Portuguese:
Avó and Avô (European)
Vóvó and Vôvô (Brazilian)

Spanish:
Abuela and Abuelo (can be shortened to Abu in some parts of Latin America)

Mandarin (Northern Dialect):
Maternal side: Lăolao and Lăoye
Paternal side: Năinai and Yéye

Mandarin (Southern Dialect):
Maternal side: Wàipó and Wàigōng

Swedish:
Maternal side: Mormor and Morfar
Paternal side: Farmor and Farfar

Hindi:
Maternal side: Nani and Nana (Naniji and Nanaji for additional respect)
Paternal side: Dadi and Dada (Dadiji and Dadaji for additional respect)

Gaelic:
Maimeó and Daideó

French:
Grand-mère and Grand-père

Swahili:
Bibi and Babu

Italian:
Nonna and Nonno

German:
Oma and Opa

Japanese:
Obachan and Ojiisan

Filipino:
Lola and Lolo

Learn more words to connect.
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Author Headshot
Steph Koyfman
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.
Steph is a writer, lindy hopper, and astrologer. She’s also a language enthusiast who grew up bilingual and had an early love affair with books. She has mostly proved herself as a New Yorker, and she can introduce herself in Swedish thanks to Babbel. She also speaks Russian and Spanish, but she’s a little rusty on those fronts.

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