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What do you call your grandparents?

When Prince George of Cambridge was born on 22 July 2013, much of the press speculation centred around what name would be given to the 3rd in line to the British throne. Once that matter was settled, discussion moved on as to what familiar names might be given to the grandparents, fuelled partly by Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall’s revelation that her other grandchildren called her Gaga.

Often in families less traditional names are given to the sets of grandparents and they can be peculiar just to that family. It can be useful to disambiguate and is often a charming sign of affection.

To English speakers, granny and grandad, grandma and grandpa are probably the most familiar. But there are other options, not least those used in other countries and other languages, many of which feature in the Oxford English Dictionary. Explore some of these in the word cloud below as we pay tribute to our parents’ parents on Grandparents Day.

 grandparents

Click on the words below to see the entries in the Oxford English Dictionary (the below entry pages are available to non-subscribers for three days):

abuela
abuelita
abuelo
aiel
baba
babushka
beayell
belfather
besaiel
bubbe
eldmother
gammer
good-dame
goodsire
grandsire
lucky
lucky-daddy
lucky-minnie
makulu
minnie
mother-father
nain
nin
oma
omi
opa
opi
ouma
oupa
tresaiel
tupuna
zayde

The opinions and other information contained in OxfordWords blog posts and comments do not necessarily reflect the opinions or positions of Oxford University Press.