Wednesday, 15 June 2011

What do you call a grandmother?

Jennifer, at Ellison Lane Quilts, recently had a post about a quilt she "borrowed" from her grandmother. At the end of that post she posed this question: "what do you call your grandmother?"

With permission from Jennifer to use the idea, I am inspired to write this post.

My grandmothers were both Nanna (although I suspect we spelt one of them Nana).
My mother is also Nanna to her five grandchildren and Grand-Nan to her great-grandchildren (as was her mother).

My father's paternal grandmother, the only great-grandmother still alive when I was born, was called Gan by grandchildren and great-grandchildren alike.

My husband's grandmothers were Nanna and Grandma.

My parents-in-law were officially Grandma and Grandpa, but are known as Gran(ny) and Pa by their seventeen grandchildren, their spouses and, currently, nine great-grandchildren.

SIL's grandmothers were Nanna and Grandmother.

SIL's parents are known to their grandchildren as Oma and Opa because of his German background (he was born in Australia and is third generation Australian).

My mother's best friend is known as Boo (her name is Beulah).

WM and I are Grandad and Grandmum. I chose that because I didn't want to be Nanna, Granny or Grandma and Mum goes with Dad so why shouldn't the spouse of Grandad be Grandmum? Twelve months after I chose what I thought was an 'original', I was reading a book about my great-great-grandmother who was transported to Van Dieman's Land (Tasmania) as a thirteen year old for breaking, entering and stealing. In the first chapter of the book, Agnes is called Grandmum.

I don't believe in coincidences but I find that quite amazing!

So, as Jennifer asked on her blog, "what do you call your grandmother?"


  1. Not a coincidence!!!! As you research you do find these strange little links. I have Tassie convicts too - 4 actually. Thirteen is so young. What was her name?
    I only had one and she was 'Nan'
    I as yet am not one, but wish to be called Grandma or Gram

  2. I called both of my grandmothers Grandma and most of the time my two grandchildren call me Grandma but when they are feeling very affectionate, they call "Granny!" and I like that, too!

  3. I'm grandma, but had a grandma and nana. I didn't get along very well with nana, she was an unpleasant woman in many ways, so nana was out for me. I didn't like nanna as it reminded me of hired help, not family.

    My own mother who started out as a grandma, morphed into Moo, courtesy of my niece and was finally widely known as Moo and given cow jugs and cards etc. She didn't mind, but my Dad refused anything except grandfather in full. Was most offended when one of my sons, then very small, called him Grandduffer.

  4. Grandma! And other Grandma is "Omi." When I have kids in the future, my mom wants to be called "Nana" (yes, she has made this clear, lol).

  5. I didn't know either of mine. Deceased or estranged. So it's a foreign concept to me.

    But my niece and nephew call my mum Nanny. It's what she chose to be called.

  6. My mum is Nana, as was her mum. My Dad's mum was Dabby, for reasons unknown to me (I think the first grandchild coined it) although to some of her grandchildren she was known as Ma, which is also what her own children called her. My MIL is Grandma, Ga or Gargy, depending in who you ask!

    I really like Oma, I sort of wish I had german background so I could use it if the time ever comes!

  7. I'm thinking along the lines of grumpy/ sleepy, but prob will settle for yes maam!

  8. I'm Nannie as was my mum. Marc's mum is inevitably Nonna - the only choice with her being Italian I guess - and my maternal grandmother was Marnie, because that's how the first of the cousins said grandma and the rest of us just followed suit. [ never knew my other grandmother,Grandma Batt but that is how she was always referred to ]
    My poor maternal grandfather got a different name from each set of Grandkids, so he was Grampie to us, and variously Pop, Poppie, Gramps to the others.

  9. My paternal grandmother was Nana, but I didn't see much of her growing up as she was in England.

    I was the youngest grandchild and I dubbed my maternal grandparents "Grandgirl" and "Grandboy", much to their delight apparently. (Apparently I was learning the difference between boys and girls and the names stuck)

  10. I have a Mumma. My eldest cousin (her oldest grandchild) called her that when he was little and it stuck.

    Her unusual name meant that she's never received mugs or any other 'world's greatest grandmother/nan' paraphernalia, but I think she's ok with that.


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