When my husband and I got married we moved to North Carolina for a couple of years so that I could finish my master’s degree. We made friends with a Southern couple that were expecting their first child, and I remember having a conversation about how they were having a hard time choosing nicknames for their kid to call their parents.
I was a little surprised because I had only ever called my grandparents “abuelita” and “abuelito.” Pretty generic and boring. I learned that Americans have all sorts of wacky names for grandparents — Nana, Pop Pop, Grammy, Nona, Pappy, Gramps, etc. I was fascinated.
When my husband and I found ourselves pregnant, my mom immediately started brainstorming nicknames for our baby to call her. Since we’re Hispanic, the names we’ve come up with are a little different.
I started asking around to some of my other Hispanic friends and compiled this list of some of the best grandparent nicknames in Spanish.
Nicknames for Grandma:
- Bela: This is short for “abuela.” This is actually the name my son uses for my mother-in-law.
- Ita: A shortened version of “abuelita.” I remember my childhood neighbor calling her grandmother by this name.
- Aba: Yet another variation of the word “abuela.”
- Mima: It seems that so many Cubans call their grandma by this name. I think it may be short for “mi mama.” (my mom)
- Mamuma: No rhyme or reason for this one. Just a cute name.
- Lita: One more short version for “abuelita.”
- Abi: This is the name my mom finally settled on as her grandma nickname.
Nicknames for Grandpa:
- Belo: This can be paired with Bela above.
- Pipo: Again, so many Cubans seem to call their grandpa by this name. I’m not sure where it comes from, but it’s kind of a cute name.
- Lito: A short version of “abuelito.”
- Tito: Another shortened version of “abuelito.”
- Huelo: A variation of the word “abuelo.”
- Abu: This is the name by dad goes by for all the grandkids. I love it.
Bonus: My own grandmother goes by the nickname “Bibi” with all her great-grandkids (it’s short for bisabuela, which is great-grandmother in Spanish).
What special names do your kids have for their grandparents?