International Grandmother Names

Find out what grandmothers are called in dozens of languages.

international grandmother names
Aborigine
Australian Formal - Garrimaay
Australian Paternal - Mamaay
Australian Maternal - Momu
Polynesian Maori dialect - Tipuna Wahine

African
Berber dialect - Henna
Botswanan - Nkuku
Shona dialect - Ambuya
Swahili - Bibi, Nyanya
Venda dialect - Makhulu
Xhosa dialect - Umakhulu
Zulu dialect - Ugogo

Afrikaans - Ouma

Albanian - Gjyshe

American Indian
Cherokee - E-Ni-Si
Cheyenne - Neske'e
Eskimo, Inupiaq dialect - Aanaga
Navajo (maternal) - Ma'saani
Navajo (paternal) - Nali'
Ojibway - Nookmis, Nookomis

Arabic
Formal - Jaddah, Jiddah
Informal - Teta

Armenian - Tatik

Basque - Amona

Belarusen - Babka

Breton - Mamm-gozh

Cajun - MawMaw

Catalan - Àvia, Iaia

Chinese
Cantonese Paternal - Ngin
Cantonese Maternal - PoPo
Mandarin Paternal - Zumu
Mandarin Maternal - Wài pó

Croatian - Baka

Danish
Formal - Bedstemoder
Paternal - Farmor
Maternal - MorMor

Dutch - Grootmoeder

Esperanto - Avin

Estonian - Va naema
Farsi - Madar Bozorg

Filipino Cebuano
Formal - Apohang babae
Informal - Lola

Finnish - Isoaiti, Mummo

Flemish - Bomma

French
Formal - Grand-mère
Informal - Gra-mere, Mémé
Semi-formal - Grandmaman

Galician - Avoa

Georgian - Bebia

German
Formal - Grossmutter
Informal - Oma

Greek - Yaya, Gigia

Guarani (South America) - Jaryi

Hawaiian
Formal - Kapuna Wahine
Informal - Puna, TuTu, Kuku

Hebrew - Savta, Safta

Hungarian
Formal - Nagyanya
Informal - Yanya, Anya

Icelandic - Amma

India
Bengali Paternal - Thakur-ma
Bengali Maternal - Dida, Didima
Hindi - Daadima
Southwestern - Ajji
Urdu Paternal - Daadi
Urdu Maternal - Nanni

Indonesian - Nenek

Irish/Gaelic
Formal - Seanmhair
Informal - Maimeo or Morai, Mavoureen

Italian - Nonna

Japanese
Formal - Obaasan, Oba-Chan, Sobo (one's own grandmother)
Informal - Obaba

Korean - Halmoni

Latvian - Vecmate

Lebanese - Sitti
Lithuanian - Senele, Mociute

Malagasy - Nenibe

Maltese - Nanna

Norwegian - Bestemor, Godmor
Paternal - Farmor
Maternal - MorMor

Polish
Formal - Babka, Babcia,
Informal - Jaja, Zsa-Zsa, Busha, Gigi

Portuguese - Avo

Romanian - Bunica

Russian - Babushka

Sanskrit
Paternal - Pitaamahii
Maternal - Maataamahii

Serbian - Baba, Mica

Slovakian - Babicka

Slovenian - Stara Mama

Spanish
Formal - Abuela
Informal Diminutive - Abuelita, Uelita, Tita, Abby, Abbi, Lita

Swedish
Paternal - FarMor
Maternal - MorMor

Swiss
Formal - Grossmami

Syrian - Teta, Jadda

Tamil - Pathi

Thai
Maternal - Ya
Paternal - Yai

Turkish - Buyuk Anne, Anneanne, Babanne

Turkmen - Ene

Ukranian
Formal - Babusia
Informal - Baba

Uzbek - Bibi

Vietnamese
Formal - Danh tá
Informal - Ba, Bé già

Welsh
Southern - Mamgu
Northern - Naini, Nain

Yiddish - Bubby, Bubbe

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Comments

Since my Dad's family was Jewish and I was raised Catholic as far as the rites of the church, I also attended temple with my father and grandparents. I lost so many extended family members including my great, great grandfather to Hitler and his murdering machine. I am 100% Polish on that side. So I chose to carry on the 'name' of grandmothers in the family. Gigi is actually a Polish name for a grandmother. Now only if my husband could make up his mind.

2ofthebest on 2015-02-11 11:55:48

Irish Gaelic "Seanmháthair" means grandmother, but a more informal and usual name for a child to call its grandmother is "mamó".
Seanmhair (pronounced shen-a-var) is Scots Gaelic. They are close but still different. My grandchildren call me Seanmhair in honor of our Scottish heritage.

seanmhair5@gmail.com on 2014-09-05 23:31:58

I want my new grandson to call me Zu Zu. Does anyone know the meaing of this work? I love the sound and it feels playful which is why I chose it:

sarledge on 2013-03-19 13:48:58

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