How do kids address or refer to their great-grandparents, if they are still alive? (equivalent to "dad", "mom", "grandpa", "grandma") "Great-grandpa" sounds rather lame.

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    This is going to be culturally-specific, and may even vary from family to family.
    – John Feltz
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 1:26
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    @JohnF is exactly right; there’s no standard name like “Mom” or “Dad” for great-grandparents. I was lucky enough to have three great-grandparents still alive when I was in high school. One great-grandmother was called “Nana” and another was called “Ma” (everyone called her “Ma” – her children, her grandchildren, and her great-grandchildren). Nicknames for grandparents and great-grandparents is something that is very family-specific. This is a good question, though.
    – J.R.
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 2:27
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    My kids are half German so they have Grandma, Grandad, Opa, Oma.
    – Peter
    Commented Dec 27, 2016 at 3:47
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    I have to concur with the other commenters here that this is culture-specific, with one caveat: English is a language that loves its Ellipsis and thus tends to drop the "great" prefixes when all parties of a conversation have the relevant knowledge to follow along. Example: My great-great-grandfather Joseph and my great-grandmother Allison are visiting. Grandpa Joseph let me borrow his car to take myself and Grandma Allison to the mall. This will also happen in conversation; unless they have a specific epithet (like 'Nana' for Grandma Allison), which will get used instead. Commented Dec 29, 2016 at 20:33

2 Answers 2


Here in Pakistan, there are specific words that kids use to call the great grand parents.

However, as of what I know, there's no specific word in English which can be used for great grandparents.

It varies according to the culture and to the family. In some families, you would notice kids calling both their great grandparents and grandparents by one single name, that is "Grandpa" and "Grandma". In some, I have seen kids using specific words for their great grandparents like "Grandma Norma", any cute and simple word is used..


It is a rare situation. It is unusual for a child to have a close relationship with a great-grandparent. The answer will vary from family to family.

I knew one of my great-grandparents. I called him "Pop"* It was his nickname in the family. In other families a great grandmother might be called "Nana" or "Ma" and so on.

For a learner, this is even less of a problem. You refer to your great grandparent in their language, not English. And when talking about your family you refer to them as "great grandfather" or "great granddad" or "great grandpa" (depending on your relationships)

* If I called him anything at all, which was rare, for an 8-year-old, a 90-year-old man is unimaginably ancient, wrinkly and really rather scary. He was certainly too old to "play" with, and 8-year-olds don't really enjoy sitting beside a bed and chatting.

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