Call Me Grandma, Please!

call me grandma

One of our GaGa Sisterhood members recently sent me a magazine article by a new grandma who loves her role but says please don’t call her Grandma. She wants to be called by her first name in the same tradition her grandparents were.

The writer wondered if “today’s glamorous grandmas, who wear skinny jeans and run to charity meetings in stilettos,” want to be addressed as Grandma. She asked her friends, whose hyphenated names sounded straight out of a society register, what they liked being called. Their responses included Nonna, Mammy, Evie, Poopsie, Bakie, Franny, Bon-Bon, and Lola, which is what grandmothers are called in the Philippines.

I had to laugh as I read the article from a magazine I do not usually read. These are not the grandmas from my ‘hood. First of all, none of us wear skinny jeans, although we do wear Not Your Daughter’s Jeans. And as for those stilettos at charity events, I haven’t seen a lot of them at the events I attend.

Even though the writer says she always longed to join that “one exclusive group, The Grandmother Club,” I’m not sure she’d fit in with our GaGa Sisterhood. Most of our members like being called Grandma. At our meetings, we often begin with introductions that include what our grandchildren call us. In September, there were 30 members from around the San Francisco Bay Area, and half of them said their grandchildren call them Grandma. There were also four Grammys, two Nanas, and two GaGas.

If this writer’s little granddaughter comes up with her own version of a name when she learns to talk, I bet she’ll be delighted, and treasure it. That’s how I got my name and I wouldn’t trade Baba for the world. Photo ©


  1. julie says

    How did you find the grandmas to start your meetings. Do you have other “chapters” that meet in other places beside San Francisco? My grandchildren call me MiMi – funny thing my son is dating a Tongan girl and in the Tongan language Mimi means pee pee. She wondered why they would call me that. Love your blog.

  2. says

    My grandson calls me Mama. He can call me whatever he wants as long as he calls me. I have to admit, I’m a grandma who wears skinny jeans, leggings. and heels. I’ve always been into fashion, and just because I became a grandmother doesn’t mean I have to give up that passion.

  3. says

    Too funny! At my daughter’s request I tried on pencil leg jeans and leggings last week. I decided to leave it all in the dressing room and the 80’s where they belong.

    I wanted to be called Nonnie like my maternal Grandmother. I adored my Nonnie so much that I would ‘fake sick’ on school days to be dropped off at her house while my Mom and Dad were at work. I can’t imagine being called anything else.

    Is it awful to hope that one day my Granddaughter might want to ‘fake sick’ to spend unplanned one-on-one time with her Nonnie? As long as she keeps her grade up…of course!

    Nonnie Kelly

  4. Irene Madrid says

    I always knew I wanted to be called ” Lita “, which means ” Dear Little Grandmother ” in Spanish.

    I wanted to honor the tiny redhead who walked 600 miles across Spain from Salamanca to southern Spain, to go to Hawaii and a better life..with five children, and pregnant.

    I was the only great grandchild to have her blue-green eyes and ) I think) she favored me because of it,lol. Her children all did well in this country despite her never learning English. She did make up some new words: eskier, because our family skiied to much, for example.

    Some people now think that is my first name~~~