My daughter is about to give birth, and I’m thrilled beyond words that a precious new life is entering the world, yada yada. But let’s get down to what’s really important: What do I want the baby — my first grandchild — to call me?
Not Grandma. That moniker is quaint and oldfangled, and I am neither. No, in true boomer fashion I want my grandmother name to be fun, cool, inventive — or at the very least, not frumpy. And I’m in good company. Susan Sarandon said recently that she wants her new granddaughter to call her Honey. “My hairstylist said it’s a Southern thing, and I thought, that’s kind of fabulous,” the actress told the New York Times. Blythe Danner, sexy grandma to Gwyneth Paltrow’s kids, goes by Lalo. And Goldie Hawn has reportedly been called both Glam-ma and Gogo by her grandkids.
I conducted an informal survey that confirmed the trend: Out of 20 current or prospective grandparents I polled, only three say Grandma and Grandpa are their go-to names. Others want to be called Granna, Naní, Bobo, G-Ma, GeeBee, Mimi, Meema, MorMor and (my personal favorite) MyTina. Male options include GrandDude, G-Dawg (no, I am not making this up), WillPa, FarFar, Poppy and Pappy. Can Sneezy and Grumpy be far behind?
Right now, I’m leaning toward Granny for my own nickname. It’s so old-fashioned that it sounds fresh again, like naming a baby Henry or Nellie. And thanks to PBS Masterpiece’s Downton Abbey, it has a cool British vibe. If it’s good enough for the Dowager Countess of Grantham, it’s good enough for me.
How about you? Is Grandma or Grandpa just fine with you, or do prefer something more modern? What are the most imaginative or endearing grandparent monikers you’ve heard?
Photo: © 2013 Nick Briggs/Carnival Film & Television Limited for Masterpiece
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