Modern names for grandmothers include Ama, GoGo, Nana, Gigi and Mimi. Grandmothers choose modern names to symbolize that they are young and cool, and avoid traditional names such as Granny and Grandma. They choose unique names to distinguish themselves from other grandmothers.
Sources of modern grandmother names include the grandmother's nickname, something about her, her real name, or a name of her choosing. For example, Goldie Hawn's grandchildren call her GoGo, based on her first name. A grandmother with curly hair may get the name Curly. If the grandmother lives somewhere else, her grandchildren could name her after where she lives.
While grandmothers or the child's parents sometimes choose a name for the grandmother, the grandchild is the one who decides what to call her. Grandmother names often result from the grandchild's mispronunciation or imagination. Grandmother names that repeat the same syllable are common, as these are easy for a child to pronounce.
Names taken from the grandmother's culture are common. Several cultures have both formal and informal names for grandmothers. German uses Grossmutter as its formal name and Oma as its informal name. Polish has Babka and Babcia as formal names, and Jaja and Gigi as informal names. Grandmothers who want a more-modern name opt for the informal version.