Mamaw And ‘Em

This past Saturday morning I went to Panera so that I could try to get some writing done. Please make note of the phrase “try to” – because what I didn’t know at the time was that there was a huge soccer tournament in Birmingham this past weekend, and starting about 11:00, one soccer team after another filed into Panera for lunch. I was at a table in a little alcove by the cash registers, and at one point I counted 22 other people who were attempting to share that little alcove with me. Some were sitting, some were standing, some were crouching next to tables, and while everyone was very nice and well-behaved and etc., there were moments when I thought that it sure was going to be a shame when I experienced a bout of claustrophobia in the middle of a bunch of 11 year-old boys who just wanted to eat some turkey sandwiches and hang out for a little bit before their next game.


When I got home later that afternoon, I cooked supper, visited with my people – and while the little man read what I’d written earlier in the day (listen. that child is going to be our family historian before it’s all said and done.), I tried to re-work the beginning of a chapter in my head. I had an idea, but I needed some input – and I thought the Twitter might be able to help.

So Saturday night, I asked the Twitter a question:

And y’all? The answers?

Oh my goodness. If I could, I’d carve them into some sort of Southern Mamaw Monument. They are priceless.

Here’s a little sampling.

Is that not some Granny Goodness? The nicknames made me so happy – and that’s not even half of them.

Mary Lauren was one of the people who replied, and she mentioned that she’d written a post on grandmother names. After I read it I realized that I don’t remember any grandmothers who went by “Grandma” when I was growing up. There was the occasional “Grandmother,” but mostly I knew MiMis and Mamies and GaGas and MeMaws. I’d never thought about it until the Twitter helped me out.

So what about y’all? What did you call your grandmothers?

And better yet, if you’re a grandmother, what do your grandbabies call you?

By the way, I’m hoping that I’ll get to be Shug or Honey one day.

Maybe even SoSo.

But definitely not BooMamaw.

Which means that’s exactly what I’ll be.

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  1. I live in California. I call my grandma- grandma. I have a 2 year old granddaughter who calls me Mimi. I was wanting her to call me Memaw (I am a very young grandmother so thought it would be fun to do something different) and when I would ask her to say Memaw she said Mimi. So now when she gets in trouble with her mom, she yells Mimi or Oh Mimi! Ha she knows where her bread is buttered.

  2. Lindsay says:

    I have a Grandmother and a Grandma, but we’re Virginians, so barely even Southern :) My favorite one I know of is Ma’am ( as in yes Ma’am)… I think that one is perfect! I tried to get my mother in law Martha to be GrandMartha, but she didn’t go for it!

  3. I’m not southern. Grew up in KS. My grandmothers were both not only called Grandma but we we addressed them by their last names as well “Grandma Fairchild”. Very formal. We also had to use “aunt” and “uncle” when talking to our aunts and uncles. “Well hello, Aunt Julie”. My kids call their grandmas “Nana” and “Roro”, the latter being my formal mother who insisted onusing last names!!

  4. Your name shall be MOPHIE.

    You’re welcome.

  5. Samantha says:

    We had Mom & Pop, Grankie & Granddaddy. Now our parents are Boss & Nana, Mimi & Pawpaw

  6. Here’s a unique one: My great grandmother was called “Dearie” because my dad, the oldest grandchild overheard his family call her name– Dreka which turned into DeeDa which somehow turned into Dearie which I love.

  7. I’m from PA and had a PA Italian Grandma and FL Southern Grandma (originally from NC) & Grandpa and we just called them all Grandma and Grandpa and used their last name when we needed to. My Italian great-grandma was Nana (pronounced Nunna) and great-grandpa was Pap-pap.

    Now my 2.5yo daughter calls the PA Italian Grandma “Nunny” (started off as Nana and then she just changed it one day) and the FL Grandparents “Meemaw and Peepaw”, her other great-grandma is just “Grandma Joy”. My mom is “Muggie”, when my daughter first started talking she said a few words backwards making flower “waffle” and grandma “mugga” which eventually turned into “Muggie”. My dad is “Grandad” (his choice) & my FIL is “Pap” (his choice). We gave my MIL the name “Gigi” since everyone had a fun name but her. She has a lot of living grandparents and greats.

  8. I am known as Nonnie, Narnia, and Momskie

  9. I know I’m a little late to the grandma naming party, but I thought I’d throw mine in here for good measure….Grammy, Neena, Nanny, Mama Nette (for Jeanette), Grangran, Meemaw, Grandma Nattier, Grandma Davis…and that’s about all. Can’t wait for the book!

  10. Catherine Hunter says:

    My friend calls her great grandmother “Granny Great!” I love it!

  11. Bet you havent heard this one. Our 3 year old granddaughter calls my husband “Baby”. We tried to teach her “Granddaddy”; he called her “Baby” alot, so that’s what she calls him. I am “Gigi”.

  12. we live in New Zeland – thought you and your readers might be interested in somewhere a bit different :) My paternal grandparents were Granny and Grandpa. Maternal grandparents were Nana and Pop. My husband’s parents are Dutch so the kidscall his parent Oma and Opa (ole-ma, ole-pa)
    :) xox