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Names for a Grandfather

By Emma Davies


Updated on

Being a grandparent has been described as a ‘parenting fantasy camp’ – it’s like being a parent, but being able to give the kids back when they’re crabby or crying. One important part about being a grandparent is what your grandkids will call you (this name will stick with you for years and years). Choosing a nickname that fits your personality as well as feels right for you is simply a must, but there are too many to choose from.

Names for a Grandfather

How To Choose Names for Grandfathers

There are a few good tips to remember when picking out a name to go by

  • Pick a name that everyone is okay with – This is where parents should aim to be quite flexible, remember it’s your name and not theirs.
  • Pick a name that isn’t close to what your grandchildren will be calling their father.
  • Pick a name that you will be okay with being called in public – this will save a lot of embarrassment in the long run.

It’s also a good idea to talk your names through with other grandparents in the family – you don’t want to end up picking a name that someone in the family already goes by. This causes confusion, and is a real hassle long-term – so save a lot of work later on and discuss it with other family members.

The most important thing is to pick a name that you’re comfortable with and that resonates with you – some people may want to just go by their first name, and there is absolutely nothing wrong with this, it’s all down to personal preference.

Other Words for Grandpa from Around the World

If you are fortunate to have a family heritage from another country then you could use this as inspiration for what Grandpa name to go by.

Let’s start by having a look at what alternate names for grandpa other countries have.

  • Aborigine – There are formal, paternal, and maternal versions of the word ‘grandpa’ in Australia: Maili (formal); Waayamaa (paternal); Garrimaay (maternal). There is also a Polynesian Maori version of the term as well: Tipuna Tane.
  • African – Tamazight (Berber dialect); Ntatemongolo (Botswanan); Sekuru (Shona dialect); Babu (Swahili); makhulu (Venda dialect); Utat’omkhulu (Xhosa dialect); Ubabamjhulu (Zulu dialect).
  • Afrikaans – Oupa.
  • Albanian – Babagiysh
  • American Indian – There are both maternal and paternal versions in Navajo:

Chei (maternal); Nali’ (paternal); Agiduda or E-du-di (Cherokee); Shi’choo (Cheyenne); Ataataga (Eskimo or Inupiaq dialect); Mishomis (Ojibway).

  • Arabic – There is an informal and formal way to refer to your grandfather in Arabic: Jadd (formal); Seedo (informal).
  • Armenian – Papik
  • Basque – Aitona
  • Belarusian – Dzied
  • Breton – Tad-Kozh
  • Cajun – PawPaw
  • Catalan – Aviah
  • Chinese – There are maternal and paternal versions in both Cantonese and Mandarin: Yeh Yeh (Cantonese paternal); Gong Gong (Cantonese maternal); YeYe (Mandarin paternal); Wai Gong (Mandarin maternal).
  • Croatian – Djed.
  • Danish – Bedstefader (formal); Farfar (paternal); Morfar (maternal).
  • Dutch – Grootvader.
  • Esperanto – Avo
  • Estonian – Vanaisahttp
  • Farsi – Pedaer Bozog
  • Filipino and Cebuano – There is an informal and formal version of the term: Apohang Ialaki (formal); Lolo (informal)
  • Finnish – Isoisa; Ukki; Vaari
  • Flemish – Bonpahttp
  • French – There is a formal, semi-formal, and informal way to address your grandfather in French: Grand-pere (formal); Grand-papa (semiformal); Pepere (informal).
  • Galacian – Avo (the same as Esperanto’s word for grandfather)
  • Georgian – Babu
  • German – There are also informal and formal versions of grandfather in German: Grossvader (formal); Opa (informal).
  • Greek – Pappous
  • Guarani and South American – Aba.
  • Hawaiian – There are formal and informal versions of grandfather in Hawaiian: Kupuna Kane (formal); Tutu Kane (informal)
  • Hebrew – Saba
  • Hungarian – There are informal and formal versions in Hungarian: Nagyapa (formal); Tata (informal)
  • Icelandic – Afi
  • Indian – Dadu (Bengali paternal); Nanu (Bengali maternal); Daadaa (Urdu paternal); Daadi (Urdu maternal); Daa-daa-jee (Hindi);Ajja (Southwestern)
  • Indonesian – Petulu
  • Irish and Gaelic – There is an informal and formal version of the word grandfather in Irish/Gaelic: Seanathair (formal); Daidoe or Daddo (informal)
  • Italian – Nonno
  • Japanese – There is an informal and formal version in Japanese: Ojiisan (formal); Sofu (informal)
  • Korean – Halabeoji
  • Latvian – Vectevas
  • Lebanese – Jid
  • Lithuanian – Senelis
  • Malagasy – Babakoto
  • Maltese – Nannu
  • Norwegian – Bestefar; Farfar (paternal); Morfar (maternal)
  • Polish – There is an informal and formal versions in Polish: Dziadek (formal); Dziadzio (informal)
  • Portuguese – Avo
  • Romanian – Bunic; Bunicut
  • Russian – Dedushka
  • Sanskrit – Pitaamaha (paternal); Maataamaha (maternal)
  • Serbian – Ded
  • Spanish – There is an informal and formal version in Spanish: Abuelo (formal); Abuelito, Tito, or Lito (informal)
  • Swedish – Farfar (paternal); Morfar (maternal)
  • Swiss – Grosspapi
  • Syrian – Jidu
  • Tamil – Thatha
  • Thai – Bpoo (paternal); Dtaa (maternal)
  • Turkish – Dede; Buyukbaba
  • Ukrainian – There is an informal and formal versions in Ukrainian: Dadju (formal); Gigi (informal)
  • Uzbek – Bobo; Dodo
  • Vietnamese – There is an informal and formal versions in Vietnamese: Ong (formal); Ong Noi (informal)
  • Welsh – There are different versions of the word grandfather depending on whether you’re in Northern or Southern Wales: Taidie (Southern); Tad-cu or Taid (Northern)
  • Yiddish – Zaide; Zeydeh; Zeyde; Zeide; Zede

Nicknames for Grandfather

Grandpas do tend to have a bit of a disadvantage as there are some rather silly nicknames or words that are fairly similar to the word: for example, Gramps sounds an awful lot like Grumps; and the same goes for Poppy and Poopy – be mindful about how your nickname could be misinterpreted by others.

There’s nothing stopping you from changing your nickname later on, sure this will almost definitely take some time with family members remembering, but be patient and remember nothing is set in stone.

If you want to stick to the basics, here are some nicknames instead of ‘grandpa’:

  • Grandpappy
  • Gramps
  • Pop-Pop
  • Grampa
  • Granddad
  • Papa
  • PawPaw
  • Peepaw
  • Bumpy
  • Poppa
  • Bompa

Grandad Names

There are an absolute ton of nicknames, traditional names from home countries, and silly modernizations of these words that you can go by in your new role as a grandfather.

When picking your name, don’t lose sight of the most important thing: what you want. Take some of these tips from above when choosing a name to make the process go a little smoother – discussing with family members is always a good way to avoid confusion and to have to find some inspiration if you’re stuck.