Daily Life

Grandparent Names

I know Trey Kennedy has poked fun at Midwest and Southern grandparent names on Southern Sayings and maybe some other videos, but of course the classic is the Tim Hawkin’s bit. Trey Kennedy and Jake Triplett also discussed their grandparent names of one of the podcasts, it was the Do Less God Bless podcast (between the two of them, I think they have like 4 podcasts).

So for us Mom’s side is “Papau” and “Mamau” (is that really how you spell it, no, but some snobby grandkid, wonder who, decided that a “u” looked better than the “w” that is the real spelling since after we at least down here pronounce some of the words with “aw” and “au” the same way). Mamau’s parents were Papau and Mamau Last name. Actually that great-grandmother referred to herself sometimes as Last name, Last name, for privacy sake it was some like Lee, Lee. She was the only one I remember of the two.

I vaguely remember my Papau’s mom and we also called her Mamau Last name (her second married name). In referring to that great-grandfather my family called him Papau Last name.

On my dad’s side it was Grandad and my step-grandmother’s first name, the one living great grandfather was just great granddad I think, only three of us saw him once. Dad’s mom and step dad were Grandma and Poppy. Grandma also referred to herself as Grandmother, but since we are not Victorian and certainly didn’t come from the blue bloods, particularly not that side, that sounded so pretentious.

Since Dad also tried semi-seriously to get himself called “Grandfather” he got knocked down a peg or two with the originally facetious Grandpoopa. And it’s glorious fun since my niece now seriously calls him “Poopa.” Mom is “Mamau” to her, and our Mamau and Papau are Grammy and Gramps to her although I’m not sure if she knows that. She just now started figuring out my name.

You have your hillbilly:

Mamaw and Papaw

Meemaw and Peepaw

Granny and Grandpappy I think I’ve only heard in books, but if Meemaw and Peepaw exist, surely some people really still use Granny and Grandpappy

Then you have your normal:

Nana and Papa

edited, I forgot to add Meme. I was listening to Not Overthinking and the guys called their mom Mimi. We did know someone who would call their mom Marmee sometimes.

Grandma and Grandpa

Opa and Oma

I have actually heard people still use Grandfather (sister-in-law’s family) and perhaps Grandmother which is so formal.


      • Davida Chazan

        Maybe… but that’s just what my son decided to call his grandfather – out of the blue. Since he was their first grandchild, it stuck except for the grandson who lives in The Netherlands who calls him Oopah.

        • Livia Rose

          Oh, wow, is that confusing as family gatherings? I guess I don’t know anyone who calls their grandparents different names from cousins or siblings. But then I guess its confusing to be so many names as a grandparent (or great grandparent) in the first place. I get confused calling my grandparents whichever name when I’m talking to my niece, still not sure she knows her great grandparents names.

          • Davida Chazan

            Not really because that grandchild of his lives in The Netherlands and we all live in Israel, so we don’t get to see him much. Plus, he knows we all call him Papi (he’s already 21), so when we do get together and say Papi, he knows we’re talking about Opah.

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