Grandma, Gram, Granny, Memaw and Bubbe are a few of many alternate names for Grandmother. New grandmother names often come from either tradition, a modern bucking of tradition or other languages.
Traditional alternate grandmother names are often passed down from generation to generation. Variations are often introduced to differentiate a grandmother from a great-grandmother. Traditional options include Grandmama, Mammy, Nana, Gammy and MawMaw.
Younger grandmothers or those that don't feel like traditional grandmother names fit their personalities often seek more modern options. Baby boomer grandparents, in particular, have adopted this trend. Modern options include Amma, GiGi, CeeCee, Lovey and Mimi.
Some grandmothers pick names used in other cultures, such as the Yiddish name Bubbe. These names sometimes reflect the grandmother's heritage, or they pick them because they like the way they sound. Some common international grandmother names include the Italian Nonna, the Spanish Abuela, the Filipino Lola, the Russian Babushka and the French Grandmere.
A BabyCenter.com survey on alternate grandmother names yielded many creative, unique names that do not fit in these three categories. These include Gramma-Bamma, Gramby, Vava, Cookie and Zippy.
Families with many grandmothers often add the last name of the grandmother to avoid confusion or family conflict, with combinations such as Gramma Rose or Gramma Smith.