In a child's life, mama and daddy are the most important people. But there are a lot more loved ones that surround him, support him, love him and guide him throughout his life — the family members that form the village that raises a child.
Each little guy or girl comes up with his or her own name to call these special people, although many times they come up with the names that they want to be called first, maybe taking the sweet name that they called their own elders a generation ago. But names like Pappy and Nana aren't so popular these days. Most grandmothers aren't called Grandma, and Grandad is definitely no longer the trendy pick either.
The times have changed, and that's certainly true for seniors. People are living longer and healthier lives, and they are more likely to get out and play with the grandkids than sit on the porch and rock. So they need new nicknames that reflect their vigor and their amazing relationship with their little loves. We've got a list of the latest, hottest names for grandparents, as well as aunts and uncles.
Here are 14 trendy nicknames for family members.
A lot of the names on our list have their roots in other languages. That's because a lot of the names sound fun and give a little bit of an exotic and different mix. Grandparent names tend to be easy to say, too, since most proud grandparents can't wait to hear their little pride and joy call out a name for them. Yaya meets all of those criteria, and it's so cute and sweet that many can't help but choose it for their nickname.
Yaya is a pet name for Greek grandmothers, but there are plenty of grandmas these days called by the name who don't have any Greek blood. The name screams fun, and that's why they like it so much. Some kids say this repeated sound shortly after mama and dada, which makes Yaya feel amazingly loved. We think this is a great trend for grandmothers these days, and we can't help but smile when we hear it.
Initials are an interesting trend from recent years. This one harkens an old-school rap name, which was probably something that parents these days remember from their childhood. Since it reminds them of a fun thing from their past, they love it when their parents take on this unique and fun nickname, G-Dad.
Granddad is a perfectly acceptable thing to call a parent's parent, but it seems a little boring and dated. But if you flip it and give it a little bit of twist, it feels fresh and fun. G-dads definitely make their littles laugh, and they are always quick with a tickle. They can go by G for short, which is another cool slang that we all know and love. This nickname stands out — everyone has a grandfather, but it's a special man who is known as G-Dad.
Little boys these days are often known as people's little buddies. So it's no surprise that more and more those little boys are calling their loved ones Bud. That happens for uncles, for granddads and pretty much any other male figure who is close and who wants to go with a more friendly nickname.
Generationally, parents these days get a bad rap about wanting to be their kids' friends and not being strict enough, but their parents are just as guilty. They want their little guys to know that they are pals, someone to throw the ball with and to play games and laugh. Being a grandfather is pretty amazing, and being a Bud can be even better.
This is definitely one of the most unusual names on our list. And it applies to grandmothers, aunts and pretty much any female loved one that a baby might want to name. Lala is a lovely nickname for the lady that is a second mama to a youngster, and the name is so gorgeous it's the name of one of the hottest basketball wives. So there is no way that a grandma called Lala would feel frumpy.
Grandparents these days aren't like the grandparents of previous generations. A hundred years ago, plenty of people became grandparents at 40, but they still felt old. But now, 60 is the new 40, and even then, there isn't any porch rocking. Lalas everywhere are breaking the stereotypes of old Grannies, yet one thing will never change, whether a grandmother is called Nana or Yaya — they love their grandchild like no other and will do anything for them.
For grandmas who want to be nearly as close a moms, there may be no better fun trendy nickname than Mimi. When kiddos learn to write love notes to mama, they just have to learn to switch out one letter to make it to Mimi. And that is when the sweet cards start flooding in. There is nothing like having a child who loves you nearly as much — sometimes even more — than their mama.
Mimi is a nickname that is used for a variety of M names, so it doesn't feel like a grandma name. It feels like a spunky young bombshell, and what aging woman doesn't want that? It's definitely a more modern name than MawMaw or some of the more traditional variety. For a woman who wants to feel younger and closer to her sweet grandchildren, Mimi is definitely a name that sounds beautiful in her ears and in her heart.
This is an old-school name, but retro is definitely a hot trend in the 21st century. From midcentury modern feel to nursery furniture to the trend that baby names get popular again about 100 years after they first topped the charts, plenty of parents go for throwback favorites when it comes to their kids, and so it comes as no surprise that they are even going for some retro nicknames for family members.
Pops is a name that was used fairly often for fathers, and it may have been what their own father called their father — the one that they knew as grandad. The name has a generational feel, and a definite swagger for an old man who isn't really all that old, or at least not ready to be relegated to the grandpappy who rocks on the porch and shouts at the squirrels. Pops want to remain hip and fun, and they want their grandchild to view them in only a positive light. And the playful name says all that they want it to.
Shortening names is an old trick that makes a person feel more relaxed and intimate with a friend or loved one. Robert may be a business colleague, but if he is a friend, he can become Rob. The same is true for nicknames and pet names, and that's why Uncle Jeremy is becoming Unk these days.
Uncles are one of the most important people in a kid's life. While the parents have the responsibility to raise them right and the grandparents spoil them but still have an understanding of what the parents really want, uncles are completely free of the obligation to be anything but fun. They get to relive their childhood games and toys, get athletic and have their own fun. They want to be their nieces and nephews' buddy, and a fun nickname like Unk gets them closer even quicker. It's the perfect short-hand for such a fun relationship.
This is another nickname that comes from another language. Tia is the Spanish word for aunt, but it's also really close to the popular names these days of Mia, Gia and things like that. So it sounds like a name and it feels like someone sweet and spunky. Of course, it's also the name of one of the awesome girls on "Sister, Sister," so we all remember a Tia as a fun friend and person we love to hang out with.
Of course, there are a lot of Spanish-speaking people in the United States who use the nickname Tia for aunt. But it's become a name for everyone, regardless of generational bounds. Just about everybody speaks at least a little Spanish these days, and when there is such a pretty nickname that comes from it, it's pretty irresistible. We all love our aunts, and we love Tias, so it's a match made in heaven.
For generations, kids had Nanas who rocked in rocking chairs and made the best family dinners. Now, they have Nenes who take them on fun trips and are as full of energy as they are. It doesn't hurt that NeNe Leakes has become a famous figure, one of the Real Housewives of Atlanta who can take on anyone who ever tries to mess with her and who isn't afraid to speak her mind.
NeNe is a grandmother herself, and we know that she loves hard and is a force to be reckoned with. For all the other Nene grandmothers out there, the stereotype of a Nana definitely does not apply. They are fierce, especially when it comes to protecting the little ones that they love, and we're glad that their grandkids have them in their corner.
Grumpy was a dwarf with a bad reputation. He was known to be down in the dumps, but Snow White — and we — loved him anyway. These days, plenty of kids have Grumpies of their own, but the nickname doesn't exactly describe dear ol' Grandpa. It's just a twist on Grampy with a chance to tease their favorite old man.
A couple of generations ago, it would be considered really bad form to call an elder by a name like Grumpy, even if you were doing it in good spirits. But these days, everyone enjoys a good joke, and a Grumpy isn't offended when he hears that name. It's all meant in love, and Grumpy may even enjoy playing his part every once in a while and teasing right on back. Grumpies are great, even if the name makes you wonder.
Speaking of fun Spanish words that are great whether you speak the language or not, Papi is a truly trendy name for grandfathers these days. It's close to the Pop or Pops from the old days, but with the -y ending that brings us close to Daddy. It's such a great name that when you hear it, you know that person is so special to the youngster.
Papi has the strength of a patriarch and father figure. But with the lilt and magic of a sweet granddad with his kiddos wrapped around their little fingers. We all want a Papi in our lives, and we are so grateful when our children have one. It's a perfect name for a grandpa with the heart and courage that we want our children to emulate.
Why is it that so many grandma nicknames have repeated syllables these days? It's not just because the kiddos have an easier time learning the name before their second birthday, and sometimes even before the first, although that is definitely an added benefit. It's because those names are sweet and fun all wrapped up together, just like a grandma wants to be for her grandchild. Nana doesn't work the same any more, but Gigi definitely fits the bill.
For older women, the name reminds us of the irresistible Gigi from the musical of the same name. More recently, it reminds us of model Gigi Hadid, who is definitely trendy, although far from a grandmother, and most of all, it makes us think of Gigi's Cupcakes, the scrumptious bakery. Since at least a third of a grandmother's job involves baking, and we all want our treats to taste just as amazing, it's a perfect ode. Perfect, right?
Here is another name that has become trendy thanks to people embracing their Hispanic heritage. It's Lito — short for Abuelito, or dear grandfather. Abuelo means grandfather, but the "ito" prefix puts on a sweet extra endearment. For many grandkids, it's a way to modernize a pretty traditional name — like going from Grandfather to Grandad to G-Dad.
Lito is also a name in its own right. It's a Latin name that means "light," so it gives the impression of someone who enlightens, which is just what a grandfather is there for. Lito is a grandfather who takes his little loved ones for walks and talks to them about the important things in life, teaching them everything from how to fish to how to show kindness and appreciate the many blessings in their life. That's a Lito who kids love to spend time with, whether they live near or far.
We had to squeeze in one more silly, sweet repeated syllable name that more and more grandmas are going by these days. Zizi is something that can apply to aunts as well, since it's really just a nonsensical name that many women end up calling each other. It's close to Sissy, and there are a lot of C and S names that can easily turn to Zs when you are talking baby talk.
For Zizis, being a grandma is best when the grandkids are babies, and they want to be there all the time. They cuddle hard and they create quite a bond with the little ones. Things get even sweeter as the kids grow up, and they know that their Zizi will be the one to spoil them rotten. They know where to turn when they want something, especially when they need a booboo kissed or a big old hug. Zizis are the best.
Sources: Grandparents.com, CafeMom, Southern Living