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Who You Callin' Grandma? Cool Names for Boomer Grandparents

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?

Granny (Maggie Smith) in 'Downton Abbey.'

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.

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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.

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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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