Grandma and Grandpa Who? More Grandparents Ditching Traditional Names

What do your grandkids call you?

From Mimi to Pop Pop, a growing number of boomer grandparents are trading in traditional monikers for creative new nicknames.

Many of today's grandparents find the terms "grandma" and "grandpa" to be stuffy, and worse yet, incongruous with how they view themselves: young, and hip.

Grandma and Granddaughter
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Instead, baby boomers are charting their own path, drawing influence from culture, religion, traditions, family names, inside jokes, and whims.

"Many baby boomers have a hard time reconciling their vibrant, vital and active selves with the traditional names—they don't fit their self-image," says Dr. Klausner, a clinical psychologist who focuses on the psychological issues specific to older adults, explained to Good Housekeeping. "They think of themselves as organizing and running marathons and associate those traditional monikers with a more sedentary lifestyle—the older relative in a rocking chair—that is not their own."

Plus, increased longevity means that more great-grandparents are alive, limiting the name pool. "That, coupled with a greater incidence of step and blended families means that names have to differentiate between the generations and different extended families," added Dr. Klausner.

As far as new names go, many, like "ganny" and "gampy" are born out of grandkids' mangled attempts at pronouncing "grandma" and "grandpa." Those just tend to stick.

Another popular subset is derived from the grandparents' first names. Bonnies become Bon Bons. Steve becomes Steets.

And then there are grandparents who choose their own outlandish names simply because they can. A grandpa that wants to be called Jefe, the Spanish word for chief? Sure! A grandma who considers herself so sweet that she names herself Honey? Why not?

You do you, grandparents!

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