Names for Grandmother

(45 Posts)
Bejeena Tue 22-Jan-13 11:43:03

Hi everyone!

I am new to the community and am 10 weeks pregnant, so still early days.

Only the family know and are over the moon of course, this is my first baby and for my parents will be the first grandchild, my husband's sister and her husband have a child aleady. It is a very exciting time.

Since my husband's parents already have a grandchild we have assumed that our baby will also take same grandparents names (Gran & Grandpa) as their cousin so they are sorted.

I asked my mother what she would like to be called and she said Grandmummy. This is what I called my Dad's Mum.

I have told her no and I have given her the reason that I will always think of my own Grandmummy when I hear the name. But the other reason (I did not tell her this) is that I think it is a bit pretentious and stuck up. However with the reason I gave it also meant that I have to say no to her being called Nan because that is what I called her Mum (but to be honest I would be happy for her to be Nan)

She accepted it although I don't think she was very happy about it. Have I been really unfair?

To be honest as much as I loved my Grandmummy and she was an amazing woman (who I also firmly believe can never be replaced) I just really don't like the name. Being brought up in the working class town where I came from it was almost a bit embarassing to use Grandmummy and others kids used to tease me for it. This is something I do not want for my own child!

I am a bit concerned that I have gone to far, that it should be her right to choose but I really do not want it and quite frankly my husband is going to find it very wierd, it really just doesn't suit us.

What do others think and what names have you got for grandmothers? My suggestion is Nanna/Nana which I think she is ok with.

Thanks for the opinions - I'd love to hear what others think.

amck5700 Tue 22-Jan-13 11:53:26

I never had any grandparents so can't comment on my own behalf, and my kids only have my mum who is Granny. However, my nieces and nephews have a variety of other grandparents and some are also Granny and then they add on the surname e.g. Granny Smith and Granny Jones. Some are Nana and the men are usually granddad or Pappa and my brother is simply called G which is nice too. I don't think you are being unfair banning Grandmummy but for the reason that it comes across a bit posh which you don't like rather than the fact that it was used by someone else - there is only a finite number of names that are usually used and to ban your mum from half of them seems a bit of a shame and takes the shine of her excitement I think.

HelenofSparta Tue 22-Jan-13 11:55:30

My girls call my mum Grandma.....

Floralnomad Tue 22-Jan-13 11:58:10

Your problem is of course that you offered her a choice , why can't she just be Gran like your OH parents. We had our children years ago and no one got a choice , his parents are nan and granddad , my mum is nan , never gave it much thought TBH.

Patsy99 Tue 22-Jan-13 11:58:21

TBH I find "Grandmummy" odd, although I see it could evolve as a cute nickname from a child. Whilst your Mum should be able to choose what to be called, I think that still has to be a name which is reasonable to you.

Sounds like you're down to Granny or Grandma, if Nan is ruled out.

SavoyCabbage Tue 22-Jan-13 11:59:44

I know a

Granny (and a Grannie)
Mamma (mam-mar)

And a Glamour...

My ds had Granny and Grandad on one side of the family and Grandma and Grandpa on the other side. A lot of people use Nan/Nana though.

My own grandmothers, one was grandma and the other was always known as Kiki (which wasn't her actual name) as she didn't want to be a Gran/Nan etc. And I knew another friend whose grandmother was known as Tigger. I guess you can choose whatever you like!

dontmixthecolours Tue 22-Jan-13 12:01:25

My girls call my mum Nonna. only because MIL said she should stop being ridiculous and ba called Gran

This has been a bit of a contentious issue with one grandparent (MIL). My parents asked what we would like them to be called so I said that I would prefer that my mum wasn't Nanny because that's what I call my grandmothers and I associate that with a grandmother who is elderly (my mum was 53 when DC1 was born). Together we settled on Grandma and Grandad.

My MIL suggested lots of names that were (in my opinion) non-traditional and all VERY close to Mummy. I firmly said 'no' because she had a tendency to take over and make everything about her in life. I did not want my children calling her Mumsy or any other variant. In the end, she asked what my parents were being called and settled on 'Grandma MIL'. She wasn't particularly keen on the 'Grandma' part but refused to be Nanna MIL as her step grandchildren referred to her (long story and I appreciate the reasons). When DC1 started talking, she approximated Grandma to Mamma (said Ma-mar) and this was pounced upon by MIL who said "I always said that I would go with what the children called me". We pointed out that DC1 was actually saying Grandma but ever since, MIL signs everything as Mamma MIL and refers to herself as this. DH and I think it sounds a bit silly and still call her Grandma MIL (as do the 3 DC). No-one knows what she is saying when she introduces herself as Mamma MIL.

Recently MIL referred to her XH (FIL) as Grandad FIL and the children didn't know who she was talking about! I had to point out to her that he is known as Grandad (or more commonly Scottish Grandad!) and it's fine that she uses her first name with the children but none of the other grandparents have, so please don't! MIL found this hard but she can't accept that the children think he's fab anyway.

TBH I think you are being a little bit unfair. It's quite usual for grandparent names to continue through the generati

Sorry, posting on phone...

TBH I think you are being a little bit unfair. It's quite usual for grandparent names to continue through the generations and my mum is known as nanny to my DCs, even though I associate it more with her mother (my GM).

She is the one on the receiving end of the name as it were, so I'd expect her to have final say.

I speak as a 'step grandmother' who insists on being called auntie! (Don't want to tread on the toes of the 'real' grandmothers although I regard them as my grandchildren)

DoItToJulia Tue 22-Jan-13 12:14:53

All of our parents (and there are quite few...all are divorced and most remarried) chose their names.

We have Nonna, granny , ma (short for grandma) nanny, great grandma, muddie, etc.

Also have oopa which is Dutch or grandad and the female equivalent is ooma.

Suggest an alternative, but ultimately I think it's a bit mean to insist. Tough one.

BigSpork Tue 22-Jan-13 12:16:58

When I was wee, it was Grandma and Grandpa, referred to as Grandma/Grandpa [surname] if talking about them at home.

For my kids, it's all a bit more complicated. They call my in-laws Grandma and Zaidy, one older cousin calls them Grandma and Firstname (as he was born before StepFIL was around), the younger pair (stepBIL kids) call them Grandma [first name] and Gr^u^mpa. I also know a few Nans and Bubbies.

When in the presence of Great Grandma, Grandma is either Grandma or Big Grandma and Great Grandma is Little Grandma (she's very petite, though has a giant matriarch personality) or Grandma [first name] as she doesn't like Great Grandma (which is what my kids called her first before she told them her preference, we go by what she wants - in this as with almost everything wink ).

My mother refers to herself as Nanny, though went through a few name options when my eldest was little as she didn't want to be Grandma or any of the usual variants. But she lives overseas and has never visited so my kids don't really use it or know it.

Bejeena Tue 22-Jan-13 12:53:14

Thank you all for the replies - I wasn't expecting such a response but then I guess this is a topic that we have all dealt with.

If I am really honest I think the main reason I don't want it is because it comes accross as quite posh and not because of my own Grandmummy.

Also I do see the point about family tradition but to me this isn't a family tradition, my grandmother was just Grandmummy and it was my Dad's mother that was this name, not my Mum's mother. My mothe didn't call her own grandmother Grandmummy either. If it was my Mum's mother maybe it would be different.

I would be happy for her to be called Nan but I then know she will ask me why am I ok with Nan but not Grandmummy, since we said Nan to my mother's Mum.

I guess maybe the easiest solution would be to tell her that firstly we think it is to posh and also that my husband won't like it (he is going to scoff and even ask if it is a name and I very much doubt he'll use it). As I said we come from very working class towns so it just sounds strange.

Anonymumous Tue 22-Jan-13 12:58:32

We have a Grandmummy. A bit odd or unusual maybe, but it never occurred to me that it was remotely posh, pretentious or stuck up - are you sure you're not confusing it with Grandmama (prounounced Grand-ma-mar)? confused

We have Grandmummy because Great Nan is still alive and known to all as Nan. So the grandmothers are Grandma and Grandmummy (to avoid confusion). Neither of them wanted to be Granny - apparently this is strictly for sweet old silver-haired ladies over the age of 85. Hmmm... maybe we should have rebranded Nan instead...

DonkeysDontRideBicycles Tue 22-Jan-13 13:03:58

It's a tough one but don't let it get to you, something will get suggested and hopefully you'll feel happy with it. Whether or not your DH will get chippy about it is another matter.

Your infant will probably eventually call her by something cute that will stick, that'll be her own special name!

Congratulations on your pregnancy.

Snowflakepie Tue 22-Jan-13 14:37:36

We have granny and grampy (my parents) and grandma and grandad (ILS). This is what me and DH called our grandparents, and they just happened to be different from each other, as we both only knew one set of grandparents each. There was no issue, it was just the first thing we said and it seemed right. If you don't like the name then use something else and your DC will sort it out for themselves. My nephew calls my mum gogon and she thinks it is cute, as he made it up himself. But don't fret over it, these things sort themselves out in the end!

atthewelles Tue 22-Jan-13 16:13:15

I called my grandmothers Granny (Surname). My mother is called by a name that would probably out me. Other grannies in my family are known as Granny (christian name) which I think is quite nice.

Top1000NameChange Tue 22-Jan-13 21:01:03

My DC call my mother Grandma. As my mother's mother is still alive and has always been Grandma to me and DBro, she is now called "Grandma [first name]" to distinguish. DD1 often calls them, respectively, "Grandma [first name]" and "Normal Grandma" - which is not far off the truth grin

FranglaisMaman Tue 22-Jan-13 21:13:59

I always called my paternal grandmother "Nanna or nanny surname" (she preferred Nanna) and my maternal grandmother was just 'nan/nanny surname'. I think my baby will probably do the same as it's just what's normal for us, I prefer Nanna though as it's cute.

I know someone who has enforced that her children call their grandparents: 'Nonna and Grand-Papa' - that knocks Grandmummy out of the park for pretentiousness!

wonderstuff Tue 22-Jan-13 21:26:12

I would be honest with your mum and say why you don't like grandmummy - and then I would leave it up to her.

We have Nanna, NannyB, Granny and Mamgu - v. lucky that I still have two grandmothers. My mum thought granny sounded too old, mil was happy with it. My maternal grandmother also thought she was too young to be a granny (she's 81 now) Mamgu is south Welsh. When I was little living in SE England friends would be baffled about me calling my grandmother 'monkey'. smile

recall Tue 22-Jan-13 21:27:49

Nanma and Nandad

wonderstuff Tue 22-Jan-13 21:28:33

atthewelles I had nanny(surnames), and my mother is now nanna(firstname) interesting social change over last 30 odd years.

CitizenOscar Tue 22-Jan-13 21:41:28

My grandad (my only GP) is Grandad. My DS has a Granny X; Nana X; Grandad X and something unique which is a bit like grandad but incorporates my dad's name (where X is their first name).

We chose the GMs' names at least partly because of how the word goes with their first names.

MIL wanted to be called "Grangran" as that's her family tradition but we weren't comfortable with it (esp as her family history is not a happy one) so suggested an alternative with a good reason - easy to say & goes with her name. She accepted it ok.

My grandad's partner wants to be known as Oma. Not sure it'll catch on wink

Bejeena Wed 23-Jan-13 14:11:58

Thanks all for the ideas.

Our situation is that we are from South Wales originally too, although I never really thought about Mamgu or Nain to be honest. We live in Germany and to be honest to me hearing Oma when English is spoken sounds wrong as Oma is a German word for me. But it might catch on.

I will be honest with her about Grandmummy and tell her I think it is pretentious, but I am loathed to leave it up to her as she will still chose it anyway, regardless of my wishes.

birdofthenorth Wed 23-Jan-13 18:43:34

I grew up with a Nan and a Grandma and likewise avoided repeating those for our folks. They are Nana and Granny instead.

I think Grandmummy is a bit ott, too, tbh. A bit Downton!

Lafaminute Wed 23-Jan-13 18:54:42

My childrens granny is Baba - as the eldest grandchild is half russian. I think Oma is lovely.

CitizenOscar Wed 23-Jan-13 23:35:33

Sorry, just to clarify, nothing wrong with Oma - I speak German & seems quite normal to me.

My comment was more about the fact that I don't see my grandad's gf as a grandmother figure (so doubt DS will) & Oma therefore seems inappropriate for her. But nothing wrong with it as a grandmotherly term.

NadiaWadia Thu 24-Jan-13 03:29:10

Never heard of Grandmummy before, but if your mother wants it, what's the problem? Surely it should be up to the grandparent to choose what they want to be called by their DGCs? After all, you get all the fun of choosing the baby's name, etc!

nooka Thu 24-Jan-13 04:14:15

I think it should be entirely the choice of the grandparent what they would like to be called. So I think that the OP is being very unreasonable. She will not be affected by the name nearly as much as her mother will. I don't really see why her SIL should have any great influence, it's not as if he is going to use the name is he, and if there were existing grandchildren he'd just have to lump it.

I've never heard the name 'Grandmummy' but I don't think it is pretentious - my grandparents were Grandmama and Grandpapa, and they were posh. I was surprised that my parents didn't go for the same names, but my mother struggled with becoming a grandmother and we never really found the right name for her (I would have liked to call her Granny, but she wasn't keen).

DessieLou Thu 24-Jan-13 06:08:46

My in laws are grandma & grandad, my mum is nanny jane. Hope you find something you're all comfortable with. :-)

newbielisa Thu 24-Jan-13 06:17:50

My Mum is Nana to my children, her Mum was Nana to me. It's funny how we're all so different I can't imagine not following the family "tradition" where to you it seems so wrong.

Totally agree that Grandmummy is pretentious and could possibly have me sniggering on a bad day.

thegreylady Thu 24-Jan-13 18:45:46

I am Grandma to dd's dc
Their dad's mum is Granny and dad's stepmum is Nana.Interestingly all three male grandparents are Grandad with Granny's dh being Grandad xxx[name] and my dh being xxx[description]Grandad.
I called my maternal dgm Mother as my mum had used that for her own dgm.My paternal dgm was Grandma.

pinkmagic1 Thu 24-Jan-13 18:56:26

Mine were both Nans. My dc call my mum nan, dh's mum is Jedda (arabic word for gran) and the also have a grandma Linda who is my dads long term partner.

mrssmooth Thu 24-Jan-13 18:56:48

My girls have a Granny (my mum, never any question that she'd be called anything other than this, as her mum was my "granny" too) and a Grandma (dh's mum). My gran (dad's mum) is still alive, but we don't have much contact, so they call her the same as I do "Gran xxx". [Gran xxx is called Nanna by my cousins but I've never been able to bring myself to call her that as it just sounds so ... silly ... when I say it (or I feel silly saying it) for some reason]. When my granny was alive, she was "Granny xxx". When (if) my turn comes, I will, most definately, without question, be "Granny"!!

exoticfruits Thu 24-Jan-13 18:59:02

I think it is just up to the grandmother-ask them and go with. It is up to the DC later on, but I can't see what it has to do with the parent.

eatyourveg Thu 24-Jan-13 19:26:21

I had a Granny and Grandad and a Nain followed by the name of the farm where they lived and Taid followed by the name of the farm. (Can't say what it was as it would out me to any Welsh mners). My dc have a Nain and Taid and Old Granny one side and Grandad and Nanny on the other. Hate hate hate with a vengeance the use of Nanny but thats what MIL called herself and dh's grandmother was called Nan so when they both used it, I didn't have a lot of choice. If the dc produce I am inclined to fashion myself as Nain or Granny

Frikadellen Thu 24-Jan-13 19:26:59

I think you are being unfair to your mother if you asked her then tell her no. You should have not asked then.

My children use the Danish Mormor and Morfar for my parents and Bedstefar for my step father
MIL and FIL Grandma and Grandad (though FIL was called Grandfar by dd1before He passed)

I dont actually care if any feel it is pretentious or over the top it is their names and what they wished to be called.

I have already told my children I do not want to be mormor/farmor they think I am odd laughs.

BeaLola Thu 24-Jan-13 19:43:49

I only had 1 Grandparent growing up as all others sadly deceased - we called her Nanny because all her other grandchildren did.

We adopted our DS last year - he is 5 & only grandchild. I said to my Dad when we found out we had been matched with him that he was finally going to be a Grandpa & he was thrilled - tbh about having a grandchild rather than title I was giving him - for some reason Grandpa suits my Dad. I asked my MIL what she wasnted to be called (don't love her , shes ok) & she said Grandma which was fine with me. I tell my DS about my lovely Mum who he knows is in heavan & we call her Nana forename .

Personally I don't love Grandmummy as a name but that said what I do love is that your Mum chose it & she sounds thrllled to be getting a grandchild & I would let her be it..........only wish my Mum was here to be a Grandparent. Your lovely child may end up calling her "Grand" or something else cute & that will be lovely too. I would(nearer the time) be ordering her a Bridghewater mug with Grandmummy customised on it


SuffolkNWhat Thu 24-Jan-13 20:07:46

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

DefiniteMaybe Thu 24-Jan-13 20:12:04

My dc call my mum and mil Nanny <first name>. They call my nan Granny.

Bejeena Thu 24-Jan-13 21:37:14

Hmm I hadn't actually thought about the fact that I had actually asked her.

To be honest I think the reason I asked her was that I wanted to make it clear from the start that I don't want Grandmummy. I found it embarassing as a child and other people in school used to tease me for it, these are not nice memories.

I think if I am being unreasonable then I might have to accept it, but I don't want to give in and accept her wish for Grandmummy, I just don't like it.

To be honest I am not sure how my husband would react to it, I haven't had the guts to tell him because I think he is just going to laugh at the whole Grandmummy thing (we are both from very working class backgrounds) and I would be embarassed about it. The whole thing makes me want to cringe - and I never ever want my child to feel like this.

The way I see it is this, if my mother just accepts Nan, Nana, Gran, Granny or whatever else then when the baby comes she will have forgotten all about the wish to be Grandmummy. However if I accept Grandmummy I am going to be reminded every day of the shame that I felt over a woman that I loved so much and I just couldn't wish that on my child.

At the end of the day I think my Mum did seem to accept my veto of Grandmummy quite well, she didn't seem upset or feel like Nana or anything else was out of the question. I hope that it will work itself out without a big disagreement.

sleeplessinderbyshire Thu 24-Jan-13 21:44:24

We have a Granny and Grandad on my side and Nain and Taid on DH's (they are welsh)

VinegarDrinker Thu 24-Jan-13 21:54:04

Your little one may make their own name/s too... My Mum's Dad was always Papa because my older brother couldn't say Grandpa. Slightly bizarrely 30 years later my little boy also spontaneously calls his Grandpa Papa. He calls his Grandma Marmar (he's not yet 2). We let them choose what they wanted to be called. My Mum is Nana - her name for her own adored grandma - and my Dad is Grandy (because his name is Andy!).

exoticfruits Thu 24-Jan-13 21:59:23

Just go with it but shorten it to Gran. My mother was Granny but the DCs soon shortened it.

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