My Grandparent Era: Choosing My New Name!


As a baby, you don’t get to choose your name. Your parents do.  Then when you have a child, you get to choose their name, and your name changes to Mom. Yet, when you become a grandparent, you have a chance to choose a new name. It is such an exciting time to find out that your child is about to have a child. Your role as Mom now transitions to grandmother. Most of the decision making is now in the hands of your child, the new parent-to-be. But one decision that you get a say in is choosing what you would like your grandchild to call you. Choosing my new name in my grandparent era was a thrilling time.

How I selected my new name

In my case, there were two other grandmothers on my son’s family side and one other on my daughter’s family side. At the baby shower, the question was asked, what do you want your grandma’s name to be?  I already had an idea in mind of what I wanted to be called. My children called my mom Mema. I wanted something similar, yet not the same. I also had to consider what the in-law grandmothers were choosing. No one else wanted to be called Mimi.  So, Mimi it would be. 

I also knew that I couldn’t become too attached to that name. Many times, a grandchild can’t pronounce the chosen name, so they say what they think it sounds like. As a child, I even changed my maternal grandmother’s and grandfather’s chosen names. They chose traditional names, Grandma and Grandpa. But I always heard my mother call my grandmother, Mom. So, I also called her Mom. And I couldn’t pronounce Grandpa, so he became Teta. Since I was the oldest grandchild, it stuck. And the other four grandkids to follow called them that also.

Image: Grandmother's to be choose the names for their grandparent era
Celebrating with the other grandmothers at the baby shower! Did we all keep our chosen names?

With my own grandchildren, the name that I chose did stick and I am called Mimi. But they did end up changing some of the other grandparent’s names. Gram-gram became Gip. And Gigi became Goo-goo. The grandchild gets to hear the name and then begins calling you what they hear. I find it so adorable when the grandchild names their grandparent. It usually is the most unique and creative name. No one else in the world has that one-of-a-kind grandparent name. Most of the time, everyone loves it, and the names stick forever.

Ways to Chose a Grandparent Name

There are a couple books that can help you choose a name: The A to Z of Grandparent Names: From Abba to Zuma and Bubbe, Mimi and Gigi: The Best Grandmother Name Book Ever are two of my favorites. I found these books on Amazon. Here are a few examples of either traditional or modern grandmother names.  


  1. Gram
  2. Grandma 
  3. Grandmama
  4. Grandmother
  5. Mema


  1. Amma
  2. GiGi
  3. G-Ma or G-Mom
  4. Lala
  5. Mimi
Image: Mimi and Papa in their Christmas shirts
Proud grandparents showing off their new names!

Choosing my new name in my grandparent era was fun to do. Whether you choose a name that is traditional, one that is associated with a particular ethnicity or cultural group, or a modern or chic name, it will be unique to you and your family.  If you can’t decide, you can always wait until the baby is born. Maybe bonding with the newborn will inspire a name. Either way, once you hold that grandbaby in your arms, it will be a love like you have never known. You really won’t care what they call you, you will just be ready to shower them with lots of unconditional love and attention.  

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Holly Farver
Holly has built her life around the value of family first. She is a native of Miami and has lived between Hialeah and Cooper City over the years. She is happily married to her husband of 36 years. They have two adult children that are both married with a child each. Pouring into the next generation is a passion she and her husband share as they both work in local public schools. Entering the season of being a Mimi has been exciting and she loves the giggles of toddler grandchildren. Holly’s faith is very important to her and she enjoys serving her community through the local ministries led by her children. Holly also loves music, reading, traveling and sweet tea. Her heart is to share with other mom’s that the role of motherhood can be hard, but she is living proof of the great rewards to come. You are welcome to follow along her journey of faith and family @hollefarv on Instagram.